Succulents 39 Stories

Each succulent stands out in its own way — the variegated foliage of Aeonium, the size and grandeur of agave, the cold-hardiness and resilience...
Great Design Plant: Aeonium
Aeonium is a genus whose species are prized as some of the most ornamental succulents, with foliage that ranges from vivid chartreuse to nearly black, and that's solid colored, banded or striped....
Great Design Plant: Parry Agave
In the desert landscape, the agave is unrivaled when it comes to sculptural beauty and character — and it has a bonus culinary value. Native to the Southwest United States and Mexico, agaves typically thrive in climates similar to those found there:...
Great Design Plant: Hens-and-Chicks
Low-water landscapes filled with colorful succulents continue to surge in popularity as architects and nurseries discover extraordinary species and hybrids. Topping the list as one of the most popular are "hens-and-chicks," a common name given to two...
Great Design Plant: Blue Chalk Sticks
Heavy rains and prime growing conditions may be in the forecast for gardens across the country, to the delight of the gardeners everywhere. Yet every year, October still manages to be a season with devastating fires and drought for some parts...
Great Design Plant: Small but Mighty Agave Victoria-Reginae
Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae) is highly prized by gardeners throughout the U.S. Southwest and beyond for its beauty as well as its small size. Named after Queen Victoria, this long-lived agave is known for its ability to...
Make a Beautiful and Long-Lasting Driftwood Centerpiece
Colorful succulents tucked into a pretty piece of driftwood make for a long-lasting centerpiece that brings the beauty of nature indoors. To make this piece, I planted exotic succulents and tillandsias in a piece of driftwood I found on the beach in Washington....
Great Design Plant: Echinocactus Grusonii
At first glance, golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) looks like a green ball covered in yellow fuzz. Its round shape and yellow spines add a touch of warm color to the arid landscape. This cactus is extremely versatile and can be used...
Decorate the Landscape With Versatile Agave
Agave have a long history of being used as an accent plant in the landscape, where they attract attention wherever they are planted. With their succulent leaves reaching up toward the sky, agaves add a great spiky texture to the landscape. The ability...
Great Design Plant: Dasylirion Wheeleri
Often the most notable plants in the Southwestern landscape are those that have a distinct growth pattern. The spiky gray leaves of desert spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) have long been used by people throughout the U.S. Southwest for texture and color...
How to Spot a Drought-Tolerant Plant
Have you wondered why some plants can handle intense sun and infrequent watering while others wilt? With rapidly growing drought conditions through much of the U.S., the desire to add plants to the landscape that can handle hot and dry climates is on...
Meet the Mighty Saguaro of the Desert Landscape
Every classic Western movie worth its salt lick had a saguaro cactus stuck somewhere in the landscape, out yonder or sometimes in town, and then it was usually plopped in front of the saloon. They’re an iconic image, these giant, multiarmed...
Great Design Plant: Broadleaf Stonecrop (Sedum Spathulifolium)
Pacific Northwest native plants are generally thought of as lush, leafy and green, but in fact, there is a wide world of underutilized succulent plants — even cacti — that are native to our region. Sedum spathulifolium is one of the most widespread...
Great Design Plant: Beavertail Prickly Pear Wows With Color
Take a walk through the desert in spring or early summer, and you’ll halt at the sight of vivid magenta flowers bursting forth from this medium-size prickly pear. Beavertail prickly pear’s lack of long spines and presence of attractive gray-blue...
Planting Ideas: Life in the Crevices
If you are a plant collector, like I am, you will at some point come to the sobering conclusion that only a finite number of plants can be squeezed into each square foot of your garden space. Human nature dictates that you will try to fit more in anyway,...
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