I have a patch of Paddle Plants (aka Red Pancakes, Flapjack Plant and Desert Cabbage) growing in my front garden, but did you know they an interesting yet easy houseplant? Yup, it’s true. I bought this plant direct from the grower right here in Santa Barbara 8 years ago as Kalanchoe thrysifolia but now they say on their website it’s actually Kalanchoe luciae. This happens in the world of plants, but regardless of the botanic name, this plant is 1 to consider if you have bright light and can practice restraint with the liquid love.
here’s that red edging on those scalloped leaves which makes this plant so desirable – you need lots of light to bring it out
Find out lots more here:
Here’s my paddle plant patch in the front garden which provides me with lots of cuttings. The 1 that you see in these pics and the video is taken from there. As an experiment, it has lives half of the year inside and half of the year outside.
This is the 411 on taking care of them indoors:
As bright as possible, near a west or south window, but not in it. It’ll burn up against the glass or in the window.
As I said, be stingy – overwatering will rot this plant out in no time. Wait until the soil has almost completely dried out until you water it again. And with all houseplants, water less in the winter.
As I always say, if your house is comfortable to you, it’ll be comfortable to your plants. And because this is a succulent, the dry air won’t bother it at all.
Once a year is just fine, preferably in spring . You can use whatever organic fertilizer you use on your other houseplants like Organics RX.
Mealybugs are what you have too look out for followed by aphids. You can find out more about these pests & how to control them in my book Keep Your Houseplants Alive.
This Kalanchoe luciae will grow slowly indoors, but if you’re patient, it’s definitely worth the wait. If you travel a lot this plant is a good choice because of its low water and care needs. No need to fuss over this gem of a plant. Have any of you grown the Paddle Plant (aka Red Pancakes, Flapjack Plant, Desert Cabbage) as a houseplant?
when those babies (or pups) get big enough you can remove them if you’d like to propagate more plants
here’s my patch – as you can see, outdoors they happily clump & spread
In case you’re interested, here are a couple of how to’s I did on propagating & planting your cuttings:
Planting Succulent Cuttings
- 11 Pretty Pink Succulents
- Echeveria laui
- Pachyphytum Oviferum ‘Pink Moonstone’
- Sedeveria ‘Pink Granite’
- Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’
- Crassula ovata ‘Pink Beauty’
- Crassula pellucida ‘Variegata’ or ‘Calico Kitten’
- Echeveria ‘Perle Von Nurnberg’
- Aloe ‘Pink Blush’
- Graptopetalum paraguayense ‘Ghost Plant’
- Graptoveria ‘Douglas Huth’
- Echeveria ‘Rainbow’
- Why did my succulent change colors?
- What are succulents?
- How to care for succulents
- Types of succulents
- 1. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
- 2. Aloe Vera
- 3. Foxtail agave (Agave attenuata)
- 4. Echeveria
- 5. Sempervivum tectorum
- 6. Blue chalk sticks (Senecio serpens)
- 7. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
- 8. Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria)
- 9. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- 10. Zebra Plant (Haworthia fasciata)
- 11. String Of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
- You might also like:
11 Pretty Pink Succulents
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Are you getting tired of all the green in your garden? Maybe it’s time to add a splash of color. One of the best things about succulents is the incredible variety of colors, so don’t be afraid to be a little bold with your plants.
You may be used to seeing pink flowers, but what about pink plants? These pretty pink succulents are perfect for lovers of pastels. Whether you prefer a solid pink plant, or just a hint of pink, you’re sure to find the perfect pink plant on this list to add to your collection.
Table of Contents
These can be purchased on Amazon by clicking this picture!
This adorable little succulent is native to Oaxaca, Mexico and can grow up to six inches tall with rosettes of up to five inches in diameter. The plump leaves of the plant tend to be a grayish-blue with a hint of pink. The flowers of the plant are delicate and peachy-pink in color.
Echeveria laui prefer well-draining soil and dry conditions. In the winter, they will need to be watered less frequently than in the spring and summer. They thrive in full sun, but do not do tolerate frost well.
