What Is a Xerophile?
by Lynn KirkNov 25, 2021
You’ve been publicly called a xerophile. Should you get angry? Laugh? Or run? Actually, there’s no need for any of those reactions. If called a xerophile, it’s quite appropriate to just say, “Thanks!” After all, this label proves you have great taste. It also places you in good company. There are countless xerophiles across the world.
But in full transparency, a xerophile harbors an addiction!
To fully understand, we must first explore the word’s origins. Xerophile finds its meaning in two Greek words. Xēros means dry, and philos means loving. So, a xerophile is a lover of xerophytes! Okay, one step closer to understanding.
But what’s a xerophyte? A xerophyte is that plant group with fleshy tissues that retain water for future use. They range from cacti and agaves to aloes and euphorbias. And with a few exceptions, they tend to be natives from desert-like regions where water is scarce or intermittent.
So what is a xerophile? A xerophile is someone who loves xerophytes. In other words, a plant enthusiast who' is addicted to succulents!
Now it’s time for confession. Do you have ten, twenty, or more succulents than you can count? Do you get lost in time while admiring their exotic colors and forms? Are you running out of space for all your lovelies? Do you get excited when you discover a new variety to add to your collection?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you probably are a genuine, can’t-help-it xerophile. But hold your head high! Some of America’s most well-known xerophiles are members of the Britsch family who own Succulent Market, one of the nation’s largest domestic grower of succulents. They’re more than a little proud of being professional xerophiles, and following are just a few reasons why.
Utter fascination. Cacti and other succulent plants are intriguing, mysterious, eye-catching, and sometimes just plain weird. Unlike the always-look-the-same houseplants, succulents tend to develop their own quirky personalities by the strange forms they grow, the unusual ways they flower, the one-of-a-kind colors they produce. They have their own minds, and they don’t like to be boxed in. Yet, along with those characteristic come flexibility and adaptability, which are welcomed by any gardener!
Rewarding, low-cost hobby. Growing succulents is rewarding in more ways than one. Despite lack of horticulture experience or a black-thumb reputation, chances are most anyone can become successful in growing succulents. Not only are the plants incredibly hardy; they’re forgiving. If you lack time to water today, they can wait till tomorrow. And if you want more, they’re super easy to propagate. And besides being low-maintenance beauties, they’re relatively inexpensive. What other hobby can you start with a $20 to $30 initial investment? Succulents also support opportunities to learn about xeriscaping, native climates, propagation practices, container planting designs, and more. The online resources are too many to counts, plus there are blogs galore (including several dedicated tp xerophile enthusiasts). Lastly but not “leastly,” growing succulents is a fun-filled way to teach the next generation about stewardship, the value of plant life, and man’s impact on nature.
Positive symbolism. Succulents also epitomize enduring, unconditional love. After all, they’re hardy, tenacious plants that often endure even the worst of conditions. Just like us, they are inbred to survive, whatever the difficulty or circumstance. Some even suggest that succulents are lucky charms. Just ask a succulent grower, and he’ll be quick to tell you how fortunate he feels to have his own collection.
Gifts on hand. One more reason for becoming a xerophile is based on how fast some succulents grow their pups (new appendiges) and volunteers (new shoots near the mother plant). Once you start collecting them, it’s a safe bet that you’ll always have plants to share. Just keep some of their special potting soil on hand, as well as interesting containers or burlap with complementing ribbon. Then you’ll always be prepared with on-hand gifts for the unexpected visitor, holiday take-homes, gracious hostess, or like-minded succulent enthusiast.
And more! The reasons for hoarding succulents continue. They improve air quality. Bring nature indoors. Inspire creativity. Support a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. Add beauty. Enhance design skills. Generate conversation. Develop nurturing skills. Supply the finishing touch for home and office decor. And perhaps unexpectedly, they tend to network newfound friends.
But in full transparency, please know that this addiction is almost impossible to overcome. It’s grounded in an insatiable desire, a craving that can’t be filled. It’s also a growing addition (literally), and it is oh so real.
Regardless, don’t be ashamed of being called a xerophile. Embrace it. Feed your addiction. Invite others to join you. And order more one-of-a-kind succulents today by logging on www.SucculentMarket.com.