Monday, January 12, 2015

Echeverias in My Drought-Tolerant Garden

I am not a natural-born gardener. In fact, it's safe to say that I have no gardening skills whatsoever. If a plant does happen to thrive in my garden, it's by the grace of God. So when we got rid of our lawn a few years ago, we realized that we would have to replace the lawn with some drought-tolerant plants. Where we live in California the temperature can reach 100°+ in the summer and 25°-30° in the winter. I needed hardy plants that could tolerate these extremes.

Although they are among my favorite succulents, Echeverias don't exactly fit the bill. They don't like the cold and must be covered up or brought inside, and yes we do bring down property values when we cover up our succulents with burlap.☺ Most of the varieties that I have are cold hardy to about 25°. The only Echeveria that I bring inside is 'Berkeley' simply because it's in a container, and even though it says it's cold hardy to 25°, it really didn't like 30°. The others are planted in the ground, or in the case of 'Perle von Nurnberg', in a container outside. You can see some bits of frost damage, particularly on 'Blue Sky' and 'Gibbiflora'.

They don't mind the heat, but they can't be subjected to full 100° sun for hours at a time. 'Dondo' and 'Golden Glow' are planted in full sun. They did get some sunburn over the summer, but fortunately I planted them at the end of August so they didn't have to endure summer heat for too long. We'll see how they hold up this summer.

Out of all of them, 'Topsy Turvy', 'Lila', and 'Perle von Nurnberg' seem to have weathered the worst of winter and summer. My favorites are 'Lila' and 'Perle von Nurnberg' because of their unusual color. Are they particular? Yes. However, these Echeverias have really grown on me and I can't wait to get some more.

Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy'
Echeveria 'Gibbiflora'
Echeveria 'Golden Glow'
Echeveria 'Dondo'
Echeveria 'Dusty Rose'

Echeveria 'Lila'

Echeveria 'Berkeley'
Echeveria 'Blue Sky'

Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg'

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