When it comes to adding a pop of color and texture to your outdoor space, the best succulents for outdoors can make all the difference.
Succulents are a really good choice for outdoor landscaping, because they’re hardy and they come in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Not only that, but these low-maintenance plants require minimal care and can be grown in several different climates.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best succulents for outdoors to add a touch of character and curb appeal to your garden.
What Are Succulents?
Succulents are a type of plant that store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. This allows them to survive in arid climates, making them a great addition to outdoor landscapes in hot, dry regions.
Some varieties can even survive in cold climates, tolerating both frost and snow!
Succulents come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes and can be used in a variety of ways to add texture and interest to your outdoor space.
Some popular types of succulents include agave, aloe, cactus, jade, and sedum.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to the world of succulents, incorporating these hardy plants into your outdoor decor can help create a stunning and low-maintenance landscape.
Top Benefits of Adding Succulents to Your Outdoor Space
If you’re looking for new plants to liven up your outdoor spaces, here are the top benefits of adding different types of succulents to your landscaping:
1. Drought tolerance
Succulents are desert plants and have evolved to store water in their leaves and stems. This means they can thrive in hot and dry conditions, making them perfect for areas with water restrictions.
Succulents come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making it easy to find the perfect plant for your landscape design. From small rosette-shaped plants to tall, spiky varieties, there’s a succulent for every outdoor space.
3. Low maintenance
Succulents are easy to care for and require minimal watering and pruning. They’re also resistant to pests and diseases, making them a great choice for busy gardeners.
4. Year-round interest
Unlike some plants that only bloom for a short period of time, succulents offer year-round interest with their unique shapes and textures. They also produce stunning flowers in a range of colors.
5. Sustainable landscaping
With the growing trend towards sustainable landscaping, succulents are a great option as they require minimal water and can thrive in harsh environments.
Succulents are also great for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Best Succulent Varieties for Outdoor Landscapes
When it comes to selecting the best succulent varieties for your outdoor landscape, there are plenty of options to choose from.
From stunning flower-like blooms to unique textures and colors, these versatile plants offer a range of possibilities for enhancing your outdoor space.
This is a popular succulent variety that is known for its spiky leaves and impressive size. This hardy plant is perfect for outdoor landscapes, as it thrives in hot and dry conditions.
It’s a succulent perennial that grows in a rosette shape and can reach up to 2.5 feet in both height and width! The leaves of the agave are broad, thin and have white-bluish lepidote scales on the surfaces.
They produce yellow flowers from a central stalk and can be grown well in both full and partial sun.
This versatile succulent comes in a variety of colors and shapes. These plants are known for their striking rosette-like structures and soft, plump leaves.
Echeveria is perfect for adding texture and depth to your outdoor landscape, and they look great in containers or planted directly in the ground.
This is a species of succulent plant known by many common names, including Pencil Tree, Milkbush, and Firestick Plant.
The plant is renowned for its unique, pencil-shaped stems, which are armed with sharp spines. It has small yellow flowers in the spring, which are followed by round, red fruits.
This is a popular succulent variety that you are probably familiar with. It’s known for its medicinal properties as well as its unique appearance.
This plant has spiky leaves that can grow up to several feet tall, and it produces stunning orange or yellow flowers.
Aloe is perfect for adding height and drama to your outdoor landscape, and it can also be grown in containers.
Best Succulents for Cold Weather
If you live in a region with harsh winters, you’ll need to choose the right succulent varieties that can withstand freezing temperatures. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep your succulents potted so you can bring them in during the winter months.
Here are some of the best cold-hardy succulents:
Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)
This low-growing succulent forms rosettes of fleshy leaves that turn a beautiful shade of red in winter. It’s extremely cold-hardy and can survive temperatures as low as -30°F.
The name “Hens and Chicks” comes from the fact that the plant produces small offsets (“chicks”) that grow around the larger mother plant (the “hen”). These can tolerate temperatures from -20 to 95 degrees.
There are hundreds of different varieties of Sedum, but most are drought-tolerant and can handle cold temperatures. Their foliage ranges from green to purple, and they produce colorful flowers in summer and fall.
Pine Cone Plant (Sedum sarmentosum)
This hardy succulent spreads quickly. The leaves sprout on thick trailing stems and are small, round, or pointed, and look similar to pine cones. The leaves have a thick, leathery texture and are glossy green in color.
The flowers are yellow-green and appear in clusters. It’s able to tolerate freezing temperatures and can be grown in containers or in the ground.
The plant has a rosette form and features green or reddish, succulent leaves that are covered with fine web-like fibers similar to a spider’s webs. This earns the species its common name of cobweb houseleek.
The plant produces small, star-shaped flowers that range in color from light pink to deep red and bloom during the summer months. It’s cold-hardy and can grow in rocky or sandy soil.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera truncate)
Unlike most succulents, the Christmas cactus prefers cool temperatures and blooms in the winter. Its flat, segmented leaves store water, making it drought-tolerant. Christmas Cactus is best known for its distinct flowers, which bloom from November-April.
