Succulents come in a huge range of colors, shapes, and sizes,
and require little in the way of care – just a lot of sun and a bit of water.
The four main elements to consider when caring for succulents are water, light, temperature, and soil. But first, it’s important to understand what defines a succulent and where these plants are found in nature. Both of these pieces of information will lead to some logical conclusions about how to care for the plants.
Succulents generally come from arid regions of the world: deserts, rocky cliff-sides, and other areas that either don’t get much year-round rain, or have rocky, dry soil that leaves plants without easy access to water on a regular basis. Succulents have adapted to these harsh, dry climates by storing water in the tissues of their leaves or stems to keep themselves alive through the dry season. Most commonly found in gardens and nurseries are succulents that store water in their leaves, so that they have fatter-than-average leaves that appear juicy inside if you cut into them. Less common in gardens and nurseries are succulents that store water in their trunks or stems; these tend to look like gnarled, fat tree roots or ginger roots, and often have few or no leaves at all. I’ll discuss care for the more common succulents that store water in their leaves, as these are the plants that you are more likely to encounter.