Succulents & drought/heat tolerant plants for pots

agility_mom(z9 AZ)March 27, 2014

I have several colorful ceramic pots of various sizes and thought it would be fun to finally fill them with plants. Since I have a garden and a lot of fruiting trees and bushes to care for, I thought it would be good to have easy care and low water use type plants to put in them.
I know that Grant is a pro at this and has beautiful plants in pots. So, Grant and anyone else that has favorite plants that fit this category, please give me some ideas.
We have full sun and part sun locations where I can put them. Mostly, it would be good if they were able to take some sun though.
Thanks in advance!

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hah, well, I don't know if I'd call myself a pro, but I AM addicted to pots and plants in them, LOL. Last time my mom visited she stopped counting potted plants on my little patio at 300 pots, lol. I guess I've gotten a bit out of control, but like you mentioned, when they're heat and desert adapted they're not much work to keep happy. I travel several times a year for 3-10 days at a time for work and pleasure so things need to be able to survive without me for that long or longer, even when I have a house sitter I don't ask them to water my plants. Fluffy stuff like geraniums and pansies are fine for that long in winter, and I reduce the number of fluffy flowery things in summer and usually plunge those into a deep plastic tub (thank you Ikea) with several inches of water. Anyway, most 90% of my pots are filled with cacti and succulents for easy maintenance.

Here are some quick, sloppy recent pics of my patio, which faces due south with half covered and half uncovered:

Off the top of my head, succulent plants for shade or partial shade here are some easy winners: Haworthias, Gasterias (especially!), crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii), Kalanchoe, Stapelia, and many types of aloes (good ol' Aloe vera is a great container plant).

For more sun, some good succulent plants are lots of smaller growing cacti (Mammilaria elongata, Notocactus, Cleistocactus (tall growing), mini agaves, Stapelia, some aloes (although not full hot burning sun all day in summer), and the chubby/fat types of Euphorbia (E. anopla, E. cereiformis, E. horrida and friends). I also have fantastic luck with slipper plants (Pedilanthus) in containers in half a day's sun.

For non succulent plants I do love amaryllis (Hippeastrum) and Asparagus ferns, and spider plants (Chlorophytum) are surprisingly drought tolerant.

I'm sure other folks will chime in with lots of ideas. Let us know what you select and how it works out. Happy gardening! Grant

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:22PM
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violetwest

lovely!

I might mention that the April edition of Sunset magazine has a special section on container planting.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:55PM
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agility_mom(z9 AZ)

Grant, everything is beautiful. I especially like the pot on the column.
I have got my list made and am ready to head to the nurseries. Thank you so much.

I picked up a Calandrinia Spectabilis that caught my eye so I hope that does ok.

Violet, I already checked Lowes for the Sunset magazine you mention but they were out so I will keep looking.
Wouldn't you know, I have subscribed to it for years and just dropped it. So now they have something I need to see. Isn't that the way it goes :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:53PM
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