Succulents are easy to grow, both indoors and outdoors. Judy and David Nottle of Notts Nursery in Murray Bridge have some tips on how to care for them.
In the garden: Super succulents
The versatility and hardiness of succulents has made them a trendy plant to grow, both inside and outside the home in South Australia and indeed around the world.
Succulents range from tiny lithops or “living stones”, up to large agaves and aloes for landscaping, with a huge variety of sizes and shapes in between. These plants have great colour and texture, making them fantastic for pots, wall gardens, topiary frames and landscaping.
The other big attractions of succulents are their low water use and easy care. Most varieties originated in Africa, where they were forced to survive through harsh long dry periods. The fact they are able to store water in their leaves makes them an ideal choice for our water-wise gardens here in South Australia.
Varieties such as gasteria, haworthia and lithop are excellent for indoor terrariums and smaller pots, as they are slow-growing and tolerate moderate light. Some of the more popular varieties include sempervivum, sedum, echeveria, aloe, crassula, haworthia and lithops. Hanging baskets are also popular with varieties such as string of pearls and string of hearts.
Outdoors, succulents need good sun to grow strong and compact with good colour. Too much shade will cause a lot of succulents to lose colour and grow tall and leggy.
While low water users, watering is still required in the hot months to keep your plants looking healthy, but in the cooler months cut the watering right back as over-watering will most likely rot them.
Fertilise only very moderately as too much will make them grow too soft and lose colour. Repot your succulents when they are at a point of filling the entire pot. Using a good quality potting mix is just as good as a cactus and succulent mix.
This story was first published in the Winter 2018 issue of SAGardens & Outdoor Living.