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Grow a Succulent Garden

Updated on April 9, 2015

Succulent gardens are easy to grow

This lens is a tribute to succulent gardening. Succulents are drought-tolerant, winter hardy, water-wise and so easy to grow. These evergreen perennials need very little care, are easily propagated and turn your garden from drab to fab.

I am showcasing my first succulent hanging garden and the arrangements of various colorful rosettes. These are indeed one of nature's wonders.

All pictures were taken by me (Bakerwoman).

Water-wise plants

Succulents have fleshy swollen leaves which have special water-storage cells covered by a thin layer of photosynthetic tissues. Water is also stored in the stems and roots.

June 5, 2011 - Succulent hanging garden makes its debut in my garden

This is a striking readymade succulent hanging garden which I quickly snapped from the local nursery in the summer of 2011. You can see why I could not pass this up. I usually flinch at the sight of thorny cacti, but these succulents were predominantly rosettes with only one centrally located plant lined with sharp yellow teeth. It found its home in a sunny location in the backyard trellis which can be viewed from the breakfast nook.

Winter came and went and my plan to protect this warm weather specimen by stationing it in a drier and warmer location did not pan out. To my amazement, the succulents tolerated the low 40s winter weather and rain and have sprouted little rosettes and stalks of attractive flowers.

Feb. 12, 2012 - What a difference 7 months made - Do you notice the difference?

It was a nice and warm Sunday morning, and I went out to the backyard with my trusted camera for chance meetings with interesting subjects-- like hummingbirds, wild turkeys, crows, and perhaps, parasailers. Kidding aside, I was lucky enough to take pictures of all mentioned. However, I was distracted by three stalks of clustered bell-shaped flowers standing proud and tall over the succulent hanging basket. The dense colony of rosettes have matured and grown with baby offshoots in displays of green, yellow, mauve, and tinges of pinks. Strands of trailing succulents hang down on both sides of the hanging basket. It was then that I decided to take photos of each type of succulent and introduce them to the readers in a lens.

Top quality specimens to start your succulent garden - Keep them dry to keep them alive

Cacti and succulents are desert plants and retain water and therefore do not need regular watering like normal plants.

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Sempervivum 'Hens and Chicks'

Also known as 'Liveforever' and 'Houseleeks'

Latin translation: Semper means forever and vivo means live. The name "Sempervivum" has its origin in the Latin Semper ("always") and vivus ("living"). Sempervivum are called "always living" because this perennial plant keeps its leaves in winter and is very resistant to difficult conditions of growth. (Wikipedia)

Plants send out many offspring, forming a dense colony. The parent rosettes are the hens, and the smaller rosettes are the chicks. The foliage of hens and chicks plants are normally green at the base and reddish brown at the tip, all with close, rigid dented edges.

Up close and personal with sempervivum - Perfect symmetry and geometry

x Graptoveria Acaulis - Also known as Stonecrop succulent

The layers of silver-gray and pink longish leaves forming the rosettes of the Graptoveria acualis are one of nature's wonders. It is an evergreen perennial with succulent leaves. Tiny cream colored flowers sprout in Spring. Propagation is by leaf cuttings, offsets, and seeds.

x Graptoveria acaulis changes colors with the season

This Graptoveria rosette has pale-yellow petals partly due to its location in the sheltered side of the trellis. It is tucked away on the right side of the hanging basket (3 o'clock) and only gets filtered sunlight. The foliage are known to turn pink to pale-pink in the Summer, silvery-grey and blue in all seasons.

Aeonium rosette - Also known as Pinwheel plant

The Aeonium rosettes are the size of saucers, some up to 9" wide. The arrangement of the leaves look like a pinwheel, hence its name pinwheel plant. It is a native of the Canary Islands and Morocco, and thrives in dry, sunny locations.

The starter succulent basket had two Aeonium rosettes last Summer and now has two additional shiny and eye-catching pinwheels.

Aloe Distans also known as Jewelled Aloe

Spectacular bloomers

This intimidating rosette of sword-shaped leaves with yellow teeth along the leaf edges and tips almost stopped me from taking the succulent basket home. I usually shy away from thorny cacti and plants with spikes.These usually do not like me. It is appropriately named Aloe distans as I stay away from it as much as possible.

