This container wins a blue ribbon because it needed absolutely no care at all except occasional water – and it easily lasted a full six months in this small pot. Succulents are one of the few types of plants that live this long in containers this small.
This is another of succulent expert Thomas Hobbs’s masterpieces. He not only uses plants but also shells to get this fabulous, textured look.
Kalanchoe thyrsifolia: 2 plants from 6” pots
Agave spp.: 1 plant from 6” pot
Sempervivens spp.: 5 plants from 4” pots
Echeveria spp.: 6 plants from 4” pots
Burro’s tail: 2 plants from 4” pots
Light: Full sun to light shade.
Season: Most succulents take temperatures from 35 to well over 100 degrees F.
Lifespan: These plants last about 18 months in a container this size if protected from frost.
Care: Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat if the leaves look yellowish or washed out. That’s it! This is a really easy design.
Water: Succulents need water every 10 days to three weeks. Be sure the potting mix is bone dry before watering. Signs of overwatering include leaf loss and spots of rot. A sign that they need water is shriveled leaves. They need less water in cooler weather than in hotter weather.
Troubleshooting: No problems! Succulents grow slowly and have few problems with disease or insects.
Planting Plan: Handle the plants gently; they are fragile. Wear gloves to protect your hands from spines. Duplicate these containers by following the design in the photos. Plant succulents very close together.
Most garden centers now have many different succulents. Choose the ones you like. Vary the leaf sizes (try the succulent with the largest leaf next to the one with the smallest) as well as the colors.
Container: Low terra cotta saucers mixed with terra cotta bowls.
This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s book, Easy Container Gardens, available through Amazon and other online booksellers.
Pamela Crawford, author of 12 gardening books, is considered one of the most accomplished container gardening experts in the country. In addition to designing gardens for over 1500 residences, her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens publications as well as in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Fine Gardening, Country Gardens, and in over 300 newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, gardenloverstv.com and numerous local tv shows.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.