Pachyphytum Oviferum ‘Pink Moonstone’
Find this gorgeous Pink Moonstone at Mountain Crest Gardens.
Pink Moonstone is a peachy pink succulent native to Central Mexico. Though most often pinkish in color, the leaves can also range toward a bluish-lavender. The chunky leaves are coated in a white or silver film, or farina. The rosettes are quite small, typically under four inches in diameter, and the stems can grow up to eight inches in length, typically causing the plant to lie flat on the ground or trail from their container.
Pink Moonstones do best with infrequent watering and partial sun. They are not particularly frost-hardy, but they are easy to care for and easy to propagate.
Sedeveria ‘Pink Granite’
Sedeveria ‘Pink Granite’ is ideal for gardeners who are looking for just a hint of color.
This interesting little hybrid is perfect for lovers of pastel colors. It’s mint green stems and thick pink leaves compliment any gardener’s color palette. The rosettes can reach up to six inches in diameter and the stems usually reach six to eight inches tall. Like Pink Moonstone, the long stem and heavy rosette typically cause the plant to lie down or hang over the edge of their container.
Pink Granite is an easy to care for succulent. They prefer partial sun or bright indoor light. They are also pet-safe if you have any concerns about your furry friends raiding your garden.
Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’
Don’t the leaves of Sedum rubrotinctum look like jelly beans? Grab them at Mountain Crest Gardens by clicking this picture!
This plant, also nicknamed Jelly Bean, gets its moniker from the shape of its plump, colorful leaves. Each leaf is about two centimeters long and green with pink tips. The stems can grow about six inches in length, but the plant can spread as far as 36 inches. The plant is native to Mexico and its flowers are small and yellowish white in color.
Jelly Beans, like other succulents, thrive with a little neglect. Infrequent watering, plenty of drainage, and partial sunlight will help your plant look its best.
Crassula ovata ‘Pink Beauty’
The Pink Beauty not only has pink-tinted leaves, but pink flowers too! Snag yours on Amazon.
This gorgeous succulent is a variety of jade plant. It possesses the same thick stems and glossy leaves as other, more common varieties of jade. Pink Beauty can grow up to five feet tall and nearly just as wide. The fragrant flowers of this succulent are star-shaped, pink, and incredibly profuse.
The Pink Beauty grows best in full sun but can survive on partial sun if that is all that is available. It thrives on infrequent watering, especially in the winter. It can be propagated from either leaves or stem cuttings.
Crassula pellucida ‘Variegata’ or ‘Calico Kitten’
Leaf and Clay is the perfect place to find your new pink Calico Kitten
This adorable trailing succulent is native to South Africa and is known for its variegated, heart-shaped leaves. Stems can reach lengths of up to 12 inches. This plant makes an ideal addition to any garden in a hanging planter or as ground cover. The delicate leaves are green and white with pink leaf margins.
Calico Kitten prefers either partial sun or bright indoor light. They are not frost-tolerant plants and must be protected during cold weather. They are easy to grow and are perfect for gardeners with any level of experience.
Echeveria ‘Perle Von Nurnberg’
Get your new Perle von Nurnberg from Mountain Crest Gardens.
Perle Von Nurnberg is an interesting succulent with grayish colored leaves with pink highlights. The leaves are covered in powder farina and the rosettes can reach up to six inches in diameter. During the summer, the plant produces pink and yellow flowers on long stemmed stalks.
Like other Echeveria, the Perle Von Nurnberg is easy to grow, even for most beginning gardeners. Infrequent watering will help the plant thrive, as will using the correct type of soil. The plant can be propagated from leaf and stem cuttings, but can also be grown from seed.
Aloe ‘Pink Blush’
Leaf and Clay has just the Aloe you’ve been looking for.
Pink Blush is a small hybrid Aloe, growing only up to about one foot tall and five inches wide. The leaves are varying shades of green with pink ridges. In late winter or spring, this adorable succulent produces short stalks with orange flowers.
