Monday, 15 August 2016

Designing a landscape with succulents

Nearly all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti. Succulent plants store water in their fleshy leaves. In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents or sometimes fat plants, are plants that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. The word "succulent" comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap. Succulent plants may store water in various structures, such as leaves or stems.

 Watering restrictions and high maintenance costs are driving the trend towards low-water, low-maintenance gardens. Succulents are a great choice for drought-resistant gardens because they can withstand infrequent watering and extended dry spells. There's also no shortage of design possibilities since these plants come in all sorts of interesting forms, colors, and textures.

Succulents planted in a desert theme is the best example of a plant it and forget it garden. Here are a few things you need to know about how to design your succulent garden.

• Succulents need soil that has good drainage. Soil depth depends a lot on the size of the succulents you intend to plant, but a depth of 12 to 18 inches should be sufficient since these plants tend to have shallow root systems.
• If your soil is compacted or full of clay, it is imperative to add plenty of organic material such as compost. If you aren't sure how well your soil drains, you can check by digging a one-foot deep hole and filling it with water. If the water drains in thirty minutes or less, your soil is porous enough for growing succulents. If it's not, you will need to add organic material and check for drainage using the same method in another spot.
• When designing a landscape with succulents, it is essential to remember that less is more. Too many varieties crowded together can give the garden a confusing look.
• Succulents thrive in arid conditions and are quite hardy once established. However, they do need ample moisture, especially during the growing season.
• Do not over water the plants as they will rot.
• Create vertical interest. Include only one or two large specimens with tree-like form and add a few medium-height plants for balance.
• Succulent gardens need to be designed along with by boulders, rocks, pebbles, and gravel that provide the back drop for cacti and other succulent plants.
• Do not just plant a single variety. Mix a few varieties and add repetition to create interest. The human eye is attracted to contrast or focal points. In a succulent garden, this could be accomplished by grouping several highly coloured plants together.
• Create contrasts. For drama, play up contrasting hues where possible.
• Naturally sloping landscapes are ideal for succulent gardens since they provide good drainage.
• Gravel is often used as mulch which covers the space between plants, and it's available in different sizes and warm hues that will suit any color scheme.
• Adding walkways through your landscape can help you enjoy the garden fully. Paths allow you to take a closer look at individual plants as well as perform occasional maintenance.
• most succulents slow down in winters. Make sure your succulent garden gets enough sun during winters.
• In case of severe winters, there are other ways to incorporate succulents into the landscape to provide year round interest. Some wonderful effects can be achieved by planting succulents in pots. Just ensure that there are enough drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.




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