Succulents for large shallow terracotta pots in all-day sun

jenn(SoCal 9/19)October 17, 2011

I'm looking for sun/heat-loving, un-thirsty plants for 2 terracotta pots about 10" tall x 18" wide. Each pot sits on top of an old tree stump and relies on hand-watering for irrigation.

The stumps are surrounded by large perennials including Phormium, Lantana, Fescue, and creeping thyme.

I don't grow a lot of succulents and need tried-and-true plants that can take all-day hot sun in summer, rain in winter.

Also: What type of soil mix would be best in these conditions? I like the OSH cactus mix which has a lot of perlite and some compost. I have a couple of succulents that seem to be happy in it.

Thanks!

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cactusmcharris

Jenn,

Any of the New World Crassulaceae hybrids, like Pachyveria 'Elaine' or Graptoveria 'Opalina', would do well in that location. Hey, even better, Dudleyas - they would want no summer water, too, so you can sync its water needs with the winter rains.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 11:34PM
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lzrddr(91360)

I live in your climate and have lots of plants in similar pots... there are literally hundreds and hundreds of cacti that would do well in such pots, and dozens and dozens of Agaves and aloes, too. Many Euphorbias (hundreds). Some Crassulas (though I personally like to grow my Dudleyas, Graptoverias etc. in a tad more shade... though Graptoveria paraguayense would do OK there)... There are cycads and palms that would do well, too... but of course they're not succulents. Pachypodiums would do well, as would smaller Dasylirions, Yuccas and Xanthorrhoeas. Beaucarneas would be happy. You sure are not too limited.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 12:05AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

As pots become shallower, the more critical your soil choice becomes. Shallow pots are much more difficult to grow in because a soil that supports a 2" perched water table in a 2" deep pot will be 100% saturated after a thorough watering. Durable soils with particles all larger than about 1/10" make growing in shallow containers no more challenging than any other container because they eliminate perched water.




Al

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 3:14PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Perched water not so much a problem here, tapla. Where humidity is under 25% for months and months, nothing stays moist.

If you are willing to water, Calandrinia spectabilis is fabulous because of all the brilliant magenta flowers. You can usually find someone with a plant to get some cuttings. Mine stop blooming in summer because they get zero water, but bloom great for several months in spring.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 4:12PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Thank you all for the suggestions. My husband said the sprinklers in the area do provide a little spray to the pots, but not enough to keep a thirsty plant happy. Currently, the pots have red ivy geraniums. I read somewhere they are happiest in coastal conditions if growing in full sun, and we are not on the coast.

Beautiful, tapla! In the second picture, I can't believe so many plants of that size can grow in a container that shallow! I see the soil mix is mounted.

My containers are not that shallow -- perhaps I shouldn't have used that word. They're 10-12" deep and 18" wide, like big wide bowls.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:15AM
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cactusmcharris

Oh, like this?

Any of those plants there would do well for you where you are.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:23AM
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ssk22

Where does one find such small pieces of bark? The one I find is for orchids and are big chunks.they stay way too wet in my pots,even with the perlite added
Sharon

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:29AM
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cactusmcharris

Sharon,

I get those pieces of bark when I filter a bag of commercial C&S mix through 1/4" hardware cloth.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 11:51AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I buy it pre-screened 1/8-1/4" in 3 cu ft bags from an orchid supplier near Chicago, but it's packaged by Shasta Forest Products in Shasta, CA.

You have a supplier in OH somewhere up in the NE part of the state - near Sandusky I think. It's an orchid supplier. For some reason "Robert's Flower Supply" comes to mind. Try searching that phrase to locate it.

Al

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 9:40PM
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ssk22

Thanks Jeff
Thanks Al
I found the web site .it's in Columbia station,Ohio. I don't know where that's at but I can order on line.That place has everything you need for a plant mix.
Sharon

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 10:52PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Check prices - at least on the Turface and crushed granite if you're considering buying from them - they might be an extra middle man. Turface should be about $10-12/50 lbs & grower grit or #2 cherrystone about $6-7/50 lbs.

Best luck!

Al

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:09AM
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cactusmcharris

Sharon,

Road trip!

Al,

That cherry stone is like Cherry Garcia - both yumbolicious. I've got to inquire with the bonsai folks up here to see where they get their materials. If there's something closer than Vancouver that would be great. I'll do the international lugging if I have to ('Sir, your checked bag has nothing but rocks in it...'), but it's much preferable to not have to.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:49AM
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ssk22

Road trip for sure. It's about 40 miles give or take.the turface sells for 75 cents a pound..they are making a killing. I'll look around closer to Toledo area for it. Thanks for the help you guys.
Sharon

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 11:24AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

For Turface MVP or Allsport, try:

Century Equipment in Toledo (800) 346-0066

or

Natural Sand in Toledo (866) 867-0053

or

John Deere Landscapes in Holland (419) 867-1675

For crushed granite, try rural feed stores or grain elevators with farm stores that sell farm animal (chicken) feed. Ask for Gran-I-Grit in grower size or #2 cherrystone. The cherrystone (quartzite) is mined in New Ulm, MN and is more appealing to the eye than the Gran-I-Grit, though they're completely interchangeable. I know you can get the Cherrystone not too far over the MI border from you at Cutler-Dickerson Co in Adrian (517) 265-5191.

Can you tell I've done this before (helped)? ;-)

Good luck.

Al

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 1:17PM
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ssk22

Thanks Al,
I go to Toledo all the time. I am not too far from Woodville. I will call and check out the feed store. Thanks for your help.
Sharon

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 3:07PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Al

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 5:50PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Sharon,
For the grit, I buy Manna Pro Poultry Grit from Tractor Supply Co. Any other feed store should have it. Just make sure it's made from granite. A decent Turface substitute is NAPA floor dry #8822. If the price is the same, use the Turface.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:47PM
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ssk22

Whip1,
Ok ,thanks alot. Tractor supply is in my area,I also have a Napa store .

Sharon

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:33PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Al,
What is the first plant you have pictured? Is it a hen and chick?
Sharon,
No problem. Being in Ohio, I figured both stores were in your area.

Rob

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 6:41PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mmhmm - Sempervivum, aka hen & chicks - house leek



Al

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:11PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Al,
Your plants always amaze me. The last picture. Is there any soil, or are they growing in the wood?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 4:07AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

.... a depression in the wood soaked with mild fertilizer solution. I also have some growing on a rock in full sun - a great way to dwarf them if into that sort of thing. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:44AM
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kathi_mdgd

AlThose are al great plants,but i'm especially fond of the first one and the last one the most.Love those cute little froggies as well,looks like they are just setting there chatting.
TFS
Kathi

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 7:34PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)










Bye - thanks for looking!

Al

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:39PM
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ssk22

Al,
Love all the rocks and your buddies. Thanks for sharing
Sharon

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 11:25AM
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CorpsmanCooper(FL8b)

Tapla - I love your froggies! They're my favorite!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:17PM
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