People in 9b/So Cal-- I have a few questions about your crassulas

chloeashaOctober 5, 2013

(As well as a few other plants :) ). This summer we may be moving to a place with a really similar climate and soil type to Riverside County. I had a few practical questions about your Crassulas-- ovata and arborescens, as well as Graptopetalum paraguayense and Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi.

I have these and few other things I was thinking to take with me and set free outside in the ground. The climate is Mediterranean-- with about 14-19 inches of rain depending on if there is a drought or not. So no summer rains. Soil is alkaline silty clay (7.9) and sun is a similar latitude as you guys have. Freezes are rare but do occur, usually only lasting a few hours over night when they do happen. Jacarandas, bougainvillea, agave americanas, olives, figs, citrus, pomegranates, and jasmines all do well without supplemental watering or frost issues. Dates, euphorbias, and other frost-tender things don't seem to live in the area. So it must occasionally freeze enough to keep those from being grown.

I was curious as to how much you need to supplementally water these guys. Do they need quite a bit of water during the summer? Temps-wise they top out in the low 90s, with nights in the 60s during the height of summer. I was also wondering if you have freeze issues. I see they should be hardy to 25*F, but I am guessing that still means killing off the flowers and such for the winter bloomers?


This post was edited by julianna on Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 17:53

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Juliana, I have no clue what those things are, and I'm not going to take hours to look them up.

I live in Riverside county Zone 9a or Sunset 19. I didn't know Riverside County had a zone 9b.

You might get more answers if you give us the common names of the plants you want watering info on.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 4:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hmm for some reason I thought there was a 9b spot in there :) Well it still works though for advice. I am not sure of what some of the common names are. Crassula ovata is a jade, Crassula aborescens is the blue-ish larger jade.. Silver dollar plant maybe? Graptopetalum paraguayense is ghost plant. I don't know what Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is for a common name. I think the rest are also in common name even if also botanical name?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can't bring them into CA. Research the CA gov't website on importing plant material. Most likely they will be taken from you at the border and never to be seen again.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, but they aren't going to CA. They are going to a similar place. Totally different country. The import is worked out.

This post was edited by julianna on Sat, Oct 5, 13 at 18:16

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Jade grows anywhere! No problem! It's a succulent, and will love your zone!


Thanks for the common names!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Suzi! Do you have to water it a lot? They don't get extra water there really, so irrigation is really limited to important plants. I feel like these are important :) We want to do mostly edibles, but I do have a few ornamentals like these that I think would do pretty well as long as I can manage the water. I have a few annuals I'm thinking to bring seed for as well-- like zinnias, nasturtiums, and marigolds. I think those will need watering for sure, but iirc, nasturtiums do well in that kind of climate in winter.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Jade doesn't need a lot of water! You can bring a leaf in your sock to So CA, plant the leaf and it will grow!

Nasturtiums rock! They are edible and beautiful! And they thrive here!

Where is it you are moving to? 9B has to be San Diego county somewhere... right?

9a is Riverside county mostly. We struggle with the tropicals, but Jade is no problem! I'm trying Macadamia and Avocado, but 9b is best for those!

Interesting your love for jade. My late mother in law brought some leaves in her suitcase from Japan, planted them, and they thrived!


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh that's good about the watering :)

Well it's a different country, and I've attached a map below. It's the upper NW corner of Jordan which is in the medium orange bottle-shape climate blob on the map lol. The average lows are kind of general though, and I know they get into the 30s in the village area we're looking at.

Since there aren't any gardening groups for there and since people really don't keep much in the way of ornamentals in addition to the lack of nurseries, it's like kind of being on a desert island and thinking about what you want to bring. All my experience with CA has mostly been in Orange County, so I know this is a bit different and cooler.

Cool about your MIL bringing her beloved plant. My great grandma brought over a Christmas cactus from Germany in 1915. Haha!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Loved the map! We have a vineyard where wine grapes don't grow, and I researched hard and found many heat loving wine grapes that thrive in wind, rocks and heat!

