Flowering fat plants
When referring to succulents, we generally think of plants with thorns, but in nature there are many varieties that produce beautiful flowers with very bright colors. Usually these have a periodic flowering that is mainly concentrated in the warmer months: between spring and summer. The flowery succulents they originate above all in the most arid and sunny places, such as the deserts of Asia, America and Africa. In Europe, therefore, they could suffer from the lack of heat and light and to remedy this problem, it is good to remember to choose for our succulent plants, a luminous position, better if near a window, perhaps on the south-east side of the apartment . If you decide to grow them instead on the balcony, it might be a good idea to place them in one of those small, easy-to-install greenhouses, which are now found in all the brico centers. Here the succulent plants with flowers will enjoy all the daily light they really need. Speaking of watering then, it is useful to pay a little more attention. Being these plants accustomed to drought and hot climates, it will be good - to recreate their ideal microclimate - to limit the water in the cold months while they will be able to bathe more often in spring and summer, when temperatures begin to rise. However the quantities of water must never be excessive to avoid rottenness that could be lethal. Succulent plants with large flowers, for example, are very sensitive to abundant watering and begin to give clear signs of suffering, rotting from the tip of the leaves. But in general the succulents with flower are not considered delicate plants and possessing good adaptability, it will not be difficult to cultivate them, get very colorful flowers and therefore in general, excellent results. But what are the flowery succulents most common?
Not to forget is the most common: Aloe, belonging to the Liliaceae family. Native to Africa or Madagascar, it produces acauli rosettes or sprouts on stems and branches, formed by very fleshy leaves. It is similar to agaves even though aloe has pendulous inflorescences. It can have a simple or branched structure, sometimes appearing on the apex of branches up to half a meter long. The colors of the flowers vary from yellow to red depending on the species. Among the cultivable varieties there is for example the variegated aloe that produces a rosette formed by three series of triangular, elongated and pointed leaves. It emits a floral ear with red flowers, very elongated.
Euphorbia, among the cactaceae, is another interesting plant: its family has almost 2 thousand species all over the world. In Italy it is above all in Sicily that it will be possible to admire Euphorbia bushes, typical of the Mediterranean vegetation. These plants produce small inflorescences from which the fruit develops which has the particular characteristic of maturing, drying and snapping open to then throw away the seeds they contain. Euphorbia Milii, native to Madagascar, blooms all year round - if kept moist in a suitable environment - and the effect of flowering in the intertwined branches is really impressive.
This is a vast genus that brings together hundreds of species from Mexico and the south-western United States. Among them they have very different characteristics but they all have tubercles that carry thorns at the apex. The flowers are generally arranged in garland around the apex of the plant and sprout where the old vegetation ends and the new one begins. The blooms occur from the first years of life and the flowers are red and shiny and remain on the plant for a long time. Among the different varieties there is the Mammillaria Parkinsonii which has a generally larger stem than the other species and produces yellow or pink flowers. The Mammillaria Gracilis, on the other hand, is a small plant with a cylindrical stem and rather large flowers, of pale yellow color, while Rhodantha has very bright red or pink flowers.
Flowery succulents: Opuntia and echoia
It is a genus that includes a large variety spread throughout North and South America, typical of desert areas. They can have considerable dimensions, reaching even 6 meters high, while other species have creeping branches, just a few centimeters high. In general, the Opuntia flowers are wheel-shaped and have bright colors. They even produce edible fruits: among them the prickly pear for example. Just the Opuntia Ficus-Indica, a native of Mexico but which can be found mainly in the south of Italy, has large, very decorative yellow flowers and produces showy and sweet yellow-red fruits. Then there is the Opuntia Bigelowii whose flowers can have various colors: from white to pale yellow, up to shades ranging from red to purple. Its fruits are yellow instead. The Echeveria then, a genus originating from Central and South America, is often seen on Italian balconies. It is that plant whose leaves are arranged like a rosette, on stems that can be short but also very long. The inflorescences sprout in the axils of the leaves or on the side branches. Its flowers are predominantly yellow - but they are also seen in reds - bell-shaped and gathered in long spikes.