Here at Stanley’s we often call on Knoxville-based author and plant expert John Tullock to lead our free educational workshops and seminars. One of his most popular seminars is always on succulents, a class of plants that stores water in its thick leaves. Here are some of the reasons John believes that succulents are the best plants for your home and garden:
Succulents are easy to grow and do not require as much attention as other plants
Hardy and tropical varieties are available
Succulents are tough and adapt easily as outdoor garden plants
Many varieties produce interesting and attractive flowers
Their growth habits, from trees to vines, give a wide range of design possibilities
What are the differences between the popular cactus plant family and other succulents?
All cacti have papillae (protrusions, can be sharp) with spines.
Cacti are native only in the New World
Most species of cacti need night and winter cold in order to bloom
Cactus blooms can be spectacular
In order for a succulent to thrive it needs:
A fast-draining soil or growing medium
Fertilization in the spring for outdoor plants
Fertilization after moving indoor plants to an outside location in the spring
Dry, cool, shady winter conditions without plant food for most cacti to bloom the following season
Tropical varieties need warm, sunny conditions and a minimum temperature of 35 degrees.
Some popular and hardy succulents include:
Sedum ternatum (native to Tennessee)
Sedum spurrium (many varieties)
Sedum sieboldii (October daphne)
Sempervivum (many varieties)
Some popular tropical succulents to grow include: