Sedums. Sempervivum. Echeverias. Why are succulents like these so delightful to grow? There are countless reasons, and here are five excellent ones:
1. They are gorgeous. If you want to incorporate a kaleidoscope of geometric patterns, unexpected colors, and cool architectural shapes into your garden, succulents are a standout choice. With a myriad of interesting leaf textures and growth habits—from bold and showy to delicate and diminutive—succulents possess a striking beauty all their own.
2. They don’t ask for much. Forget to water your garden regularly? Succulents won’t hold it against you. Plant them in well-draining soil in an area that gets plenty of light, and you need only give them a good soak once a week. You want the roots of the plant to dry out completely between waterings, which is why well-draining soil is a must and clay soils should be avoided. Note: Succulents store up water in their leaves. So the thicker a succulent’s leaves, the less water it requires.
3. They’re versatile problem-solvers. Succulents can be planted indoors and out, in rockeries, container gardens and borders. You can even find varieties like Sedum ‘Ogon,’ that fill the spaces around stepping stones, and bounce back into shape even with heavy foot traffic. Succulents are also easy to divide and replant, so you can experiment with where you place them, and move them as you see fit.
4. Their beauty multiplies. One of the best things about succulents is how easily they propagate. Simply pluck off leaves from your plants, put them out on damp soil, and they’ll sprout roots and begin to grow on their own. It’s simple and fascinating to watch, and it’s a low cost way to bring additional beauty to your garden. Also, as your supply of succulents grows, you can share extras with friends and neighbors.
5. They let you know if something’s wrong. With enough light and well-drained soil, succulents are easy to grow. And when something’s not quite right, these low-maintenance plants will give you a sign. For example, if the roots/stem turn black, it means your plant is getting too much water. Water less, and amend your soil with perlite so that is drains better. If you notice brown/black spots on your plant’s leaves, it’s getting sunburned. Move your plant to a location where the light is less intense. If your plant starts "stretching" – getting really tall with a lot of space between leaves – it’s searching for light, and needs to be moved to a brighter location.
For more information and expert advice on how to successfully grow succulents, join us at Molbak’s for a free Q&A session:
June 29, 11a.m.-12:30 p.m.
MEET THE EXPERT: Success with Succulents
Featuring Wayne Fagerlund from Evergreen Valley Nursery
Molbak’s Outdoor Succulents & Sedums area
See you there!