Ideal for plant lovers and professional gardeners and landscapers, our Growing Succulents and Cacti Gardens course will teach you the basics of growing, propagating, maintaining and landscaping these amazing plants.
You will study the different types of succulents and cacti, as well as how to irrigate them, grow them in a greenhouse and prevent pests and diseases. You will also learn about the fundamentals of professional garden design so you can create remarkable low-maintenance landscapes for yourself or others.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a course about growing succulents include:
- Reviewing the system of plant identification
- Learning about physiology
- Exploring information sources
- Studying the three Cacti tribes — Perskia, Opuntia and Cerus
- Gaining insights into the main succulent genera
- Understanding how to pronounce names
- Learning how to plant and stake succulents and cacti
- Exploring mulching and soils
- Studying how to feed and prune succulents and cacti
- Gaining insights into propagation
- Examining the propagation of selected varieties
- Understanding seeds, cuttings and grafting
- Learning about edible succulents
- Exploring garden styles and design
- Studying Mexican gardens
- Gaining insights into using colour
- Examining rock gardens
- Understanding how to grow cacti or succulents in containers
- Learning about pests and disease
- Exploring irrigation
- Studying greenhouse growing
- Gaining insights into plant knowledge
- Understanding the general guidelines for growing cacti
- Reviewing the Cacti Genera
- Learning about zygocactus
Amazing Facts About Succulents
If you are into growing succulents, no doubt you have already discovered the unique shapes, colours and textures of these personality-plus plants. But here are some amazing facts you may not be aware of:
- There are over 10,000 succulent species in the world – 2000 of these are also considered cacti.
- Their name is derived from Latin – in particular, the word “sucus” which means sap or juice.
- Succulents come in a rainbow of colours – from green, blue and red to orange, pink, yellow and purple.
- These plants are super-easy to grow – and can even be propagated from stem cuttings.
- Succulents don’t just grow in arid regions – they are found in every continent except Antarctica.
- Some succulents can change colour with the seasons – variances in sunlight, watering and temperature can cause them to “blush” and turn into a range of beautiful colours.
- Succulents “breathe” at night – and they close their pores during the day so they don’t lose too much water.
- They are water hoarders – they have evolved a storage cell structure that acts like a sponge and soaks up water when it’s available.
- They also store water in different ways – some (like cacti) in their stems and others (like agaves) in their leaves.
- All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.
- Unfortunately, you can’t drink fluid from a cactus – many contain bitter, poisonous chemicals that will make you ill.
- Some succulents produce alcohol … well tequila, and it comes from the distilled heart of the blue agave plant, Agave tequilana.
- Many succulents have interesting pollinating mechanisms – the flowers of some stapeliads attract pollinating flies by looking and smelling like the flesh of dead animals.
- The waxy film on a succulent’s leaves is called ‘farina’ – it protects them from sun damage, pests and disease.
- Some succulents don’t need soil – they’re known as “air plants” and will attach to trees and even rocks.
- Many succulents can grow on vertical surfaces – they create fantastic “living walls” — indoors and outdoors!
- Some succulents can be used for medicinal uses – like aloe vera, which is great for relieving sunburn.
- Succulents can live a long time – some for decades or more!
- The largest succulent in the world is the Baobab tree – it’s found primarily in Africa and can grow to over 24 metres high.
- Some succulents are masters of disguise – the Avonia papyracea plant looks like bird droppings, which protects it from predators.
- South Africa boasts the biggest variety of succulents – over 5000 species in fact!
- Some succulents can survive freezing temperatures – in particular, Sempervivum and Sedum.
- In Asian cultures, succulents represent prosperity – particularly for those that practice feng shui.
- In Western cultures, they symbolise enduring love.
10 Succulents You’ll Definitely Want To Own
Succulents come in all shapes and sizes — and it’s not surprising given they are found in more than 60 different plant families. From the stunning colour of the Pachyphytum oviferum to the adorable fuzzy ‘ears’ of the Monilaria obconica, here are some of the most interesting varieties. If you love growing succulents, make sure you track some of these beauties down …
#1 – Donkey’s Tail
Also known as Sedum morganianum, this succulent starts off with rows of little teardrop-shaped leaves. Given it’s a trailing plant, it will eventually spill over the edges of its pot and morph into a beautiful hanging variety.
#2 – Moonstone Succulent
A colourful addition to any garden, the Pachyphytum oviferum has rounded, fleshy leaves that come in a range of opalescent hues from dusty blues to soft pinks.
#3 – Hoya Heart
Also known as “sweetheart plants”, the Hoya kerrii has adorable heart-shaped leaves that are green in the centre with light yellow margins. Pluck off individual leaves, plant separately and spread more of the love!
#4 – Lipstick Echeveria
Echeveria agavoides will add a bold pop of colour to the rest of your succulent collection. They come in red varieties as well as a green version that has contrasting red tips.
#5 – Zebra Plant
These spiky little plants look a little like a miniature version of the striped aloe vera and are also known as Haworthia fasciata. One of the most popular succulents around, they’re also one of the easiest to care for.
#6 – Panda Plant
Many succulents have waxy leaves, so change-up the texture of your collection with the Kalanchoe tomentosa. It has a deep red or brown-tipped grey-green leaves that are covered in fuzz – just like their namesake!
#7 – Jade Plant
The Crassula ovata is also known as the “lucky” or “money” plant. It has a thick stem that sprouts teardrop-shaped leaves and as it ages, will take on the appearance of a miniature tree.
#8 – Ox Tongue
Another easy-to-care-for succulent, the Gasteria verrucosa has wide, short and spiky leaves that are covered in little white spots. We presume the name refers to how an ox’s tongue would look!
#9 – Dolphin Succulent
Another succulent with a fun twist, the Senecio peregrinus has leaves that look like jumping dolphins! And here’s a fun fact — it was created by crossing the hot dog cactus with the string of pearls plant.
#10 – Rabbit Succulent
And finally – our favourite of the lot. When it’s young, the Monilaria obconica plant produces leaves that look like tiny little bunny ears. Adorable, right?
A course in growing succulents, like our Growing Succulents and Cacti Gardens course, will teach the fundamentals of propagating, designing and maintaining them – at home or in the workplace.