Pink Blush is as easy to care for as many Aloe plants. It prefers relatively infrequent watering, with almost no water during the winter months. It enjoys well-draining soil and will not survive if overwatered.
Graptopetalum paraguayense ‘Ghost Plant’
Graptopetalum paraguayense has the perfect amount of pink! You can find ’em on Amazon, just click this pic.
The Ghost Plant is native to Mexico, and you should be aware that there are many species that go by the name “Ghost Plant”. This beautiful succulent has thick triangular leaves in a rosette pattern that can measure up to six inches in diameter. The color is typically a pale blue or purple with hints of pink. The more sunlight the plant receives, the pinker it will be.
The Ghost Plant thrives in full sunlight with infrequent watering. Many gardeners choose to trim their plant to keep a fuller, rounder shape, rather than let it spread naturally. It is incredibly easy to propagate from either single leaves or stem cuttings.
Graptoveria ‘Douglas Huth’
If you’re a fan of hybrids and subtle color, this Graptoveria is right up your alley.
The Douglas Huth is a hybrid succulent, created from combining Echeveria and Graptopetalum plants. The leaves are thick and grayish-green in color with a slight pink hue. When the plant blooms, it produces petite pink flowers. The rosettes can grow up to eight inches in diameter and the stems can reach up to eight inches in length.
The Douglas Huth is not a frost resistant plant and prefers warm, dry climates. It is relatively easy to grow, even for inexperienced gardeners. It prefers full sun and is easy to propagate. It’s also a great addition to pet-friendly gardens. They’re somewhat rare, but you can usually find one or two sellers on Etsy.
This Echeveria ‘Rainbow’ is the perfect pink addition to your collection. Find it on Etsy by clicking the pic!
The Rainbow is actually a variegated form of Perle Von Nurnberg. Instead of the solid colored leaves of the Perle, the Rainbow has green and yellow striped leaves with pink highlights. There is also a slight ruffle along the leaf edges. The rosettes can measure up to six inches in diameter.
As with other Echeveria, the Rainbow is incredibly easy to care for, especially if you tend to neglect your plants a bit. They prefer well-draining soil and proper watering techniques. They do well in full sun, but must be protected from frost.
These stunning succulents look great both as centerpieces or as part of a larger collection or design. They’re the perfect addition to a spring color palette, but they look great year-round as well. If you’re looking to add a splash of color to your succulent collection, maybe it’s time to consider a plant in your new favorite color: pink!
Why did my succulent change colors?
As succulents receive proper care, you may notice a change in color. This is completely normal! Find out what can cause such a color change.
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When you look at pictures online, you see many colorful succulents used in arrangements. Generally succulents are very colorful when newly purchased as well. However, over time the colors often fade or change. In my experience, many end up turning green after a few months. This is very normal and can be caused by a few different things.
Amount of Light
Just as succulents stretch out from not getting enough light, they may also lose their vibrant colors. Succulents such as Sedum nussbaumerianum need bright sunlight all day in order to maintain their bright colors.
When grown in the shade or in areas that don’t get bright light all day, such as indoors, they will slowly fade to green. It doesn’t mean they aren’t healthy though. They will continue to grow and reproduce, but unless they get more sunlight they will stay green.
This is the same “Jade” plant below, but one side of it gets bright sunlight all day while the other is shaded by a tree. The coloring is so different! The red tips are so much brighter and thicker on the side of the plant in full sun.
You’ll also notice more variegation and hints of yellow in the full sun plant. The side in the shade still has hints of these colors but they are not as noticeable.
Interestingly, perfectly watered succulents often revert to a green color. A little “stress” from not quite enough water can actually cause succulents to “blush” or change colors. I found this to be especially true with my “Gollum Jade“.
When it was getting plenty of water in a cool (but not cold) environment, it stayed a deep green color. When I forgot to water it and the soil had been completely dry for a few weeks, it turned more of a light green with reddish-orange tips.
