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How to Grow Hardy Succulents, Growing Succulent Plants

Hardy Succulents are a common site in the drier, warmer, more arid parts of the country. But, don't be surprised if you see a few of the hundreds of varieties, in colder, wetter parts of the country. Their diversity may well surprise you.  

By definition, a succulent is a plant that holds water inside the tissue of it's leaves, and sometimes it's stem. Water is stored during rainy periods, and later used by the plant during drier times and periods of drought. Succulents require little attention, a real plus for people with busy lifestyles.

Leaves of succulents are thick, and usually rounded. They are commonly formed tightly around the stem forming a rosette". There is a wide range of colors. Succulents are best known for their leaves. But, many plants produce attractive flowers, in many different colors. A flowering winter cactus is a real treat.

Indoors or out, you will enjoy growing succulents. They find themselves at home in a variety of garden settings. They look perfect and natural in rock gardens. Succulents make great container plants. And, they are forgiving when you go away on vacation. Succulents make good houseplants, too.

Did you Know?: A "Desertarium" is a terrarium for cactus and other succulents. More on Terrariums.


Common types of Succulents:

When we think about succulents, the first thing that comes to mind is cactus. However, the world of succulents is so much broader. Here are some of the better known species of Succulents:

  • Agaves

  • Cactus

  • Ice Plants

  • Orostachys

  • Sedums - over 300 species

  • Sempervivums - 1000's of species

  • Yucca

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How to Grow Succulent Plants:

Succulents are easy to grow. With a vast number of species, growing conditions will vary somewhat. Make sure to learn about the specific species you are growing  for detailed how to grow information.

All succulents prefer full sun. A well drained soil is a must. All succulents suffer in wet soils. Succulents tolerate dry conditions and poorer soils.

When planting them, make sure the soil is well drained. Elevated the soil of the area you are planting will help. Plant crowns at ground level of the soil. Do not bury the crowns.

When growing in containers, mix 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 coarse sand or gravel, and 1/3 loam. 


Winter Hardiness:

As winter approaches, reduce the amount of water the plant receives. Cover plants with protective covers, or bring plants indoors.

Some plant varieties are winter hardy, and require less winter protection.


Insect and Disease:

Succulents have few problems with insects or plant disease.

The most common problem is rot and fungal diseases, when exposed to wet weather and soils.

Many plant varieties can freeze in cold weather, especially extended freezes.


More Information:

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