Delicious: Perfect Plants for Summer months

Where water is the currency, succulents are the thriftiest of their kind, their fleshy leaves hoarding water for times of drought. Garden enthusiasts in the dry West have been using succulents in water-thrifty xeriscapes for years.

John Spain, a Connecticut-based gardening professional who originated methods of growing succulents outdoors in the frozen north, discovered their benefits years earlier, when he frequently took a trip for organisation. "The only plants that endured with no care in my makeshift greenhouse were the succulents and cacti," he states. "I would leave for a month, and they 'd be fine." That sent him looking for more cold-hardy succulents. He discovered enough to fill a 20-foot-long berm with a carpetlike tapestry of leaves in green, chartreuse, rose, purple, and even nearly black. Today he also 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 types. The adjustments that these plants have made to hold on to moisture make them specifically fascinating garden specimens.

Amongst the most familiar succulents are sedums, including that perennial preferred 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 season. Low-growing Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' has yellow flowers.

Another groundcover, ice plant (Delosperma spp.) has tiny, fingerlike fleshy leaves and blossoms in full sun with masses of daisylike flowers all summer season. Delosperma nubigenum is a noninvasive type that bears yellow blossoms.
Chicks and hens-- the typical name for the unrelated however similar-looking Echeveria x imbricata and the more cold-hardy Sempervivum tectorum-- is a longtime 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. Echeverias can be found in rose, green, gray, and mauve, often with a contrasting edge color or a stripe. Both increase without much effort, sending out shoots with their kids attached; these may root by themselves if they touch with soil. Otherwise, they can easily be separated and rooted.

Desert-loving yuccas, agaves, and aloes, with their swordlike and strappy leaves with sharp tips, add a sculptural element to any garden. These large-scale specimen plants have actually long been associated with the dry Southwest, there are durable varieties that endure below-freezing temperatures.

check here That indoor classic, the treelike jade plant (Crassula ovata), is another preferred for outdoor containers-- though it is not durable in cold environments. In the exact same family, baby pendant (Crassula rupestris x perforata) appears like a string of buttons or beads.

The lesser-known, multistemmed Aeoniums bear striking rosettes, sometimes variegated, in shades of green, red, and blackish purple, at the ends of their branches. Equally great as container and garden specimens, these typically grow 18 inches to 3 feet high and 2 to 4 feet wide. They do not tolerate freezing temperature levels, nevertheless, so they require to winter season indoors in cold climates.
Planting and Care
Although succulents generally require very little care, most have one need that is outright: good drain. Numerous have shallow roots that expanded so they can make the most of even brief rainstorms. However the roots yield to disease if they stay damp.


In desert locations, some succulents grow even in clay. In wetter climates, however, mix sand and airy lava rock into the planting location. Dig holes just as huge as the nursery containers or even a little less deep, so that the plant crowns don't settle below the surface area.

Most important, do not overwater. Though container plantings require more water than those settled into the ground, probe the soil to be sure it is thoroughly dried prior to watering. And always empty any standing water from dishes. In garden areas, feel the soil 3 to 4 inches below the surface to make sure it's thoroughly dry before giving plants an excellent dousing.

Periodic rainfall might suggest you'll just have to water succulent plantings now and then, even throughout the sultriest weeks of the year. That's when you may truly value the cost savings bonus these plants offer-- not simply the lower water expense, however the extra hours maximized from coddling your summer garden.

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