In the pictures below you’ll first see the stressed plant and then the same type of plant that has had very regular watering.
If you know a succulent could be a different color than green, try letting the soil dry out for a little longer than normal and see what happens!
Another way to “stress” succulents into changing color is cold weather. The ideal temperature for most succulents is somewhere around 70 degrees fahrenheit. As the temperatures drop (but stay above 40 degrees) you’ll notice many colors will start to intensify.
I visited San Diego over the winter and noticed that the Euphorbia ‘Sticks on Fire’ were especially orange and vibrant and the Senecio mandraliscae were a very deep blue. These colors are accentuated from the cold (but not freezing) temperatures over an extended period of time.
This Aloe was one of the most colorful succulents I saw while I was down there. It’s amazing what the cold weather can do to succulents!
Succulents are really interesting plants and it amazes me how much they can change based on how they are cared for. I’m always a little envious of the colorful succulents I see in southern California gardens!
While I do all I can to give my succulents plenty of sunlight it seems indoors there just isn’t enough to keep them bright and colorful all year. I do my best by letting the soil stay dry (sometimes out of forgetfulness) and put them out in the sun once it’s warm enough to do so.
If you have any tips for keeping succulents colorful, feel free to let me know!
What are succulents?
Derived from the Latin word sucus, meaning sap or juice, succulents are a group of plants that store water in their thick, fleshy leaves. This allows them to be drought resistant – thriving in dry, hot climates. Their nature allows them to be tolerant to neglect, so they make for excellent indoor plants.
How to care for succulents
Succulents need an open sunny position and will grow in temperate to hot climates. Some are frost-tolerant. Others are very sensitive to cold so in cool areas, check before you buy.
When planting in pots, the best soil for succulents is free-draining cacti and succulents potting mix. If you’re planting them in the garden, sandy free-draining soils work best.
Succulents require minimal watering. Test the soil with your finger – if it feels dry, give it a little water. Direct the water to the roots and avoid it sitting in the crown of the plant as this can promote rot.
If planting your selection of succulents in containers, almost any pot, tub or trough will do the trick! Just make sure you allow enough room to cater for the roots of the plants, and for sufficient drainage. Repotting is only ever required when the roots start to burst out the base of the pot or become obvious on the surface of the soil. This is a job best done in spring.
A beauty of succulents is they’re so easy to multiply. Snap off a short stem with leaves attached, leave in a dry area until the end forms a callus or starts to sprout hair-like roots, then plant in potting mix.
Types of succulents
1. Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum)
Known as Burro’s Tail or Donkey’s Tail, this Mexican succulent is perfect for is hanging baskets, with its heavily laden stems trailing down. It has thick, tapering blue-green leaves that sit on the rope-like stems that grow up to 30cm long. It produces pink flowers. It is very hardy and will thrive on neglect, however it will need protection in colder climates. Most sedums prefer full sun to part shade and should be watered on a regular basis with good drainage.
2. Aloe Vera
‘Allo, Vera! These attractive plants not only possess amazing healing properties, but they’re also very easy to grow. Humans have been using the sap from the Aloe plant to soothe burns, abrasions and bites. Aloe Vera is best planted in frost-free zones and like full sun or light shade. Semi-frequent watering is required, however you can let the soil dry in between watering without the plant suffering too much. They can be found in many sizes, including miniature versions. The larger types can grow leaves that extend up to 1.2 metres, so make sure you choose the right type for your space.
3. Foxtail agave (Agave attenuata)
Agave can be grown in pots or in garden beds and are drought tolerant, so they are the perfect plant for the lazy gardener. Among the most architectural plants, agaves feature bold succulent leaves that set the tone for wherever they’re planted. Many varieties bear sharp spines along leave margins and at the leaf tip, which adds to their dramatic presentation. The bluish-green rosettes naturally spread by producing offsets at the base of the plant. It is an excellent choice for sunny, hot, dry areas, especially desert regions, with good drainage.