It has flat and wide scalloped leaves that are light green and produce bell-shaped, pink, white, or red flowers, depending on the variety.
When you choose succulents for cold weather, always consider their natural habitat. Look for plants that grow in mountainous or arctic regions. They’ll be more likely to be able to survive freezing temperatures.
Plant them in well-draining soil and provide plenty of sunlight to help your outdoor succulents thrive even in colder weather.
Tips for Planting and Caring for Succulents Outdoors
Succulents are known for being low-maintenance, making them an excellent choice for outdoor spaces. Here are some tips to help you plant and care for succulents in your garden:
1. Choose the Right Location:
Succulents need plenty of sunlight to thrive, so choose a location that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Not all succulents like full sun and may need at least partial shade during the day. Make sure that the area has well-draining soil, as succulents don’t do well in soggy conditions.
2. Prepare the Soil:
Use a well-draining soil mix to plant your succulents in. You can either purchase a premixed soil or create your own by mixing sand, gravel, and a succulent potting mix. Succulents like a more gritty soil, so be sure you get the right kind. Your garden center can help you find it.
Succulents do not require frequent watering as they store water in their leaves, but it’s important to water them deeply and thoroughly when you do water. It’s best to water succulents in the morning to allow the water to evaporate and avoid rot.
As a rule of thumb, succulents do not require frequent fertilizing but can benefit from a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season.
Remove dead leaves or stems to prevent disease and pests from taking over. Keep an eye out for any pests such as spider mites or mealybugs, and treat with an organic pesticide if needed.
With these tips in mind, your succulent garden is sure to thrive in your outdoor space.
Creative Ways to Incorporate Succulents into Your Outdoor Decor
Succulents are incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into outdoor decor in numerous creative ways.
Here are a few ideas to get you started from the container plant option done in a variety of ways to planting in the ground:
Install wall planters and fill them with an array of succulents. You can create patterns, layer the succulents, and experiment with different colors and textures to create a striking display.
A hanging basket filled with succulents is a great way to add color and texture to a vertical space. You can hang them from pergolas, balconies, or even from tree branches. Just make sure the baskets have drainage holes so the water can escape.
If you want to plant succulents whose native habitats have a much different climate than yours, consider pots. Planting in terracotta pots allows you to move them inside in the winter.
Another reason you may want to opt for potted succulents is that they don’t need much water, so if you live somewhere it rains a lot, you might want to be able to move them inside or out of the rain when necessary.
They shouldn’t be watered until they have dry soil, and frequent rain can be too much for them. You can still create a beautiful outdoor succulent garden with potted succulents.
Create a miniature garden filled with succulents and small fairy figurines. You can add tiny accessories like benches, bridges, and even tiny houses to complete the whimsical look.
Remember, when you’re incorporating succulents into your outdoor landscaping, it’s important to make sure they have adequate drainage and are planted in the appropriate soil.
You can also experiment with different pot materials like ceramic, terracotta, and even recycled containers to add a unique touch to your succulent displays.
How to Transplant Outdoor Succulents to a New Location
If you are moving your outdoor succulents to a new location, it’s important to know the proper way to transplant them to make sure they’ll survive.
Here are some helpful tips to follow when moving your succulents to a new spot:
1. Choose the Right Time:
The best time to transplant succulents is during the growing season, which is typically in the spring and summer months. This will allow the plant to adjust to its new environment before going dormant during the winter.
2. Prepare the New Site:
Make sure the new location has the proper drainage and bright light needed for the specific type of succulent you are planting.
3. Dig a Proper Hole:
Dig a hole that is the same depth as the current pot and twice as wide to allow room for the roots to spread out. Make sure to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to make sure they have good drainage. If you have poor soil like clay soil or depleted soil that won’t drain, you may need to consider replacing it in your garden bed where you’ll be planting if you want your succulents to survive.
4. Remove the Succulent Carefully:
Carefully remove the succulent from its current pot by tipping it upside down and tapping the bottom of the pot. If the plant is rooted tightly, you may need to use a small tool to loosen the soil from the pot.
5. Check the Roots:
Once you remove the succulent, check its roots for any damage or signs of rot. If you notice any issues, trim the damaged roots before planting.
6. Place the Succulent in the Hole:
Place the succulent in the new hole and fill the hole with soil, making sure to press the soil down gently to make sure it has good contact with the roots.
7. Water the Plant:
After transplanting, give the succulent a good soak to help it settle into its new environment. From then on, only water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch.
Incorporating succulents into your outdoor space is an excellent way to add color, texture, and beauty to your landscape.
These versatile plants are perfect for beginners and seasoned gardeners alike, as they are low-maintenance, drought-resistant, and come in a variety of stunning varieties.
Whether you’re looking to plant succulents in containers or incorporate them into your landscape design, these plants are sure to thrive and enhance the natural beauty of your outdoor space.
With proper care and attention, your succulents will continue to flourish for years to come.
Go ahead and head to your local garden center and grabs some outdoor succulent plants so you can start planning your perfect succulent garden today!
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