There are over 1,600 species in the succulents category, with a wide range of appearances. In order to identify plants as succulents, take a few moments to check the temperatures of the area, feel the soil and look at the physical characteristics of the plants, such as the leaves and spines.
Check the temperatures
Because succulents thrive in the desert, they can only live within a certain range of temperatures, with the minimum temperature being 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the winter temperatures in the area of the plant to determine if it can survive in the area.
Check the soil composition
Feel the soil around the plant. If the soil is composed primarily of sand or clay, then there is a good chance that the plant is a succulent.
Look at the leaves of the plant
Check the physical characteristics of the plant by observing the leaves. Succulents have thick and ridged leaves, which allow them to hold water. Leaves of succulents also swell and enlarge when watered.
Look at the spines of the plant
Check to see if the plant has spines or thorns. These spines characterize succulent plants and act as a defense against animals that feed or nest on them.