Considered one of the most attractive succulents, due to their colours and variations, echeverias are extremely hardy and can tolerate extended periods without water. In fact, what one of the issues with any succulents is over-watering, so be sure to let the soil dry out completely before water again. They do well in unglazed clay pots, which allows the water to evaporate. Their rosettes can be as little as 2cm, up to 50cm in diameter. Colouring can range from white to orange, and pink to red. These low growing evergreen succulents fall under a category called hens-and-chicks. These succulents have an original rosette called the ‘Hen’, which produces tiny rosette offsets that are known as the ‘Chicks’.
5. Sempervivum tectorum
Sempervivum tectorum – also called houseleeks – are often likened to rubbery roses. They’re also known as hens-and-chick and look similar to the Echeveria variety. However their care requirements are quite different – Sempervivum are a tough, hardy plant preferring cold weather. Their leaves are narrower than those of Echeveria and have pointy tips. They produce small pink, red or orange star-shaped flowers.
6. Blue chalk sticks (Senecio serpens)
These succulents can grow up to 30cm tall and produce yellow daisy-like flowers in summer. They are perfect as a ground cover plant and do very well in sunny positions. It has a dense growth habit and grows very quickly over a large area, so it is perfect for those areas of the garden you would like to be maintenance-free. In order to maintain its bushy clump, give it a little prune after it flowers.
7. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
The jade plant – also known as a money tree – is considered a symbol of good luck. The South African native is characterised by thick stems and thick glossy green leaves and can grow up to one-and-a-half metres tall. The most important consideration in caring for a Jade Plant is proper watering. You should never let a jade dry out, but overwatering will cause root rot. Position your plant in a well-draining terracotta pot for good air movement through the soil, in a bright, sunny spot.
8. Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria)
The Mammillaria family of cacti includes around 250 different species and they’re the most popular cacti to grow at home. They form small, round or barrel-shaped clumps, growing no more than 15 centimetres in height. They’re easy to care for making them suitable for beginner gardeners. The pincushion cactus hails from Mexico, making them drought tolerant and sun-loving. Ensure they are potted in well-drained, gritty soil and positioned in full sun. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering and stop watering entirely during the winter months. With the right moisture, heating and a dormant period – your pincushion cactus might produce stunning flowers in spring.
9. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
The snake plant – also known as mother in law’s tongue – is a succulent that any black thumb can keep alive with minimal effort. Native to tropical West Africa, the plant gets its name from its long, pointed, patterned leaves that are reminiscent of a snake. It makes great indoor plant, tolerating low light (but growing best with medium to high light) and it should be left to dry out in between waterings. Research by NASA has found that these succulents are one of the best air purifying options for your home, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air you breathe.
10. Zebra Plant (Haworthia fasciata)
This small, striking succulent doesn’t require much TLC. Growing no more than 10 to 15 centimetres, it has distinctive zebra-like stripes across its spiked fronds. Position your plant in full sun and let soil almost dry out between waterings.
11. String Of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
String of pearls – which feature small green pearl-like balls along dangling stems – are an eye-catching addition to your space, particularly when draped in a hanging basket. Like most succulents they are very drought tolerant, requiring bright light, well-drained soil and minimal watering. Another added benefit it that they grow quickly (dangling up to around 60 centimetres) and are easily propagated.
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Tribune News Service Succulents with a large surface area often show their dehydration with fine wrinkles of the skin, and they become soft to the touch.Tribune News Service Because succulents most often rot at the soil line due to surface water applications, keep a large plastic box for watering your collection from the bottom up.
A mother can glance at her child and instantly see subtle signs of distress. A dog owner also knows when the animal isn’t its usual self. Even a mechanic listening to his engine can pick up the slightest sounds that don’t belong. This demonstrates why intimacy lies at the root of how not to kill your succulents with kindness.
For everyone who loves that great succulent look, or if drought has led you to these plants, you may already have had trouble growing them. The cause of death is overwatering, after which rot sets in, and the plants literally melt down into a gushy rotten mess. The problem is knowing when they want water and when they don’t.
