Four Fantastic Succulents to Grow

by Teresa O'Connor

It's hard to find an easier plant to grow in the garden than succulents, and they come in many wonderful shapes and sizes as you can see here.

Succulent Wreath

This gorgeous wreath was my prize at a recent fundraising raffle for the new Ventura Botanical Garden, and I'm in love with this easy-care living artwork hanging in my garden.

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As the plants start to grow, you can prune off the ends and use them to start new succulent plants. Just remove the bottom leaves from your cutting, and let it dry for a day or two. Then plant in moistened cactus mix. The roots will start growing quickly.

Succulents thrive on a little neglect. Don't fertilize them too often, and never overwater succulents as this can cause root rot. Drainage is very important for these drought tolerant plants. Some experts recommend a planting mixture with two parts coarse sand or perlite, one part organic material and one part garden soil.

Here are four fabulous succulents to grow indoors or out.

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It's easy to love Aeonium Haworthii Variegta with its sculptured rosettes in different colors. The lemon-green leaves have strongly defined pink margins, with flowers in spring. Water this succulent moderately in winter as it grows, but rarely in summer. This plant requires light shade in hot climates, and can handle more sun in cooler locations.

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The star-like flowers are just an added bonus to this plant, when they bloom in spring. This aeoniumis hardy to 20 -25 degrees F. So, if you live in colder and wet climates, try growing this plant in a sunny window during the winter.

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Sedum Burrito is often called donkey's tail for good reason. The trailing succulent looks lovely draped from rocks, hanging baskets and garden containers. A rugged plant, this sedum is happiest in full sun, but also can be grown in a sunny window. Water when the soil is completely dry to several inches and feed with a low-nitrogen fertilizer a couple times annually. As if you needed another reason to grow this sensational succulent, it also has pink to red flowers.

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You'll impress all your plant geek friends with Fenestraria Rhopalophylla, sometimes known as 'baby's toes.' This plant grows like a mat of tiny toes in garden beds, and sports large yellow or white flowers that hover above. A native of South Africa, this succulent thrives in sandy soils and arid climates.

Live in a rainy and cold climate? This plant is also known as vensterplant or window plant. Try growing some in a sunny window when the temperatures drop.

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Another succulent that's easy to love is Aeonium Arborium 'Schwarzkopf'. This lovely drought-tolerant plant has brilliant yellow flowers that bloom in spring and summer, creating dramatic contrasts in the garden. These plants add a sculptural look to a flower bed, or they can be grown in containers. In Southern California, they grow exceptionally well as you can see in this xeric garden.

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Here's a close-up of 'Schwarzkopf' growing on a stone wall. I've also seen cuttings of this dramatic plant in a vase with ivy to soften the look. This succulent makes a surprisingly pretty table arrangement.

Once you start gardening with succulents, you're bound to get hooked. From the bizarre to the downright pretty, succulents come in a style and shape that's sure to delight.

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