Used to living in extreme climates, succulent plants propagate very quickly using the seeds, but they can propagate also by vegetative way, this has allowed these plants to survive and perpetuate their species even in difficult climates, too hot and dry, with excessive temperature changes or other climatic discomforts of this type.
As a matter of fact, the plants living in temperate climates have at least 3-4 months of good weather, in this period, which goes from spring to late summer, they have all the time to bloom, produce fruits, germinate and develop the new small plants before the winter, in way to keep always luxuriant their population.
The succulent plants, on the contrary, usually develop in places where the seasons are mainly hot and dry, the rains fall for very short periods of time and not on a regular basis; for this reason the succulent plants have adapted to propagate even without the need to bloom, fructify and sprout the new plants.
Propagation by seed
Although the succulent plants originate from areas with a very dry climate, even their seeds germinate with high humidity, this is because first of all few are actually the succulent plants originating from the deserts completely dry, more often come from arid areas, which have however rains or other precipitation, also the marked temperature changes cause a strong deposition of dew on the soil during the night.
The small seeds, fallen between the rocks, are sheltered from the scorching sun, and the microclimate on the ground ensures a good percentage of moisture. So if we want to germinate the seeds of our succulent plants we avoid leaving them in full sun during the summer, or in completely dry soil.
Rather, let’s place them in a seedbed in a shady and well ventilated, cool and humid place; in these conditions, the seeds of succulent germinate quickly; let’s keep the seeding ground moist with frequent vaporization. As soon as all the seeds are twinned, let’s thin out the vaporization, or better, let’s periodically dip the seedbed in water to make sure that all the soil contained in it is moist, then let it drip and let’s put it in place.
For the first months of life of the seedlings let’s keep the seedbed in a semi-shady place, not too hot, and let’s water the soil by immersion only when it has been well dry for at least a couple of days.
In the spring we can divide the small plants in a single container, always keeping them with little soil in each container, when we move them we should pay attention to the root system, which is very delicate, especially in the specimens of tiny size, after moving them we should wait for at least 2-3 days of settling before watering them.
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Propagate succulent: Agamic propagation
Fleshy plants can reproduce very easily even without the need for sexual reproduction, which involves the development of flowers and their maturation, this type of multiplication is also called clonal propagation, in fact, through cuttings or divisions you get plants completely identical to the mother plant, unlike what happens through reproduction through the seeds.
Most succulent plants naturally tend to expand into colonies: at the base of the mother plant, but from the same stem or root system, new shoots form, which in the long run give rise to new individuals, who will tend to detach themselves naturally from the mother plant, producing their own independent root system.
As far as cacti are concerned, for example, it is easy to notice the presence of small specimens that develop at the base of the mother plant; with the passing of time, from the edges of the new plants, small roots are produced that sink into the ground.
If we want to speed up this event we can detach the small specimens that develop attached to the cactus and place them on the sowing ground, then place the seedbed in a cool and slightly damp place, so as to encourage the development of the new root system.
Clonal propagation also takes place through the production of cuttings: portions of succulent plants are removed, left to dry for a few hours, and then placed in seeding soil, within a few days the cuttings thus produced will begin to produce roots in the area in contact with the ground. Depending on the type of plant we choose to prepare a cuttings, we will prefer leaf cuttings or stem cuttings, or even cuttings of the lateral ramifications.
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