Written by Erika Sobelman, ESLLC 2016-2017
To most people, the purpose of succulents is to add a minimalistic sense of aesthetics into their living space. The definition of a “succulent” is a “are a group of plants that store water in their leaves. The leaves tend to be thick and fleshy, but some genus and species have thicker leaves than others.” Succulents come in different shapes, colors, and sizes but all have something in common. Their requirement of minimal care makes them a manageable plant, as well as a sustainable one. Succulents are a drought tolerant plant; they generally should be watered every 10-13 days, varying between species. One thing they do require that can sometimes be hard to find is ample sunlight though, this can be easily replaced by artificial lighting. Propagation is also a great factor of succulents that make them sustainable in terms of their fitness. Simply plucking off a leaf, drying it, and then placing it in soil can lead to so many new succulents!
Succulents may be seen as a popular “millennial thing” with their easy care schedule and aesthetic features but they offer an important component to a healthy living space. Succulents are one of few plants that offers a major benefit. Normally, when photosynthesis pauses during the nighttime, most plants will release carbon dioxide due to the lack of light. But succulents continue to release oxygen which offers a healthy cycling of oxygen occurring in your living space. Succulents also help to purify air which adds to this good oxygen! They also reap psychological benefits as they raise productivity, improve well-being, reduce anxiety, etc. I personally have seen benefits from succulents in my room, as taking care of them provides me with joy and fulfillment; I have found that they work as a temporary replacement to furry friends back home. I also have (weirdly) named my four succulents after famous historical figures: Christopher McCandless, Theodore Roosevelt, Bernie Sanders, and Leif Eriksson. They have been a great addition to my room and I am always looking for more!
Denver offers many opportunities to purchase succulents all over. There are many different nurseries as well as shops that have a large selection of succulents. Urban Roots, Planted, and Herbery are some of the closest options to the DU campus. So, go visit these local businesses and purchase yourself a cute lil’ sustainable plant!