Succulents are drought-tolerant

Photo credit: Pixabay

Tips for drought-tolerant gardening

by Solvej Schou


Drought-tolerant gardening is fast becoming a nifty form of home landscaping, as moderate to severe drought conditions and rising water bills have swept across much of the country. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Southwestern states such as California, Nevada and Texas have been hit hardest with long-term extreme drought. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown declared California in a drought emergency and asked residents to voluntarily slash water use by 20 percent.

“Drought-tolerant plants, such as succulents, have color. They have texture. They save water,” said Molly Thongthiraj, who with her sisters has owned and operated the California Cactus Center in Pasadena for 38 years. “They’re hardy. They can take our temperatures. They can take the lows, they can take the highs.”

While planting in winter isn’t recommended for colder climates, she said, it’s a good time to plant in warmer parts of California and other warm-weather states because succulents can burn and shrivel up under the hot sun if planted during the summer. Water-storing succulents include cacti native to North and South America. In summer, Thongthiraj said, succulents generally need to be watered twice a week, but in winter they can usually go two weeks without water. Cacti can be watered just once a month in winter.

Read the full article: The Californian

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.