With summer in full swing I have noticed a lot of cripsy planters on porches (I’m guilty as well), but all the varieties of sedums and succulents are thriving in this heat. While your geraniums turn to dust and the begonias wilt away, take some time to check out how beautiful and full of texture succulent planters can be. Native to dry, arid climates these hearty hoarders of water are made to tolerate our southern heat waves. Before getting your hands in the dirt there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting and growing succulents.
For outdoor containers you want to be sure you are selecting perennial varieties that are able to tolerate our winters. Surprisingly there are many choices out there and you can usually find them in the outdoor, perennial greenhouses at many nurseries. Be sure to inspect the plants for mold, rot and signs of over watering (leaves that are mushy or are falling off). Since succulents are extremely efficient in retaining water in their leaves you want to be sure you are using a pot with excellent drainage. Also, picking a soil that is a sandy mixture with NO water retention ingredients is very important. Succulents are unable to release excess water and tend to rot or drop petals when potted with soil that isn’t able to dry out regularly. These are great plants to use when playing with texture and shape. Mix rounded hens-and-chicks with trailing sedums or upright blooming sedum for a pop of color. You can also make a big impact by mounding all the same type and color of succulent together in a single pot. When planting keep about 2-3″ of gravel in the bottom to help increase drainage as well. Succulents love to be in a sunny spot on the porch and only need to be watered when thoroughly dry; about every 5-7 days in the heat of summer. They also winter over very nicely and are easy to propagate to create new plants.
Indoor succulents can add the perfect natural element to those nooks where you want a lower maintenance pop of greenery, like the bathroom or a coffee table. These are the perfect plants to use for dry terrariums too. You need to be careful when selecting indoor succulents and keep an eye out for signs of rot, falling leaves or mold. Also picking a container with good drainage or being careful with your watering schedule is really important. Like outdoor succulents, indoor succulents thrive in a sandy soil mixture that will not hold excess water. They need a sunny spot in your home, so pick a western or southern facing window to make sure they are getting enough rays! We suggest watering them every 10-14 days with just enough water to moisten the soil. Signs of under watering are usually presented in the form of wrinkled or shriveled leaves. Succulents typically thrive from neglect and do best with little fertilizer.
We always have beautiful succulent terrariums in the shop for sale and are always happy to source our succulents to plant in your own container. Click here to view and sign up for our upcoming terrarium workshop!