Succulents are sun loving plants that love free draining soil and thrive in areas with low rainfall. Succulents can range in size from very small to very large. Their leaves are often silver or grey in colour and full of moisture.

The architectural form of many succulents gives a distinctive garden style with relatively little maintenance. Small succulents like echeverias can be incorporated into rockery plantings, put in pots and used in plantings on green roofs. Large succulents, like aloes or agaves, are better suited to large gardens. However, keep those with spikes well away from people!

What to grow 
There are many different succulents to choose from. Visit our 'Plants for Auckland' database for the easiest succulents to grow in Auckland. 

How to plant

  • Choose a sunny site with very good drainage to prevent plants rotting off over the winter months. Drainage can be improved by the addition of coarse sand.
  • Succulents are best planted in spring or summer when the ground is warm and not too wet.
  • Always plant at the same depth as they are in the container.
  • Select your site carefully as some large succulents are very difficult to move once they get large.
  • Add a layer of gravel mulch to help keep the roots cool and reflect heat back to the plants along with suppressing weeds.

How to grow

  • Most succulents require little to no regular maintenance, other than maybe the removal of old leaves and old flower spikes.
  • Some succulents such as agaves die after flowering. These should be removed allowing young pups (new plants that emerge around the base of the mother plant) to take their place.
  • Rosette-forming succulents, including many echeverias and some aloes, can be divided. 

Top image: Dune aloe (Aloe thraskii)