Fat plants

Fat plants

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Question: succulent plants

good morning,
I would like to know if there are succulent plants (like cactus or agave) that resist planted in the winter garden in my areas (Parma) -10 ° in winter and +40 in summer.
Best regards and thanks

Answer: succulent plants

Dear Lorenzo,
in the common imagination, succulent plants (especially cacti) live in the hot deserts that we have seen since childhood in western movies, with constant heat and extreme drought; in reality, most cacti live in central and southern America, in arid areas yes, but where the climate is not necessarily always constantly hot. In fact the desert climate is an extreme climate, with an important thermal change even from day to night, due to the lack of vegetation and urban areas; therefore, the nights in the desert areas are decidedly cold, and often in many arid areas of the world at night there are also frosts. If you think that some areas of Central and South America are characterized by a high altitude (City of Mexico is located at about 2500 meters above sea level) the natural habitat of many cacti is certainly not constantly hot. And indeed, many succulent plants can withstand minimum temperatures near -12 ° C without suffering any damage. The problem is simply one: in Europe the cold season is usually also humid, with precipitation also important, while the hot season tends to be very dry; in Mexico (to cite a state in which there are so many cacti) the winter climate is completely dry, while the warm season is also characterized by the most abundant rainfall throughout the year; For this reason, many cacti that could live without problems even exposed to frost, in fact in Italy could do so only in a place where they are not affected by rain, and with a perfectly dry soil. Many enthusiasts of succulents have tested their plants, trying to leave them outdoors, even in some areas of the Po Valley; the result is that some cacti can stay in the garden certainly also in Parma, exposed to all the bad weather; but every kind of cacti can contain up to hundreds of species, and it is not said that they can all live in the garden even in winter. Among the most cultivated outdoors, speaking only of cactaceae, opuntias and echinopsis, which seem to have no problem with frost, even if the soil is wet or if they receive rain and snow. For other cacti, you should go and check species by species, sifting through the various websites with the testimonies of those who have tested their plants; or you should try to risk it with your plants. Among the succulents that instead are more resistant to frost, normally grown in the garden or in pots on the terrace, Agaves, sempervivum, sedum and aloe arborescens: these plants are usually grown in flower beds without suffering permanent damage during the winter months. Consider that the succulent plants that undergo the normal alternation of the seasons, and therefore in winter live in the cold, in spring they always give us a splendid flowering; on the contrary, if we cultivate many fat always in the heat, at home, usually in spring they bloom very rarely.