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Accustomed to living in extreme climates, succulent plants propagate very quickly using seeds, but can also propagate by vegetative means, this has allowed these plants to survive and perpetuate their species even in difficult, excessively hot and dry climates , with excessive temperature changes or other climatic problems of this type. In fact, plants that live in temperate climates enjoy at least 3-4 months of good weather, in this period, which goes from spring to late summer, they have plenty of time to bloom, produce fruit, germinate and develop new plants before winter , in order to always keep their population flourishing. The succulent plants instead 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 new plants.
Propagation by seed
Despite the fact that the succulent plants originate from areas with a very arid climate, even their seeds germinate with high humidity; this is because in the first place few are actually the succulent plants of the completely dry deserts, more often they come from arid zones, which present rains or other precipitations; moreover, the marked temperature ranges cause a strong dew deposition on the ground during the night. The small seeds, fallen between the rocks, are sheltered from the scorching sun, and the microclimate on the ground guarantees a good percentage of humidity. 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 put them in a seedbed in a shady, well-ventilated, cool and humid place; under these conditions the seeds of succulent germinate quickly; we keep the sowing soil moist with frequent sprays. As soon as all the seeds are twinned we thin out the vaporisations, or better we periodically dip the seedbed in water to make sure that all the soil in it is moistened, so let it drip and put it back in place. For the first months of life of the seedlings we keep the seedbed in a partially shaded place, not excessively hot, and water the soil only by immersion for at least a couple of days. In spring we can divide the small plants into a single container, always keeping them with little soil in each container; when we move them we pay close attention to the root system, which is very delicate, especially in tiny specimens; after moving them we wait at least 2-3 days of settling before watering them.
Propagate succulents: Agamic propagation
Succulent plants can reproduce with great ease 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 plants are obtained that are completely identical to the mother plant, unlike what happens through reproduction through seeds.
Most succulent plants naturally tend to spread in colonies: at the base of the mother plant, but from the same stem or from the same root system, new shoots are formed, which in the long run give rise to new individuals, which will tend to naturally detach from the mother plant, producing their own independent root system.
As for example the cacti it is easy to notice the presence of small specimens that develop at the base of the mother plant; as time goes by the edges of the new plants produce small roots that sink into the ground. If we want to make this event more rapid, we can detach the small specimens that grow attached to the cactus and place them on the seeding soil, then place the seedbed in a cool and slightly damp place, so as to favor the development of the new root system.
Clonal propagation also occurs through the production of cuttings: portions of succulent plants are removed, they are left to dry for a few hours, and then they are 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 have chosen to prepare a cutting, we prefer leaf cuttings or stem cuttings, or even cuttings of lateral branches.