For you to understand the “when-to- water” question, you need to know how succulents are different from ordinary plants. The chief characteristic is specialized cells that hold moisture ready rather than deriving new moisture daily from the soil.
After they are watered, succulents take up moisture until every succulent cell is fully hydrated. Over time, they utilize this stored moisture, gradually reducing the hydrostatic pressure inside the cells and tissues within the plant. In between water applications, the roots prefer a dry, airy soil, which is why they are typically grown in porous potting soils for cactus and succulents.
Problems arise in wetter or more humid climates when soils don’t dry out in between water applications. They also occur when the drain hole in a pot becomes blocked or if it was too small to begin with. Pots designed for succulents often have numerous holes for this reason.
To know when to water them, you must learn how to tell when hydrostatic pressure is low. Your clues are both tactile and visual.
1. PHYSICAL TOUCH
When your newly watered succulent is fully hydrated, it’s in the “hard body” stage. Squeeze it gently to get a feel for how hard the individual plant becomes, and let this serve as a basis for future comparison.
When the internal moisture is used up, the whole plant will gradually soften due to loss of pressure. They actually yield to your touch. Beware of those with only some parts softening, as this can indicate invisible rot is spreading into healthy tissue.
2. VISUAL CHANGE
Every succulent plant when fully hydrated will stand up to its full height and form, which combine to create attitude. Many alter their overall attitude when internal pressure drops low enough.
For example, Pachypodium’s long thin stalk will literally fold in half, then once watered, it straightens right back up again as hydrostatic pressure returns. Others will show slight wrinkles on the skin caused by reduced interior tissue volume. Drooping leaves, sagging tips or subtle leaning are all changes of attitude caused by low internal moisture.
3. WATERING METHOD
In my experience, there are a lot of problems caused when succulents are watered from the top down like ordinary potted plants. Water travels down the edges of the soil mass and out the bottom, leaving too little behind for adequate uptake. Succulents often rot right at the soil line due to this kind of watering.
For easily handled pots, simply set them in a pan of water so the soil inside can wick up the water through the drain hole. When the moisture wicks up to the surface of the soil, take the pot out of the water and let it drain. This method ensures that the entire soil mass, not just the edges are fully moistened.
The notion that cactus and succulents need little or no water has caused many deaths by dehydration. Others die when we treat them like traditional plants that depend on perpetual soil moisture.
Always remember that most of them originate in habitats with occasional heavy rain events followed by extended periods of drought. Fortunately they speak to us in the silent language of touch and appearance, which tell you clearly when they’re dry enough for a drink.
Maureen Gilmer is an author, horticulturist and landscape designer. Learn more at www.MoPlants.com. Contact her at [email protected] or P.O. Box 891, Morongo Valley, CA 92256.
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’.
Photo by Keri Leymaster, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, all rights reserved ©.
Succulents are a group of plants with fleshy stems and leaves that are efficient for storing water. They are generally found in arid or semi-arid climates and other harsh environments. While we don’t have a truly dry season in Florida, these unique, low-maintenance plants can still have a place in your landscape.
Because succulents are adapted to survive in dry conditions, they don’t need much supplemental water. In Florida’s rainy, humid climate, a good way to grow succulents is in containers, where irrigation and soil are easier to control.
Start with a shallow clay or terra cotta container with drainage holes; a coarse, well-drained sand mix is recommended. Let the soil dry out in between waterings and make sure your containers aren’t holding water; soggy soil will cause problems like root rot.
These planting conditions mean that succulents can be grown in some creative and attention-grabbing places, like rock gardens or even tucked into sandy pockets in stone walls. Using unique containers can be a lot of fun. Mix different forms, colors, and textures of succulents into one planter.
This is a diverse group of plants, with members in over 60 plant families and thousands of hybrid cultivars. Common names can get confusing. “Hen and chicks” is one name that is used for a number of different succulents. The moniker comes from the propagating nature of these plants; the “hen” is the main plant, while the “chicks” are plantlets that form from the main plant. Some people are referring to Sempervivum when they say hen and chicks, while others mean Echeveria, or Sedum, or other forms of succulents. As always the Latin names provide the most clarity.
