are unique plants, which display an amazing variety of shapes
and forms, textures and colours. They require little care
and are perfect as potted specimens and landscaping plants.
Succulents make a dramatic statement and are especially suitable
for difficult areas around the garden such as hot, dry, sunny
spots or dry shady places, areas with poor soils, or restricted
grow an amazing array of succulent plants for almost any situation;
from the small balconies of inner city apartments, to verandahs
and terraces, and gardens of all sizes.
are tree like forms such as Aloes, Euphorbias and Yuccas,
bushy types such as Aeoniums, Crassulas (Jade Trees) and Kalanchoes.
Ground cover is provided by mat forming or clumping Echeverias,
Sedums and Sempervivum. Colour is provided by the leaves of
the plants, which, in many cases, change with the seasons.
Many succulents, for example Echeverias and Crassulas, display
their most intense colours in winter when not much is flowering.
In addition to colourful leaves, many succulent plants flower
for significant parts of the year.
belong to many plant families and originate from all parts
of the world, but because of their hardiness and adaptability,
many different types can be grown together under the same
A few guidelines
Most succulents prefer a sunny position for best results.
Good light will produce a strong plant with compact growth
and optimum colour.
In general, succulents with more colour, and the white or
silver plants, prefer full sun, while the greener leaved varieties
will tolerate shadier positions.
Some plants that grow well in shade and are recommended for
indoors, or any low light positions are: Haworthias (all species),
Gasterias (all species), Abromeitiella, Aeonium tabuliformae,
Aloe aristata, and Aloe saponeria.
Other plants that can tolerate shade (but may show less compact
growth and be more shy to flower than in a sunnier spot) are:
Cotyledons, Sempervivums, Scillas, and some Echeverias (eg.
Shaded plants prefer far less water and fertiliser than those
grown in full sun.
The next most important point for growing succulents is a
free draining soil/growing medium. This can be anything from
an open potting mix to a fine sandy loam. The components of
the soil are not particularly important as long as it drains
generally have shallow root systems and are suitable for areas
where soil depth is low, for example under trees, or in rockeries
and other steep, rocky slopes.
require less fertiliser than other plants and do well in areas
around the garden where soil is poor. Grown in pots, succulents
need minimal amounts of fertiliser. A small amount of slow
release fertiliser should be added to the growing medium when
Succulents can be left in pots for up to 5 years before repotting
is required, unless the plant has really outgrown its pot.
During this time top dressing with some organic matter every
year or so is beneficial. In the garden, top dressing every
other year with organic material is appropriate.
If plants begin to lose colour, show a definite yellowing,
or become pale green, repotting or fertilising may be required.
As succulents store water in their tissues they can survive
long periods without watering. In many habitats succulents
survive prolonged drought and will then 'pump up' when the
In cultivation most succulents also prefer to remain essentially
dry. Regular (weekly) watering in summer/growing periods is
preferred, but plants are best left fairly dry during winter,
with occasional water if plants begin to shrivel.
In the garden during winter the rain is enough for succulents
(remember soil should be free draining). During hot summer
months occasional supplemental watering will keep plants at
Back to top