Succulents have a wide range of habitats and are found in environments all over the world, even some that are virtually inhospitable. Most succulents come from the arid deserts on all of the major continents, there are some succulents that have thrived in mountains and rainforests.
Where do succulents come from?
Except for Antarctica, succulents can be found in nature on all continents. They mostly come from deserts, but others come from rainforests and mountains. They are very hardy plants that survive in places that most plants would find too harsh to survive in. They like places with low humidity and high temperatures.
Some species of succulents can even be found on the seaside and next to dry lakes. Regular plants do not do well in these areas because of the high levels of dissolved minerals.
Succulents in nature all over the world
1. Hoya ‘Wax Plant’
These plants have thick, heart-shaped leaves and are native to southern India. These plants do not need a lot of light to grow, making them great indoor plants.
2. Sedum Makinoi
These perennial herbs have fleshy green leaves and can grow up to four inches high. They need minimal care. Left to their own devices, they often thrive with no problem. They are often used as ground cover in yards and large planters.
3. Euphorbia Paralias ‘Sea Splurge’
This succulent can also be found in parts of Africa and Europe. It is a small shrub, but it can grow up to 32 inches tall. It has multiple stems that are covered in light green leaves. These plants require very little attention.
4. Sedum Lydium ‘Mossy Stonecrop’
This plant also makes for a great ground cover. They are green for most of the year but turn red during the coldest months. In the summer, they will have clusters of small white flowers. Just like most succulents, they are low maintenance and can be placed in areas with any kind of sunlight and rainfall.
1. Mesembryanthemaceae ‘Lithops’
This is a very popular species of succulent because of their distinct shape. They only grow into thick leaves that grow in pairs and they have no stem. They will grow nicely in a container because they are slow-growing. The older the plant gets, the more pronounced their characteristic “stones and pebbles” look becomes.
They can tolerate extreme temperatures, but only for short periods of time. Nowadays, it is not that difficult to track down this plant and your local nurseries probably carry it.
2. Kalanchoe Rhombopilosa ‘Pies from Heaven’
These plants have green leaves with copper brown markings and silvery flakes. They are perennial succulents that are native to the island of Madagascar. They are small and dainty plants.
3. Haworthia Attenuata ‘Zebra Plant’
These plants look quite similar to the aloe vera plant. This is because they belong to the same family. Their pointed green leaves have white variegated spots that look like zebra stripes. They make great indoor plants as they do not require direct sunlight.
In the growing season, make sure you water them sufficiently so that they produce plenty of offshoots, which you can repot in no time.
4. Haworthia Cymbiformis
This plant has clusters of dense rosettes with clumps of green leaves. The leaves have glass-like streaks on the tips, giving them their unique appearance. Despite their intimidating look, these plants are very easy to grow and propagate. Just be careful of overwatering them.
5. Aloe Juvenna ‘Tiger Tooth Aloe’
This plant is native to the Kenya. It is a clump-forming succulent that branches from its base. In the summer, the leaves range from green to brown. These leaves have distinct teeth-like edges that give them their name. Their leaves also have white spots speckled all over. They can grow to be one foot tall.
1. Ferocactus ‘Barrel Cactus’
These succulents get their name from their cylindrical shape. They are covered in spines that become gray and curved over time. These plants can grow up to six feet tall and are some of the largest cacti in North America. They love the sun and can live on very little water.
2. Dudleya Hassei
These plants can be found on rocks on the cliffs of Catalina Island in California. Their leaves are chalky and gray, but their tips will turn pink under the sun in the summer months. They make for beautiful ground cover in smaller gardens.
1. Parodia Leninghausii ‘Yellow Tower’
These plants start out globular but become columnar the older they get. They are native to the country of Brazil and can grow up to three feet tall. Adult plants produce yellow flowers that are around two inches wide. They bloom in the summer.
2. Echinopsis Mamillosa
This Bolivian succulent has globe-shaped stems that grow to be 12 inches tall. They are solitary plants that grow flowers that are large relative to their stems.
3. Echinopsis Scopulicola
This is another plant native to the country of Bolivia. They grow straight and have pups growing from the base. They can be quite tall at 13 feet. Their flowers come out at night and stay open until morning.
1. Agave Filifera ‘Thread Leaf Agave’
This plant has small to medium pointed leaves that are surrounded with white thread-like fibers. They grow well on the landscape or in a container. The plant’s flower stalk can grow up to 12 feet tall and can be covered with yellow and purple flowers.
2. Sedum Morganianum ‘Burro’s Tail’
This is one of the most popular succulents amongst collectors. They are perennial evergreens that have hanging stems and can grow up to three feet long. Their fleshy blue green leaves are compact. They require very little attention and do well even in harsh conditions.
Succulents are hardy plants that grow naturally on almost every continent in the world. They are unique in their ability to store water inside their bodies and leaves. This helps them survive in the most arid places on earth even with little to no water. This makes succulents some of the easiest plants to grow while supplying living decorations to your home.
Image: istockphoto.com / ES3N