Succulent Quiz!

by Lynn KirkSep 14, 2021

succulent quiz


How much do you know about succulents? Whether you have one succulent plant or an entire collection, you may want to take this quick quiz to see how much you know. And what you don’t know, you’ll learn by the end. Good luck!

1. From what language does the word succulent originate, and what does it mean?

  A. French for watery B. Spanish for water saver C. Latin for sap

2. A succulent’s babies are called what?

   A. Plantlets B. Volunteers C. Pups

 3. Succulents thrive best indoors because they don’t like too much rain.

   A. True B. False

 4. Succulent leaves have what natural quality(-ies)?

  A. Sun protection B. Water storage C. Both

 5. Most succulent plants tend to attract pests, so it’s important to maintain a good inventory of pesticides.

   A. True B. False

 6. Can succulents survive freezing weather with snow?

   A. Yes B. No C. Depends

 7. All cacti are succulents.

   A. True B. False

 8. What is the purpose of the cacti’s “thorns”?

   A. Provide shade B. Provide protection C. Collect water   D. All

 9. All succulents originated in arid regions of the world.

   A. True B. False

 10. What do succulents produce at night?

   A. Carbon dioxide B. Oxygen C. Neither, since dormant after dark



  1. C

The Latin word sucus means juice or sap. It reflects the sap-like substance in most succulents’ plump leaves. This stored fluid provides water and nourishment to the plant when needed, such as in arid conditions.

  1. C

Those little plant offshoots that tend to grow naturally on a mature succulent are called pups. They’re great for growing even more of your faves!

     3. B

Different varieties of succulents have different preferences, depending on their place of origin. For example, those from hot, arid regions of Africa and South America tend to prefer living outdoors in warmer plant zones that mimic desert environments. Those that aren’t winter hardy thrive better in an indoor environment.

Overwatering—whether delivered by a watering can or always-rainy climate—causes harm to most succulents. They become mushy, develop root rot, and/or die. So, just like other plant families, it’s important remember “right plant, right place!”

    4. C

Most gardeners know that succulents store their own water, but few realize that the plants’ leaves and stems have a powdery-white wax coating. It’s called farina or epicuticular wax, and it acts like a protective shield that does a good job of safeguarding the plant from sunburn, root rot, disease, and pests. This coating also explains some succulents’ subtle, silvery coloring.

  1. B

One of the reasons succulents are easy to grow is because they’re generally pest resistant, except for the occasional aphids and mealy bugs. However, one exception is the Stapelia genus that actually works to attract insects (a.k.a., pollinators) by emitting a putrid odor that smells like rotted matter. It’s important to recognize the “good” bugs versus the “bad” before treating with pesticides. 

  1. C

Cold-weather survival depends on the genus and variety. Some succulents can endure unusually cold temperatures, including hardy Sedum, hardy Opuntia, and Sempervivum. Rosularia and Agave also exhibit tolerance to cold weather. However, when in doubt, ask a local expert and take no chances! 

  1. A

All cacti are succulents (but not all succulents are cacti). One reason all cacti are labeled as succulents is because of their water-holding capabilities that serve them well in arid locales. 

  1. D

The so-called “thorns” of a cactus are actually modified leaves, and the proper term is spines. They provide a bit of shade (any shade is welcomed by plants trying to survive in desert regions). The spines’ large surface area enables them to collect water from the air. Also, the spines help protect the cactus from potential predators … as well as foolhardy gardeners! 

  1. B

It’s true that the majority of succulents originated in arid regions. However, some hail from tropical rainforests, coastal areas, and even mountainous regions. 

  1. B

Unlike most indoor plants, succulents continue the photosynthesis process during the night. They keep on taking in carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. This oxygenation process is why people place succulents in their bedrooms. The continual “breath of fresh air” helps us breathe better. Some succulents even remove toxins from the air. These processes calm us, improve our sleep, and enable us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face another day!

Presented for your learning pleasure by Succulent Market