As the weather cools, the colours in succulents intensify. They are particularly beautiful in winter, with many having deep reds, fiery oranges and purple tones develop. It is this incredible richness in foliage colour, and diversity in shapes and forms, that makes them year round stars of the garden.
Succulent success stories start with a bright, sunny spot. Add liquid fertiliser once a month and top dress with dolomite once a year. Use succulent and cactus potting mix when potting and always let them drain freely – if you must have a saucer underneath them then keep them up off the water using pebbles. Reduce watering in winter.
So what makes succulents so tough? Succulents have evolved with modified swollen leaves and stems that help store water and protect them from periods of dryness. The spines on cacti are modified leaves too, designed to keep animals from attacking them, but for us gardeners they may look great, but can make handling them a bit tricky. To repot them, always wear gloves and use some pieces of polystyrene as ‘handles’ so you don’t have to handle the cactus directly.
Eden Gardens always stocks plenty of succulents. Our top ten favourites are:
- Jade (Crassula ovata)
- Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
- Firesticks (Euphorbia tirucalli)
- Hen and Chickens (Sempervirens tectorum)
- Mexican Snowballs (Echerveriaelegans)
- Panda Plant (Kalanchoetomentosa)
- Flapjacks (Kalanchoethyrsiflora)
- Silverspoons and Copperspoons (Kalanchoehildebrantiiand Kalanchoeorygyalis)
- Chalksticks (Seneciomandraliscae)
- Leatherpetal or Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum)