Friday, September 10, 2021

Focusing on succulents

I shifted my focus to succulents this week.  Succulents can generally take the hot, dry conditions of late summer in stride without going into transplant shock so I don't feel guilty buying them.  With temperatures running high this week, I concentrated on containers rather than taking on any large-scale projects.

I couldn't walk past the large blue pot outside our back door without cringing so that was my first project.

This was the pot as it looked after it was last renovated in July 2018.  The Aeonium 'Sunburst' rosettes were holdovers from a prior planting.  I have no photos of its original incarnation.

This was the pot earlier this week.  To be frank, once it started looking sad earlier this year, I mostly stopped watering it so it's mildly surprising anything was still alive.

This is the pot after it was replanted this week.  I used Aeonium 'Sunburst' once again, despite the fact that every one of the rosettes my local garden center had in stock looked bedraggled.

Overhead view

Clockwise from the upper left: Aeonium 'Sunburst', noID Crassula (possibly C. capitella), Curio (Senecio) peregrinus 'String of Dolphins', Echeveria compressicaulis, and Echeveria 'Miranda'

As I went a little overboard on my succulent purchases on my last trip to the local garden center, I pulled out one of the empty pots stored behind our garage and planted that up too.

I used bluish succulents with reddish highlights in this pot, which sits on a stump facing the street

Overhead view

From left to right: Echeveria 'Afterglow', Kalanchoe marmorata 'Partridge', and Othonna capensis 'Ruby Bead'

The Echeveria 'Afterglow' in the above photo is very blue now but with more sun exposure it may turn pink like this one:

This one has been stressed by sun exposure and low water

I used some of the succulent cuttings I'd saved from the blue pot before I dismantled it to fill in around a tiny agave I received by mail order a few weeks ago.

Agave 'Blue Emperor' can eventually grow 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide so this pot is just a temporary home until it bulks up a little.  The succulents surrounding it with echoes of the same blue color are cuttings of Graptopetalum paraguayense.

Creating succulent combinations in containers is a satisfying small project but I'm anxious to get onto bigger projects when we get cooler temperatures.  Next up I may tackle a section of my south side succulent bed using some of the Aloe divisions I recently received as gifts.  I've tentatively identified the Curio ficoides 'Mount Everest' I received along with my last succulent shipment for inclusion in the same area.

The 'Mount Everest' specimens I found at a local garden center were very pricey so I purchased 5 very small specimens by mail order and potted them up.  I like the deeper blue color and upright habit of this Senecio (now reclassified as part of the genus Curio) much better than the more common blue chalksticks.

That's it for me this week.  Best wishes for a pleasant weekend free of any climate-related drama or emergencies.


All material © 2012-2021 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

10 comments:

  1. Reminiscent of IAVOM meme we can call this: In a Pot On Friday. Succulent are a lot of fun. I succumbed to their charms on recent trip to The Home Depot, where they had many trays of tiny, 2" pots, full of lovely varieties. Who can resist? Lost of luck with the blue Senecio: it's one of my favorites.

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    1. When we moved here nearly 11 years ago, I'd never have thought I'd have as many succulents as I do now - and, of necessity, the proportion of the garden devoted to succulents is likely to continue increasing with the further progression of climate change.

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  2. As we head into colder weather here, I need to do similar updating/repotting/replacing of the succulents that I keep in my sunspace 'winter garden.' You've inspired me to tackle the job!

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    1. Getting started now sounds like a good idea to me, Eliza! Chopping the heads off succulents with elongated necks and replanting them is a very satisfying activity ;)

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  3. I’ve now thought about my succulent pots in a more critical way, and think I should do some rejuvenating of them. I have only two pots as there are a lot of succulents that can’t withstand frosts, but my two look a bit shabby. You’ve inspired me to do some work on them!

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    1. Succulents can take a lot of benign neglect, Jane, but they do benefit from a little attention now and then ;) The blue pot I featured at the top of my post has been begging for help for about 6 months...

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  4. Your containers look very nice. I would have thought you could take numerous cuttings from your own gorgeous aeoniums to fill your pots. I have three pots that did very well this summer so will try and overwinter them. Success is always hit and miss as they tend to get mealy bug.

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    1. Aeonium 'Sunburst' is more prone to damage than my other Aeoniums, Elaine. They often get burned, especially when exposed to light reflected off of paved surfaces and windows. I actually did save one of those that came out of the original pot.

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  5. It is fun looking at your renovated succulent container garden. This past year I potted my first combination succulent container gardens and in less than a year, I think they need to be renovated.
    I have the same yellow sea urchin containers that you potted Agave 'Blue Emperor' in. My larger one has xMangave ‘Life on Mars’ that I have posted on IG. The other has xMangave “Pineapple Punch’ that I will post to IG soon. I also purchased a large and small black and blue sea urchin container. I love them for succulents.
    I had propagated Othonna capensis ‘Ruby Necklace’ at Valmonte Farm & Garden and once they were “happy,” I put them in full sun and within a week they colored up to the purplish red color. I plan to have ‘Ruby Necklace’ in a hanging container at my home.
    I am in the process of cleaning up saved succulents at my home, and will either pot then in 4” containers to donate, or make more succulent containers. I need more space for other plants!

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    1. I spotted a large black and blue sea urchin pot on the top shelf at the nearby garden center but I couldn't reach it and didn't want to take the time to call for help getting it down. I didn't have an immediate use for it either but I'll probably come to regret leaving it behind ;)

      Thanks for the input on Othonna, Kay. I've never grown it before and so didn't know what to expect from it.

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