They are monster vines!

There is an apple, bred in Israel. Anna! Plant a couple of those, and you will be happy for the rest of your life!

We have one Anna, and not one person has ever thumbs down. They always say, "This is the BEST apple I ever had," and wait till you taste it in a pie!

I know, it's not jade, but jade is ornamental. Anna is LIFE! Remember Adam and Eve and that apple tree? You could tempt a snake with a pie from that apple! LOL


    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We definitely have lots of plans for edibles and hope to grow most of our own food. Having the year-round growing season will be nice too, and it will be easier to go on a more season diet. I wonder if they have Anna there. His area never grows apples because they didn't have the cool hours. I'll definitely be on the lookout for that!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sounds like you will have more water than in Riverside, but lower winter temps. If it's not too far below freezing, your succulents should be okay. A little supplemental water in the summer will help, too. When you get them in the ground, mulch will help keep the soil from drying out. Pebbles can be a good mulch around succulents. If you want to try citrus, stick with Kumquats. They are more frost hardy than other citrus.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was asking my husband and he said it can go 5 years without a freeze, but not 10 years, and the record lows they have are 0-5*C (32-41*F), and that it's never gotten below 0*C that he or anyone else remembers(so 32*F). He said usually the lowest winter temps most years is about 45*F at night. Days are always in the mid 60s-70s*F in the winter.

As far as citrus, they have no problems with any of them. Lots of lemons, oranges, grapefruits, kumquats, clementines, and others in most yards.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Huh. So looking at the USDA map and the sunset zones, it looks like it's closest to a USDA 10a or Sunset 23/24? So maybe it's actually much warmer than I thought. I don't know why, but I had it in my mind that 10a was minimums of 35-40, not 30-35.

When he said they weren't growing date palms, but they were 20 miles south in the city, I had figured it was a temperature issue. Maybe it's a water issue and the city is irrigating. An ah-ha moment has occurred! I also saw people with really mature Euphorbias there, and again, maybe it's simply about the water. In the small towns everyone lives off rainwater collection-- so it would make sense that they are sticking with things they don't need to water much. Also, without a culture of gardening, I imagine things just don't spread in the same way they do for people who do like to grow and seek out interesting plants.

See? you all got my wheels turning. Thanks!

This post was edited by julianna on Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 17:16

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I would say the grapto and kalanchoe are going to need afternoon shade or all-day dappled. They would fry in all-day sun.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 1:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK, awesome hoovb! That helps for sure. So maybe a north side of the house or under trees kind of thing.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Julianna,nobody in California gardens on only rainwater but the most hardcore nativist. ..and Dates do fine in Riverside..just might not get the blazing heat of the Deserts where they are grown COMMERCIALLY. As ornamentals? they live for more then a century and hit 60' tall in inland soucal.
Riverside has nice winters (68f),very warm summers....what grows at the Huntington does the same in Riverside.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting! Yeah, I had figured everyone irrigated to some extent, so I thought if I could find out approximately how much watering was going on with some plants, it would give me an idea as to if I would need to water at all. After poking around, it seems like MAYBE San Juan Capistrano matches the climate a bit better. SJC has hotter summers and seems to be cooler in the winter for longer, but the lowest min seems to hit the right spot, and it has about half the rainfall of NW Jordan.

And yes, I figured out the dates thing was about the water not the temps! Nothing to be done about that since it's rainwater-only that's available, so that's OK, although I was curious as to if the Canary Island Date would be better since the islands have a really similar amount of rainfall. Then again, maybe everyone grows Medjool there and other oasis ones because they make better fruit.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

julianna, I grow Graptopetalum paraguayense, Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi, Crassula ovata and aborescens here, near the north east coast of Crete. That's the pale orange half of the island on your useful map. None of them seem to mind if they are in full sun, or mainly shade. They are easycare here. I only water the ones in pots about once a month. I have never watered the ones planted in the garden.
The only problem I have had with them is when we get hailstones. That marks the leaves and takes a long time to grow out.

