Delicious: Most ideal Greens for Summer seasonWith plants, similar to individuals, there are savers and there are spenders. Where water is the currency, succulents are the thriftiest of their kind, their fleshy leaves hoarding water for times of dry spell. This built-in resiliency makes them a best choice for issue places in the lawn: patio area containers embeded in blazing sun, windy areas that make roses wither, rocky slopes where grass won't grow. Gardeners in the dry West have been using succulents in water-thrifty xeriscapes for several years. Now more nurseries throughout the country are bring these interesting plants, a few of which grow well even in cold or wet environments.
John Spain, a Connecticut-based gardening specialist who originated methods of growing succulents outdoors in the frozen north, found their advantages years ago, when he typically took a trip for organisation. "The only plants that endured without any care in my makeshift greenhouse were the succulents and cacti," he states. Today he likewise tucks succulents among alpine plants in his 2,000-square-foot rock garden.
A Size And Shape For Every Situation
At least 60 plant households have some succulent species. The adjustments that these plants have made to hold on to moisture make them specifically fascinating garden specimens.
Among the most familiar succulents are sedums, including that seasonal favorite Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy,' which grows 18 to 24 inches high and bears significant rosy-red flower heads in late summer season. Another sedum, two-row stonecrop (Sedum spurium) is a low-maintenance groundcover with great foliage and white, pink, or purple flowers in summer. Low-growing Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' has yellow flowers.
Another groundcover, ice plant (Delosperma spp.) has tiny, fingerlike fleshy leaves and flowers completely sun with masses of daisylike flowers all summer season. Delosperma nubigenum is a noninvasive type that bears yellow flowers.
Chicks and hens-- the common name for the unrelated but similar-looking Echeveria x imbricata and the more cold-hardy Sempervivum tectorum-- is a long time favorite for containers, rock gardens, and growing in the crevices of stone walls. Sempervivum's ground-hugging rosettes can be green, red, chartreuse, or purple to silvery blue in color.
Desert-loving yuccas, agaves, and aloes, with their strappy and swordlike leaves with sharp ideas, add a sculptural aspect to any garden. These large-scale specimen plants have long been associated with the dry Southwest, there are durable varieties that hold up against below-freezing temperature levels.
That indoor classic, the treelike jade plant (Crassula ovata), is another favorite for outside containers-- though it is not sturdy in cold climates. In the very same household, child pendant (Crassula rupestris x perforata) appears like a string of buttons or beads.
The lesser-known, multistemmed Aeoniums bear striking rosettes, sometimes variegated, in tones of green, red, and blackish purple, at the ends of their branches. Similarly excellent as container and garden specimens, these usually grow 18 inches to 3 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet broad. They don't tolerate freezing temperatures, however, so they need to winter inside your home in cold climates.
Planting and Care
Although succulents generally need minimal care, most have one need that is absolute: excellent drainage. Numerous have shallow roots that spread out so they can make the most of even quick rainstorms. The roots succumb to illness if they remain wet.
The right soil depends upon rains where you live. In desert areas, some succulents grow even in clay. In wetter environments, however, mix sand and airy lava rock into the planting location. Dig holes only as huge as the nursery containers or even a little less deep, so that the plant crowns do not settle below the surface area. Mulch with pea gravel to keep surface moisture to a minimum. For containers, mix two-thirds gravel or lava rock and one-third loam if you live where there is a lot of rain. In a dry environment, reverse the percentages.
Essential, don't overwater. Though container plantings require more water than those settled into the ground, probe the soil to be sure it is thoroughly dried out before watering. And constantly empty any standing water from dishes. In garden areas, feel the soil 3 to 4 inches below the surface area to make sure it's thoroughly dry before offering plants a great dousing.
Occasional rains might mean you'll only require to water succulent plantings now and then, even throughout the sultriest weeks of the year. That's when you may really appreciate the cost savings perk these plants offer-- not simply the lower water costs, but the extra hours maximized from coddling your summer garden.