Success with succulents
Did you give your succulents a summer vacation in the garden? If so, now the holiday must end. Aloes, crassulas, cacti and haworthias have adapted to live through drought and while some can survive cold, none will thrive in prolonged wet weather. Adaptations to conserve water in their native habitats lead to rotting and death when they’re exposed to British winter rain. For example, succulents have few pores through which to lose water, and they open at night, when cool air means less evaporation. Some have a hairy surface to catch desert dew, and the moisture captured makes a good home for fungal spores. Leathery and waxy surfaces retain water by reducing evaporation. Even spines and thorns have evolved to attract moisture, which drips down to the plants’ roots. And unlike most other plants, succulents don’t have leaves, which lose moisture rapidly. So, bring your succulents under cover now and reduce the watering over winter, too.