If you have a gut feeling that something “different” is missing in your succulent garden, then it’s probably true. Some fat plant gardens aren’t just complete without certain outdoor succulent varieties.
Outdoor succulents are a perfect fit for busy gardeners who might not be able to devote much time to maintenance but equally want to enjoy their outdoor spaces. Not only are these plants low maintenance, but their quirky and unusual looks add that wow factor to your garden.
The following succulents are a must-have in any succulent garden.
The Ghost Plant— Graptopetalum Paraguayense
The ghost plant is one beautiful succulent with a mysterious past.
It’s a real survivor and can withstand the harsh outdoor weather conditions. Fortunately, there’s nothing ghostly with this succulent and was probably named so due to its grayish white leaves. Although the specie’s name denotes that this succulent comes from Paraguay, its real native home is Mexico.
The plant grows in neatly arranged rosettes of plump, pointed leaves almost resembling an Echeveria. The leaves are brittle and often fall off easily if disturbed. Graptopetalum paraguayense behaves like a chameleon. Its color is highly dependent on the amount of light it receives. When grown in partial shade, it’s gray-blue in color while in full sun, its color changes to pinkish gray or yellow.
The ghost plant blooms in spring or summer producing dainty star-shaped yellow flowers on the tips of the rosettes.
Growing a Graptopetalum is quite a snap. They only need well-draining soil, a bit of water and lots of sunshine. They’re cold hardy and can survive the worst frost.
They are easily propagated via beheading or leaf cuttings which bring forth buds a few weeks after they’re calloused. Ghost plants can be grown as cascade succulents or ground cover plants in your garden. Just don’t walk on them.
Hens and Chicks— Sempervivum Tectorum
Sempervivum tectorum, also known as houseleek hails from Europe where it is commonly grown on house roofs of cottages. Roofs of cottages? That’s right.
Apparently, folklore has it that hen and chicks planted on your roof will shield your home from fire, lightning as well as hold those roof slates together.
With such a history, hen and chicks would definitely perform pretty well when grown outdoors. Sempervivum grows in compact rosettes with fleshy, thick leaves which are often tinged with red color at the tips.
Blooming is quite rare in houseleeks, but when it happens, the flowers are small, scentless, yellow or pink in color which grow on a stalk emerging from the plant’s center. Once the plant blooms, the “hen” dies and fades away leaving plenty of chicks for its replacement.
Their native habitats are rocky and so they require soil with high draining capabilities. Commercial cacti mix fortified with perlite will get the job done. Any commercial perlite like this will get the job done. These sun lovers prefer full sun or partial shade. Hen and chicks are drought-resistant so avoid overwatering them to prevent root rot.
Propagation is simple. Just pluck out a chick, pot it and you’re done. (Check out our article for propagating successfully if you want to learn more). Hen and chicks forms a neat mat on the ground when grown outdoors.
Aeonium Kiwi— Aeonium Haworthii
Aeonium kiwi is an easy to grow succulent with a luscious look. It comes in different shades and may be chartreuse, cream or red. Also known as dream color or pinwheel, the kiwi succulent is quite showy with rosettes having fleshy, spoon shaped leaves awesomely colored. The leaves in the middle of the rosette are pale yellow progressively turning green on the outside. The edges are red making the plant drop dead gorgeous.
Aeonium kiwi can do well in the poorest of soils as long it has good drainage. Water deeply and let the soil to dry out before doing so again. They prefer growing in partial shade although they don’t mind some bright sun for a few hours.
Unlike most succulents, Aenium kiwi actively grows in winter and spring. They may go dormant during summer and you may recognize this once their leaves curl in. This is also the time they bloom by producing yellow flowers.
Mexican Rose— Echeveria Elegans
Echeveria elegans is a stemless, ever green perennial with fleshy gray blue leaves that grow closely forming neat, tight rosettes. As the plant grows, it forms a carpet effect by continuously producing new baby offsets.
Native to Mexico and central America, the Mexican rose blooms in spring producing slender stalks carrying pink flowers with yellow tips.
These cute plants prefer full sun or partial shade when grown outdoors. They form neat ground cover on gardens or landscapes. The soil needs to be well-draining to avoid problems related to damp soil. Water once a week or even less depending on the climate of your environment. Echeveria elegans stores water in it leaves and will quickly rot if given too much water.
Living Stone— Lithops
Lithops are tiny succulents that resemble pebbles and normally grow in arid areas. Native to Southern Africa, locals call them “sheep hooves” because of their hoof-like appearance.
Lithops don’t have a true stem. They’re composed of two concaved leaves which emanate from a tap root. The roots are longer than the actual plant and can grow six inches deep. They’re generally slow growers and may take some time to produce new leaves.
You know what that means? You can have them in cute small planter even a coffee mug works well for the initial growth.
They thrive on rocky soil with minimum organic matter. Lithops will quickly perish if overwatered as they’re adapted to arid conditions. They love bright sunlight and can still do well in partial shade. They’re dormant during summer so avoid watering during this time.
Propagation by leaf or stem cutting is impossible as they only have two leaves. The best way to get more plants is by growing lithops from seeds.
The Zebra Plant— Haworthia Fasciata
It’s a slow growing succulent, with erect, green leaves streaked in white resembling a Zebra. It is native to South Africa and literally thrives on neglect.
The zebra plant produces teensy, white or pink flowers that appear on a thin tall stem known as an inflorescence.
It blends perfectly well with other succulents when grown outdoors due to its undemanding nature. Well-draining soil, full sun and watering once a week and you’re good to go!
If you’re planning to have this zebra plant in your home there are tons of planters you can find like this modern planter here.
This is a popular, stemless and midsized perennial succulent, forming rosettes with its leaves growing in alternate layers. The leaves emanate from the center and are thick, fleshy and lanceolate. They contain a green gel which is medicinal and has a horde of other uses.
Growing an aloe vera is pretty straightforward. Only feed them water when the soil completely dries out. Use well-draining cacti mix to avoid damp soil. Aloe vera prefers bright sunlight and can endure the heat of summer.
Which one will you choose for your garden? Or how many of these do you already have for your garden? Let us know in the comments below which one is your favorite.
Personally, you can never go wrong with any aloe vera plant, just look at that mesmerizing growth they have above! Anyways, share with your fellow succulent garden lovers and don’t forget, happy planting!