Aloe distans

Aloe distans
Aloe distans

Crassula ovata compacta 'Mini Jade'

Crassula ovata compacta 'Mini Jade'
Crassula ovata compacta 'Mini Jade'

Crassula ovata is also known as the money plant, jade plant

Jade plants can be propagated from a single healthy leaf and from stem cuttings.

Echeveria coccinea - Velvety and drought-tolerant

Echeveria coccinea has velvety leaves covered in a fine silvery fuzz giving the leaves a blue-green color. Echeveria is named after the 18th century Spanish botanist Atanasio Echeverria Codoy.The species name "coccinea" comes from "coccineus" = "red" referring to the petals that are yellowish-white at the base and red (coccineus) at the tips.

The flowers of the Echeveria coccinea grow in stalks of bell-shaped clusters. The picture below captured the striking crimson-colored flowers which have not completelely opened up into "bells."

Echeveria coccinea flowers

Echeveria coccinea flowers
Echeveria coccinea flowers

Crassula Marginata 'Calico Kitten'

Crassula Marginata 'Calico Kitten'
Crassula Marginata 'Calico Kitten'

Crassula Marginata 'Calico Kitten'

A cat's meow

The Crassula is an evergreen succulent with variegated spade-shaped leaves of green and yellow with a blush of pink. Just like a calico cat, the crassula has three colors. It is an excellent trailing plant that like bright light and porous soil. It should be handled with care since the leaves and branches break off easily.

Asteraceae senecio radicans 'String of Bananas'

Asteraceae senecio radicans 'String of Bananas'
Asteraceae senecio radicans 'String of Bananas'

String of Bananas

Senecio radicans is native to South Africa, and is commonly known as the "String of Bananas". The trailing strands of stems have green banana-shaped leaves with fascinating translucent "windows". It bears tiny white pom-pom-like flowers that are fragrant, sort of cinnamon-scented.

I have removed all of the spent little white flowers before taking the photos.

Start your succulent garden now

Get creative and assemble them in time for Mother's Day.

Learn how to plant a succulent garden

Leave me your thoughts about succulent gardening - Do you think you may try starting one?

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    • profile image

      Takashi 3 years ago

      Hello Stephen I've been wanting to come back to the 180 in my life I iniilalty wrote of. I'm aware of your perspective, but it certainly felt like a 180. When you spoke of how suddenly I embraced my true self that's the 180 I speak of, it's taken a few years for that reverb to settle. I took a new job, found my true self, began getting out of a 13 year relationship that wasn't right , began writing a story that has infused my life with such riches I can hardly imagine it's possible, then as I went on my merry way doing the best I could (here's where I'd agree with your belief in psychosis and taking things too seriously) I began to learn even more (or truthfully become aware) of that true self in things I could do, just do: feel others, know things about them, know things that I never learned, write as if my pen or fingers are guided, see an angel in the sky Anyway, that's part of the problem with words, they mean different things to you than they do me, often when I write it's to describe a feeling and not literal, but then often when I read others I take it literally too, as in literally what I would mean if writing it. (I hope that makes sense!) Be well!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Succulents are my favorite plants after redwood trees!

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 5 years ago

      Succulent plants look lovely.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Well, I have over 200 succulent plants already. I like your hanging garden and also love the Echeveria coccinea photo, and plant, of course. Enjoyed your lens.

    • SharpLee profile image

      SharpLee 5 years ago

      I love succulents in my garden because it is hot in my area and the plants grow well with less water. They come in so many different colors and shapes and add a lot of beauty to planters.

    • profile image

      TheDeeperWell 6 years ago

      Beautiful photos on this lens, inspires me to grow more succulents...

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 6 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Lovely plants and you have given me the inspiration to start my own garden!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 6 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      What a beautiful lens, I really enjoyed the pictures of succulent plant gardens. So lovely :)

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      How beautiful. I love succulents

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      It all looks very beautiful.