Photo credit: * Bowls with succulents – Photo Jardines y Estanques – 377301_403463536380019_537063956_n_2 copy.jpg
Succulents are rock stars of container gardening
TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
The succulent frenzy looks to continue, and if you are not on the bandwagon yet, you have been missing one of the hottest trends of the last five years. This trend has turned designing mixed containers on its head as it partners rare beauty with low maintenance.
Today’s garden centers and many florists, however, offer incredible choices to let you be the Monet of your easy-to-grow container.
To get started this growing season, pick a container that suits your style. It can be old world clay, a wooden trough, a handmade hypertufa or even a large shallow bowl. The mandatory criteria will be drainage holes and a good desert-like soil mix.
Succulents are tough-as-nails performers because they store moisture in their roots, leaves and stems. Drought-like conditions can wreak havoc on most container-grown plants, but not succulents. In fact the arch enemy will be too much water or inferior drainage, which is one reason many designers go with a soil mix geared toward cactus. They are low maintenance in that they require very little fertilizer, no constant deadheading.
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