Delicious: Best Plants for Summer

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

John Spain, a Connecticut-based gardening specialist who originated methods of growing succulents outdoors in the frozen north, discovered their benefits years earlier, when he typically traveled for company. "The only plants that survived without any care in my makeshift greenhouse were the succulents and cacti," he says. "I would leave for a month, and they 'd be great." That sent him looking for more cold-hardy succulents. hop over to here He found enough to fill a 20-foot-long berm with a carpetlike tapestry of leaves in green, chartreuse, rose, purple, and even almost black. Today he also tucks succulents amongst 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 particularly intriguing garden specimens.

Amongst the most familiar succulents are sedums, including that perennial preferred Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Joy,' which grows 18 to 24 inches tall and bears remarkable rosy-red flower heads in late summer. Another sedum, two-row stonecrop (Sedum spurium) is a low-maintenance groundcover with fine foliage and white, pink, or purple flowers in summer season. Low-growing Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' has yellow blossoms.

Another groundcover, ice plant (Delosperma spp.) has small, fingerlike fleshy leaves and blooms in complete sun with masses of daisylike flowers all summer. Delosperma nubigenum is a noninvasive type that bears yellow blossoms.
Chicks and hens-- the common name for the unassociated but 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 are available in rose, green, gray, and mauve, typically with a contrasting edge color or a stripe. Both increase without much effort, sending out shoots with their children attached; these might root on their own if they are in contact with soil. Otherwise, they can quickly be detached and rooted.

Desert-loving yuccas, agaves, and aloes, with their strappy and swordlike leaves with sharp suggestions, add a sculptural element to any garden. Though these large-scale specimen plants have actually long been related to the dry Southwest, there are durable ranges that stand up to below-freezing temperatures.

That indoor classic, the treelike jade plant (Crassula ovata), is another favorite for outside containers-- though it is not hardy in cold climates. In the exact same household, child pendant (Crassula rupestris x perforata) appears like a string of beads or buttons.

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 tall and 2 to 4 feet broad. They don't tolerate freezing temperature levels, nevertheless, so they require to winter indoors in cold climates.
Planting and Care
Succulents generally need very little care, a lot of have one requirement that is absolute: great drain. Numerous have shallow roots that spread out so they can benefit from even quick rainstorms. However the roots succumb to disease if they stay moist.

In desert areas, some succulents grow even in clay. In wetter environments, however, mix sand and airy lava rock into the planting location. Dig holes only as big as the nursery containers or even a little less deep, so that the plant crowns do not settle listed below the surface.

Most crucial, do not overwater. Container plantings require more water than those settled into the ground, probe the soil to be sure it is completely dried out before watering. And always empty any standing water from saucers. In garden locations, feel the soil 3 to 4 inches listed below the surface area to make sure it's completely dry before giving plants a great dousing.

Periodic rains may suggest you'll just require to water succulent plantings from time to time, even during the sultriest weeks of the year. That's when you might actually appreciate the savings bonus offer these plants provide-- not just the lower water costs, however the additional hours freed up from coddling your summer season garden.

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