Succulent Vocab Cheat Sheet

Succulent Vocab Cheat Sheet
Succulent Vocab Cheat Sheet

“What the *bleep* does that mean?”

We throw a lot of technical terms around when we’re yammering on about our beloved succulents, and if you’re new to plant parenthood, you may have no idea what we’re talking about. (Etiolation, what now?) That’s why we’re rounding up all the terminology you need to know to trick people into thinking you’re a succulent savant. 

Aerial Root
– A thin tendril-like root (generally clear, white, or pink) that grows from your succulent’s stem above the soil. Aerial roots grow when the succulent is attempting to collect water from the air. They are common in high humidity areas or when your succulent is in need of a little extra moisture

aerial roots

Bloom– A stem with flower(s) that grow from your succulents in ideal conditions. Not all succulents bloom, and some don’t necessarily bloom every year. 

Callus– In terms of a succulent, a callus is what you want to form at the end of a cutting or leaf before propagating it. A callus appears as a dry layer across the previously fleshy area where the cutting or leaf was removed from the mother plant. 

Cold-Hardy– These are succulents that can survive in a frost. They will not necessarily thrive in these environments, but they will be able to survive through winters


Cutting– a piece of a plant (usually a stem or offshoot) that is cut and then generally used for propagation

Direct Light– An unfiltered light that casts a hard shadow. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, windows that are south and west facing will receive direct sunlight throughout most of the day, making them ideal for succulents.


Dormancy– A state in which plants have normal physical functions, but are not actively growing.

Etiolated– The state a succulent enters when it lacks light, usually presented as pale coloring in the leaves and a “leggy” or sparse distribution of leaves along the stem.

Indirect Light– Filtered, diffused light that casts very soft shadows, if any. This is light that is cast through a sheer curtain, a North-facing window, a tinted window pane, etc…


Leaf– A succulent leaf is generally fleshy, retains water, and grows directly out of the stem. 

Leaf Drop– When the lower leaves of a plant naturally dry and fall off the stem to make room for new growth at the top or center of the plant. 

Offshoot– A new stem that grows out of the main stem of a succulent that will eventually grow its own leaves and rosettes. 


Propagation– The process of growing a new plant using either a leaf or cutting from the parent plant.

Prune– Pruning is the process of cutting or picking off dead leaves or stems from a succulent. 

Root Rot– Root rot occurs when a succulent’s roots sit in damp soil for too long and begin to rot, causing the succulent to die. Root rot appears as dark brown or black and slimy looking roots.

Rosette– A cluster of leaves that grow in a radial pattern on the end of an offshoot.


Succulent– drought-resistant plants that retain water in thick, fleshy leaves and stems in order to survive in dry climates.

Sunburn– Dry brown or grey patches that appear on the outer layer of a succulent’s leaves when it’s over-exposed to direct sunlight.

Variegated– A variegated succulent has leaves that are edged or patterned in a second color, most commonly white and green.


If there’s a few other terms you’d like to see on this blog post, or you have any questions about your succulents in general, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help!

Now that you know how to talk about them, it’s time to get some succulents to care for. After all, nobody will believe you’re a savant if they come over and your house isn’t covered in succulents. Take $5 off your first Succulent Studios box with code BBSUCCULENTSPLZ at checkout.


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