Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > July 2015 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - HARDY SUCCULENTS AND CACTI FOR A DRY, SUNNY GARDEN

GARDEN TALK with DOUG - HARDY SUCCULENTS AND CACTI FOR A DRY, SUNNY GARDEN

Some of you may have an area that bakes in the heat by getting full sun that you just can’t think of what to do with this area.  Luckily, we live in a region that allows us to plant hardy succulents, hardy cactus, and yucca. Believe it or not some of these hardy succulents can withstand temperatures of 40 degrees below zero.  A unique, attractive bed of mixed cacti and succulents can provide a great, new, garden look that needs little water in dry periods.
Cacti, succulents, euphorbia, yucca require minimal attention, thriving in maximum sunlight and full exposure to drying winds.  Open, dry areas facing south or southwest for greatest sun exposure are ideally suited for succulents and cacti.
Succulent plants demand dry, well-drained soils to avoid excess water build up in plant storage tissues.  So, if you have an area that you think would work for succulents but the soil is hardpan clay, you need to work on the soil first.  I would till in some organic compost along with sand in order to create that well-drained soil.  Cacti naturally reduce their moisture content and shrivel at the approach of winter, a freeze prevention process.  Most succulents also change color in the winter, a natural occurrence that does not indicate disease.
Selected succulent plants for that hot, dry garden with low water requirements includes, sedum, yucca, sempervivum, yucca, euphorbia, delosperma, and the hardy cactus.  My favorite yucca is the ‘Color Guard’ because of its hardiness and its variegated yellow and green foliage.  For additional color you can plant the summer blooming annual portulaca or moss rose.  A great annual for that hot, sunny, dry area.
If I had this type of area in my home landscape I would highlight the area by strategically adding a boulder or two within the garden.  And, I would find a sturdy, attractive container and create a container garden to compliment this garden. 
As a bonus, hardy succulents are evergreen plants and deer tolerant.
Your only limitation in creating a succulent garden is your imagination.
 
Posted: 7/23/2015 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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