Succulents are sun-loving plants that prefer 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 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 spikes well away from people!
What to grow
There are many different succulents available. Visit our 'Plants for Auckland' database for the best succulents to grow in Auckland. For further suggestions, download our Best succulents for Auckland brochure.
How to plant
- Choose a sunny site with good drainage to prevent plants rotting over the winter months. The addition of coarse sand can improve drainage.
- 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 suppress weeds, keep roots cool and transfer heat back to the plants.
How to grow
- Most succulents require little to no regular maintenance. Remove old leaves and flower spikes to keep the plant looking attractive.
- Some succulents, such as agaves, die after flowering. The dead plants 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)