Mixing Up the 'Mexican Hat' and 'Tip Top' Succulents
Gardening As Spring Just Starts to Arrive
In Southern California I like to do as much succulent slip planting as I can during the winter months. Between October and April is our rainy season and I want the young plants to get as much untreated water as possible.
There is a rough and bare area directly across from the back doorway leading to the yard. That spot is my project for Spring 2014. I put in a dozen new slips of Tip top aeonium and the Mexican Hat or Kalanchoe daigremontiana, will take care of itself. Another named for it is Mother of Thousands. I have had thick mats of hundreds at this spot.
The Mexican Hat grows about two feet tall and then sprouts a flat bloom with many hanging pink flowers. It is very colorful but by the time it blooms it is toppling over.
My plan to mix these two plants together is my idea of keeping the kalanchoe upright.
A Rough Preview
The plan is to clean out the weeds, get the dozen new aeonium going and allow the Mexican Hats to stretch and bloom. I should have color abounding by late summer.
I hit on the idea when I saw this small patch. The pink blooms are very pretty and last for several days. The dark red of the aeonium will be a nice contrast.
The plan is going to work because the Tip Top is tall and has stiff gray stems that will support the kalanchoe as they grow through the branches.
Here is what it looks like before work has begun.
The bare wall and thirty year old bougainvillea need some cover to dress up the area.
See more pictures of the red/green aeonium here.
Work Has Begun
Here the weeds and overgrown Mexican Hat are pulled and the new slips laid out for planting.
In a few months I will post the results of this project. See you then.
If Friends and Neighbors do not have plant starter slips
These two plants are very prolific and I throw many starters away all year long. If your know anyone growing these they should be happy to share a few branches. If not Amazon and ebay will have plenty for sale in a few weeks.
Or go to your local nursery. Our Claremont Farmer's Market at one time had a grower that sold 2" pots for a dollar.
Where will you get your new succulents?
Can you get succulents from friends and neighbors?
Follow Up About Results
Do you like to go outdoors and do plantings in the spring? We have had only 1 inch of rain since I wrote this article. The plants are growing slow and there is not much progress with the look of the area. Will have new pictures when we have some growth.
Southern California still is in a drought situation. The area of this experiment also has a prolific bougainvillea shading it, resulting in the fact that the Mother of Thousands does not get enough sun.
Within a year there was a tangled area of long stems and fallen aeonium leaves. Any suggestions?
© 2014 Sherry Venegas