Last Updated on April 6, 2022 by Guillermina
We’ve heard many people ask: how do some plants survive the intense desert heat and drought?
So how do some plants survive the intense desert heat and drought? Generally, plants close their stomata during times of intense heat or drought. This prevents loss of water and maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the condition where the plants maintain living condition in order to survive. As the days move by and afternoon comes, they start to open again and gradually grow.
On the other hand, deserts plants have naturally adapted to extreme heat in a way that they simply embrace the sunlight and temperature. It uses both physical and behavioral mechanisms similar to desert animals.
Plants That Are Natural To Desert Lands
Plants like cacti (also known as xerophytes) are native to the desert. Hence, they thrive well and become even more beautiful the longer they are exposed to the sun. They have waxy, thorny leaves, which helps with moisture retention.
If you noticed, cacti have thick and fleshy leaves, and spines. They store water in their leaves, which supplies the nutrients throughout the entire plant system so they can live in the dessert. Spines have a very special purpose – since they lose less water than leaves, cactus have numerous spines helping them to become more efficient during the hot climate. Spines also prevent desert animals from eating them.
Succulents are another type of plants that can survive in hot and arid climates. Thanks to their fleshy leaves that they have easily adapted to regions with hot weather days. These structural features include the external armor, which protects them from water loss. Other drought tolerant pants have adapted to dry environments.
Desert succulents have extensive root systems that search for water. You may see them as a tiny plant protruding on the ground, but their roots can run for many miles in search of the nearest water. Take note, however, that these plants can survive years without water.
Succulent’s Interior Mechanism Against Drought
Notwithstanding unique constructions, plants have interior guards to secure them against water deficiency, too. Whenever a plant encounters dry season conditions, a few responses will rapidly occur inside the plant to assist the plant with the pressure of the dry spell. These responses that happen in the plant are frequently very intricate and complex.
For example, succulents require water and sun for photosynthesis. But during drought season, changes in photosynthesis happens differently and will result in the build-up of damaging chemicals called free radicals.
The molecules inside the plant will react with it and damage anything they come in contact with. This means that plants need to carefully control how they utilize the energy of the sun.
How Rain Affects Succulents
We’ve said a lot of times that succulents are drought tolerant plants and they love sunlight exposure. But they also need some rain to regenerate and bloom. So don’t be surprised if your succulents look more brilliant and more dynamic.
This is the way rain benefits succulents: It gives disintegrated minerals and washes away residue that restrains photosynthesis. It weakens and flushes salts and hurtful synthetic substances that have developed in the dirt from regular water.
Moreover, it gives nitrogen, which is vital for development, particularly during thunderstorms. This is the odd reality of plants but are entirely true: Lightning feeds plants.
To dig into valuable rain, gather it in pails and use it to water house plants and in-ground succulents underneath an overhang. Whenever rain is forecasted, you can move your plant outside to experience the rain shower and then you can move it back later.
Winter Protection For Succulents
- Cover your plants with fabrics to increase the temperature. Postpone pruning and don’t remove dried leaves as they can help add more heat whenever snow is forecasted.
- Move sensitive succulents inside your home. Or if you have a greenhouse, it will help definitely.
- Purchase an indoor shelf and add a grow light. Each shelf normally has a waterproof tray where you can put your plant. Then you can turn on the grow light and the timer so it gets 4-6 hours of light every day until the frost is over.
- Albeit normal midwinter lows drift above freezing, infrequent winter lows might drop into the single digits. You can build a 24×20 standalone nursery, which you can equip with exhaust and upward fans, an upward warmer, and twofold sliding animal dwelling place entryways on one or the flip side.
How do succulents survive in the desert?
Some succulents are natural to the desert such as the cacti. Even so, succulents have adapted to regions with hot and arid conditions. They have strong resilience against the sun but low tolerance against cold weather days.
How have succulents adapted to dry conditions in a desert?
Succulents are native to desert regions which is why they can survive. Other succulents have adapted through their spikes and thick leaves. Their thick leaves hold water that help them survive through the year without rain. Aloe vera, which is also a succulent have rhizomes which is also utilized as a water reservoir. If the roots cannot reach the nearest water source, it gets its nutrients from the rhizomes.
Can succulents survive drought?
Absolutely yes. Succulents are drought tolerant, which is why they are liked by many gardeners. They can live during long and sunny weather days.
How do succulents survive without water?
Succulents survive without water through adaptation. As you may know there are different varities of succulents. If you want to plant succulents that can survive without water, you need to choose the right variety such as cacti, echeveria, and many more. Be careful with succulents that are more inclined with the cold weather.