Do you have a copy of The Dry Gardening Handbook by Oliver Filippi?
It is very useful if you have no recourse to summer water.
Can I also suggest that you look in at The Mediterranean Gardening Society's website?
It is open to anyone who gardens in a mediterranean (with a small m) climate garden worldwide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mediterranean Gardening Society

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 1:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


First, so happy to hear from you and your experiences!

So your small m comment got me looking and it seems like American editors and rulebooks differ on the usage of small m from one to another. Some say it applies to every mediterranean climate outside the Mediterranean Sea area, and some say it refers to anything landlocked with that climate. Still others disagree and say if your climate is based on that sea then you can use the capital whereas everyone else must use a lowercase m. Just an interesting aside I had never considered before. Thank you!

Thank you for the suggestions! I have not seen that book before and I am going to have to check it out. There is another book I want to interlibrary loan to see if it is worth purchasing called "Gardening in the Middle East." I fear it may have more to do with the desert, so I want to look at it first.

Oh, the hail. Yes, that happens in NW Jordan as well.

This information has given me some great direction. I will be taking a look!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Sorry Julianna, I just realised, you mentioned euphorbias as well. Euphorbia characias and Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii grow wild all over Crete without watering, so I am sure they will grow for you too. They can take a frost without any problem.
I don't grow them in my garden, as they are all along the roadside here. I do grow Euphorbia myrsinitis though.
This little succulent, is so useful for trailing over the edges of walls or paths.
Sorry, it is not a close up photo of it.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 1:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, lovely! Do you water that geranium? I was thinking about them the other day, as I know they are natives to the general climate area, although not to Jordan and I believe they take a bit more rainfall.

I would love to see more of your garden. it looks very inspiring! Your use of ceramics is great. I was considering getting some myself. They sell them in giant piles in Jordan along the sides of roads.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Daisy-- I checked out the Dry Gardening Handbook and it is wonderful! Thank you for the suggestion. According to it, this area of Jordan may be on the 4/5 border of drought tolerance since everything in this area is a 5 except oleanders which do not need any watering.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 4:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
daisyincrete Z10? 905feet/275 metres

Julianna, I have a very small garden here. Small enough to hand water. So that geranium, along with the rest of the garden, gets watered with the hose once a fortnight in summer. The geraniums in pots get watered once a week.

Most of my pots are in front of the house alongside the village road. they all get watered once a week, except for the succulents, which I water once every 4 to 6 weeks.

My garden is at the rear of the house. I have lots of photos of it if you would like to see some. But I think I had better put them on a separate thread, as I know I get carried away, and not everybody will want to trawl through them!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ohh sure! I would love to see more! it's very beautiful. Everything looks so healthy. Watering by hand does allow you to give things that individual attention!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd love to see them as well.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What's the deal with milkweed
When is a good time to locate seeds or starts for milkweed?...
So Cal - TOP 3 Tomatoes
If you live in Southern California, and you could plant...
Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)
Please Help Save the Monarch Butterflies
I posted this info to the Butterfly Garden Forum, but...
Shade cloth for tomatoes in San Fernando Valley
We have another couple of scorching days in So Cal...
One positive to the drought..
When I do water? TONS of water pressure!..never seen...
Sponsored Products
Cayenne Double Gourd Table Lamp
$99.99 | Lamps Plus
Backyard X-Scapes Mahogany Bamboo Slats - 25 Pack - BS03
$104.99 | Hayneedle
Poinciana Orange Cadiz Bistro Table
Cost Plus World Market
Plant & Grow Geometric Hanging Terrariums
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
Florence Style Loft Right-Arm Leather Sectional Sofa in White
$1,499.00 | LexMod
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Accent Rug: Artistic Weavers Rugs Trondheim Wasabi
$50.97 | Home Depot
Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Bath & Shower Gel
$29.00 | FRONTGATE
Addison Park Dorian Bronze Wall Lantern
$109.90 | Bellacor
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™