Some of the most popular succulents groups for growing in containers and in the landscape are Echeveria, Sedum, Sempervivum, and Kalanchoe.
Echeveria is a large group of succulents that have lovely foliage arranged in a rosette shape. These plants can be grown in containers outside throughout Florida. For the most part these plants will stay small, reaching only a couple inches across. Be sure you don’t let water sit in the rosette’s center as this can cause rotting or disease. You also may want to remove dead leaves from the bottom of your plant as it grows to help it stay healthy and attractive.
There are many Echeveria to choose from, but here are a few that you could feature in your home or garden. ‘Black Prince’ has striking dark red, almost black, leaves; these plants are shaped much like a water lily flower. ‘Ruffles’ has ruffled leaves that are tipped with red along the leaf edge. For the more traditional succulent look, try blue rose Echevaria (Echeveria imbricate), which is a native of Mexico that features blue-green leaves with hints of pink. As the name suggests, they resemble rose blossoms. For something different, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ has thick grey leaves that curl up and inwards.
Sedum ‘Yellow Gold’. Photo by Thomas Wright, UF/IFAS.
Sedums also have leaves arranged in a rosette shape, but they have their own unique look. They come in a variety of heights, ranging from just a few inches to 3 feet tall. Sedums can also have a trailing form, which makes them great for growing in containers that allow them to spill gracefully over the edge.
A broadleaf stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium) variety called ‘Cape Blanco’ has striking silver leaves that look like blooming flowers. Sedum spurium ‘Tricolor’ has green leaves edged in white, while S. spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’ enchants with cascading red foliage. Sedum repestre ‘Angelina’ has bright chartreuse foliage that definitely stands out—it looks more like something you might find growing in a coral reef. Sedum morganianum ‘Donkey Tail’ has trailing stems surrounded by smooth, lance-shaped overlapping leaves, resembling an animal’s tail. And a creeping sedum cultivar called Lemon Coral™ is a beautiful groundcover or accent plant to grow in a perennial garden or rock garden with full sun.
Sempervivum ‘Rubin’. Photo by Stephen Boisvert, some rights reserved.
Native to Europe and exceptionally cold hardy, Sempervivum succulents are often called houseleeks. They were were (and in some places still are) traditionally grown on the rooftops of homes in England and Wales for magical protection from lightning.
These succulents also have a beautiful tight rosette form and there are hundreds of species in the Sempervivum genus to choose from.
‘Royal Ruby’ gives you ruby-red to dark-red rosettes of leaves that resemble water lilies. If you’re looking for something on the green side, try the elegant ‘Green Wheel’ with pointed leaves.
Can’t decide between red or green? Have both: ‘Red Rubin’ has burgundy-tinged leaves encircled by green leaves and Sempervivum grandiflora has green leaves tipped with red. But for a true visual contrast, consider Sempervivum arachnaoideum, which has a cobweb-like mass of fine hairs that grow in the middle of a rosette of green leaves.
For something a bit different, consider kalanchoe, which has more of an upright or paddle-shaped form, depending on the species. Kalanchoe tomentosa Panda is an interesting—some might even say adorable—succulent. With its fuzzy white leaves that are spotted with brown along the margin, it’s not hard to visualize why this is called “panda bear plant” by some. Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, also called desert rose paddle plant, has chalky blue-green leaves that transition to red tips.
Succulents of all kinds have long been favorites in the garden. But their striking looks and low-maintenance lifestyle now have succulents booming in popularity as an element in interior design. You can regularly see them displayed in architectual magazines and as props in furniture galleries. From hotels to homes, succulents bring the outside in an eye-catching way.
Kalanchoe tomentosa Panda. Photo by Anika Malone, some rights reserved.
With succulents being so easy to care for and uniquely beautiful, gardeners (especially beginning or busy ones) can’t go wrong.
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