01 May 5 FLOWERING SUCCULENTS THAT ADD COLOR TO YOUR GARDEN
LOOKING FOR COLORFUL SUCCULENTS? TRY THESE 5 FLOWERING SUCCULENTS:
The leaves alone on succulent plants are more than enough to make us a convert — after all, many have rosette forms, unbelievable color, and often unusual textures. But add flowers to all that lusciousness? Makes us swoon. And these aren’t just any flowers — blooms on succulents often have electric hues and dramatic shapes as well. Ready to add some over-the-top blooming succulent goodness to your garden? Here are our favorite five!
P.S. Just when we think we’ve found colors that shouldn’t be used together, we find a succulent that flaunts them. Dusty rose and electric orange? Purple-gray and shocking yellow? Never underestimate Mother Nature.
5 Flowering Succulents
1. Echevaria ‘Perle von Nurnberg: The leaves are rosettes of gray-brown tinged with deep pink, but when this one blooms — holy cow! Footlong reddish stems with bright coral flowers create some of the most stunning succulent blooms around, brightening up container plantings and rock gardens. Give it full to part sun, well-drained soil, and occasional water. USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11 (zones below 9 can grow it as an annual or simply give it winter protection).
2. Mammillaria crinita: Also called Pincushion cactus, this drought-tolerant plant has a globe shape with lots of prickly spines, so beware when handling! Blooms appear in the summer and are a deep pinkish red, often covering the surface of the cacti. Other varieties offer pale yellow blooms that are equally gorgeous. Pincushion cactus needs full sun to part shade, very well-drained soil and occasional water. USDA Hardiness Zones 9-10b.
3. Delosperma cooperi: Just call it “ice plant” and you’re good to go, especially if you want a trailing succulent with neon pink daisylike flowers. The leaves are somewhat small, narrow, and fleshy, with an exuberant tumble of pink blooms that seem to never end. I love this one in container plantings, as a groundcover, or spilling over walls. Full sun, well-drained soil, and occasional watering are all this plant needs. USDA Hardiness Zones 5-10.
4. Kalanchoe delagoensis: Refer to this plant as “chandelier plant” and most succulent-lovers will know what you’re talking about. Tubular, grey-green leaves have dark purple blotches and hanging, trumpet-shaped flowers in bright red to orange. It’s so unusual and dramatic that many people believe it’s worth a bit of risk, as it can be invasive if not kept under control and contains toxins that can cause digestive issues to animals. It prefers full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil and occasional water. USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11.
5. Euphorbia milii: Crown of Thorns is a surprisingly easy-to-grow plant that reaches about 24” high over many years, has medium green leaves, and nearly nonstop red flowers (although it also blooms in pink, yellow, orange, and white). And yes, it does have thorns, so you’ll have to use care when planting or maintaining it. A gardening friend of ours said his has bloomed every single day for years — and for that reason alone, it’s earned a spot on this list. Full sun, well-drained soil, and occasional but regular water are all that’s necessary to keep it happy. USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11.
• All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.
• Succulents are exceptionally drought tolerant once established.
• Many succulents are surprisingly cold-hardy, while others fizzle out when the mercury dips below 40°. Be sure you know which ones you have!
• You’d think that all succulents thrive in full sun, but, alas — you’d be wrong. If you live in an area of strong, hot sun, most succulents will appreciate a bit of afternoon shade.
• Some succulents have perfectly easy common names like “ice plant” and “pincushion cactus,” while others have only their unpronounceable botanical Latin names. I know it’s confusing. When in doubt, use the botanical Latin name to make sure you’re getting the plant you want.