Jeanne Grunert is a freelance writer, blogger and book author from south central Virginia. Her books include "Plan and Build a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden" and many others, available on Amazon and wherever fine books are sold. Learn more about Jeanne, her books and her garden at www.homegardenjoy.com
 

 

Succulents for the Garden
by Jeanne Grunert - posted 05/27/16

Succulents never appealed to me. Sure, my parents grew the ubiquitous "hens and chicks" (Sempervivum tectorum) in a little rock garden next to the garage. I remember being fascinated by the 'baby' chick plants growing around the central plant. We've tried growing various sedums in our central Virginia garden, but few seemed to like the rich, acidic soil.

 

 

Well, duh. Now that I've looked into growing succulents, I understand exactly why the poor plants hated the rich, acidic soil. Succulents come to us from dry, sandy soils for the most part. There are some native Virginia stonecrops or sedums that are considered succulents who love the forest floor, a woodland plant that thrives in the rich understory. That's the kind of stonecrop I really need for my garden.

 

 

No, those that like it hot and dry are great plants for a wide range of conditions, but not for rich, fertile soil. Many sedums, succulents and other plants that evolved from desert conditions are great little water conservation plants. They don't require much care and they actually prefer hot, sandy soil.

 

 

Succulents also do well in containers, and I've even seen them grown in arid terrariums. They make good house plants, great rock garden plants, and low-growing border plants that can tolerate the heat of being planted next to a garage, roadway or wall.

 

 

Most succulents are disease resistant. The biggest thing you have to worry about with them is over watering. They don't even like too much rain water. Growing them in pots and containers in Virginia may solve that problem by allow excess water to drain away. You can also pull the containers in under an overhand during rainy days to prevent your succulent plants from drowning.

 

 

With so much going for them, it's no wonder that succulents have grown in popularity. If you're looking for a plant that's hard to kill, try growing succulents.

 

 

 

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