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Flat succulents: cultivation and more widespread species
What are commonly called succulent plants are actually the so-called succulent plants. Their origin brings us back to tropical and desert climates near the equator, inhospitable areas for many forms of life.
Succulent plants are the result of thousands of years of adaptation to the scarcity of water and nutrients dissolved in it. The longest dry seasons of those characterized by torrential rains were the reason why these plants had to develop specific structures for their survival.
The peculiar characteristic of the succulents is the internal organization of the stems and leaves in which, in addition to being present the basic structures, proper to each plant, possess additional capacities. They are provided by the presence of a so-called "aquifer parenchyma" in which plants can store large quantities of water. The parenchyma in question appears, when well hydrated, in the form of a gelatinous substance and at times a little viscous and constitutes a great resource for the plant but in some cases also for man.
The succulent plants, thanks to their advanced degree of specialization and their wide autonomy, are now widespread throughout the globe mainly thanks to the cultivation by man.
They are able to live in the most diverse environments even if they do not react very well in extreme cold situations. High temperatures and lack of water for long periods of time, on the other hand, are not a big problem.
Cultivation can be carried out outdoors, but the presence of very colorful flowers, specimens that do not dirty the environment and above all the scarce need for attention for these plants, make them perfectly suitable for cultivation in apartments.
The most cultivated types are Aloe, Agave and Crassula, in many of their species. Keeping them in confined spaces is certainly not a problem, given their very slow growth and the simple physiological needs that are the same as any other plant.
GROW GRASS PLANTS IN APARTMENT
The cultivation of an Aloe plant does not differ much from that of Agave or Crassula. The needs of these are almost identical both in terms of environmental factors and in terms of the care of the farmer.
It would be advisable, first of all, to know the general conditions in which the plant must live.
First of all it needs a good amount of light that, if possible, should not arrive directly in the plant in the form of rays; this will serve to recreate an environment that is as similar as its native.
The second rule is relative to land and water. The earth must be inserted in a pot possibly of terracotta and well pressed after inserting the plant. This will prevent the formation of water stagnation in it, something that succulent plants do not tolerate. The water must be administered occasionally and it is necessary to check, especially in winter, that the soil is dry and does not contain residual moisture from the previous irrigation.
During the summer season it is useful to water it a little more often making sure to leave the soil slightly damp, never wet.
It is important to keep the plant always clean and eliminate any weeds that could grow in the pot.
It does not need fertilizing.
The multiplication is generally done by cutting, that is cutting a more or less large portion of the plant and inserting it in the ground as if it were already a new individual. After an initial period of probable difficulties, the cutting will give its best.
Succulent plants could be affected by diseases due either to incorrect care or given by the attack of parasites. If the rules indicated above are followed, problems related to environmental factors should not arise. Parasites can hardly be avoided, if not keeping the plant in perfect hygienic and health conditions. Aphids and Cochineals are those that attack fat plants more often to feed on the substances they accumulate in their leaves. These pests can be removed manually with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol or pine oil, otherwise specific insecticides can be used.
MORE DIFFUSENT AND USER SUCCULENT PLANTS
Among the succulent plants that are mostly grown in the domestic environment are certainly the different species of Aloe, among which the most important is Aloe vera. The motivation for which this plant is loved by people lies in the beneficial and healing properties contained in its gel. The immediate use that can be made of it, for example for the healing of wounds or the moisturizing action enjoyed by this gel, make this plant an invaluable resource.
From a purely decorative and ornamental point of view, the cultivation of the Crassula stands out as it often has branches with numerous leaves that have bright and vivid colors like red. The artistic arrangement of the leaves is also an element of great value for the species of this genus. The small size allows it to live even in environments that are not too large, as long as it can enjoy good light and sufficiently oxygenated air.
The Agave stands out, instead, for the elegant austerity of its leaves, which at the apex often end with powerful thorns.
The dimensions of these plants require a larger space than that required by the Crassulas but the ornamental effect is certainly guaranteed by them.