2020.2_KW Greenery_Getting to know succulents

Looking for a plant that can enhance your garden without requiring a lot of care or water?

A succulent could be just what your indoor or outdoor garden needs.

Even though succulents are becoming more popular, some people are still unaware of their attributes. Learning more about these unusual plants might turn even run-of-the-mill gardeners into devotees.

The word "succulent" brings to mind juicy, savory foods, but succulents aren't meant to be consumed. In fact, they get their mouth-watering name from their uncanny ability to store water in their fleshy stems or leaves. That means they do not require frequent watering like other plants do and are more durable in the face of drought.

They are also a handy plant for forgetful gardeners or those who travel often and want a hands-off addition to their gardens.

The online succulent resource Succulents and Sunshine says most succulents prefer warm environments. Some varieties can survive low temperatures, but for the most part, succulents thrive in warm, moderately sunny conditions.

The DIY Network says succulents grow best in bright light but not always in full sun.

Succulents also are attractive because they have so many different looks. Better Homes & Gardens says succulents come in a wide variety of colors, including green, yellow, burgundy, white, blue-green, pink, red and variegated combinations. Their shapes can be just as diverse, with many having pointy, rounded, spiky or ruffled leaves.

Many people are familiar with one type of succulent: the cactus. These desert-dwellers are prized for their water-retention abilities, but some of those prickly exteriors can look downright scary.

While all cacti are succulents, it's important to note that not all succulents are cacti. Those without spiky needles include aloe, jade, snake plant and agave. Hens and chicks (sempervivum) and wax plant (hoya) are other succulents to consider.

Searching for succulents online is a great way for gardeners to discover more about these wonderful plants and find the right fit for their gardens.

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The Insiders: This article is sponsored by K & W Greenery