Plants are living organisms. Although they do not have the means to communicate with us, they do feel their surroundings. They also feel when something comes in contact with them. The outside contact is good for some plants while bad for others.
When it comes to succulents, they too are sensitive to touch. They also feel when something comes in contact with them. And for some succulents, the touch is not good either.
Touching is not bad for all succulents. For some succulents, however, human touch can damage the farina layer, leave permanent scratches, decolor succulents, and can even break them under frosty conditions.
The Farina layer is an important coating that covers the stems and leaves of some succulents. It is a white powdery layer that has a texture of wax. Farina layer is essential for the health of succulents and is also known as Epicuticular wax.
One of the critical functions of the layer is that it repels water. It protects the leaves and stems from exposure to external water, thereby preventing rotting.
Succulents' species such as Echeveria, Pachyphytum, Sedeveria, Kalanchoe, and Graptoveria may or may not have farina layer
The farina layer is very delicate, and it cannot stand even a minor touch. Regardless of how gentle you are, it probably won’t tolerate it. Once damaged, the natural protective layer of your succulent will be gone forever. And it will not grow back either.
According to research, touching a plant can even retard the level of growth. Therefore, it is crucial to stop being careless with your beloved plant.
When you touch a succulent with a farina layer, the protective shield comes off very easily. Beneath it is the leaf having an oily and watery texture. When you touch it, it will leave permanent fingerprints on the plant. Trust me; you will not like them. They will kill the look of your plant.
Within 30 minutes of being touched, 10% of the plant's genome is altered
If you manage to leave finger smudges on your plant, try to rub them off using a soft tootbrush gently. This way, the smudges will even out and won’t look as bad as they would have otherwise.
The farina layer gives a powdery texture to the stem and leaves of some succulents. Some new planters consider it as dust which they prefer to remove. They touch the plant and ruin its natural colors.
Farina gives a bright and fresh look to succulents. Once removed the plant changes its color to a duller pattern. So, if you want to keep the natural colors of your plant, you might not want to touch it unnecessarily.
Touching a succulent will leave permanent scratches on your plant. A coarse touch will leave a mark on the leaves of your plant for life. If you never want your plant to have scratches, please touch it gently if need be.
A permanent scratch on the leaf of your plant will look ugly. It will spoil the beauty of the green, fluffy, and watery leaves of your plant. Moreover, a hard touch can also damage the leaves to an extent where the plant becomes susceptible to fungal infections or pest infestations.
So, please handle your plant with care. Touch only when extremely necessary. And, make sure you touch the plant gently and with love!
The leaves and stems of succulents store water. In frosty conditions, the stored water freezes. This makes the leaves and stem bristle. Once you touch the plant in this condition, you will risk breaking it.
So, avoid touching your succulents in extremely cold temperatures. If you aren’t careful, you may break them!
It is not good for succulents with a farina layer when you touch them. The touch can damage the protective cover and cause many problems for your plant. Also, touching succulents leaves permanent scratches and can even break your plant in frosty conditions.
So, if you have to touch your plant inevitably, make sure you do it gently and with extra care. You can use tools to avoid touching them for cleaning, replanting, or pruning. Moreover, you can also use gloves and smooth, soft toothbrushes to avoid unwanted touches.
If you want to know more about this topic, I recommend you read our post about growing succulents.
My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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June 20, 2021
June 20, 2021