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best succulent groundcover?

Posted by sjpoolowner 9 (Northern CA) (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 10, 10 at 17:30

Hi all,

I recently became very interested in succulents and am planning to get rid of my lawn and plant succulents instead.

My first project would be planting groundcover succulents around the tree in front of my house. Can anyone recommend hardy, low-maintenance succulents that can be planted? I've read about ice plants but would like to know some more options.

I'm really new to gardening and can't actually spend much time on it, so low maintenance is really important to me :-)

Would appreciate any help. I live in San Jose (zone 9). Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: best succulent groundcover?

hi from Georgia,
It would be fantastic to make your yard a tapestry of different sedum and ice plant. There are hundreds to pick from and I would imagine that most would be hardy in your area given proper drainage. Some are more tolerant of foot traffic than others and you can mix all sorts of other things too. Oh I would have a field day if I could do that here.
Most succulents like full sun - what type of tree were you thinking of planting under?


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

Hi. Thanks for the response. We've just planted a ginkgo tree so we won't have shading issue for a while.

I've heard ice plants are very invasive so it may not be a good choice although they are actually popular and attractive. Wondering if there are any that can be used for ground cover and not so invasive.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

You'd likely do better dealing in Latin botanical names'cause personally, in my part of the country, Ice Plant can mean 3 different plants.

Tho' I realize you wish it to be low maintenance, it sounds like you really want NO maintenance.

I'm not sure replacing lawn for succulents will be that at all, especially if one knows little or nothing abt gardening.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

There are many small leaved sedum that spread pretty good and tolerate some shade and look good with pretty much no maintenance...the only maintenance would be removing it from where you didn't want it to spread. One sedum of this type that I have is blue, but I have no idea of the name of the variety. I'm near you in Los Altos. I'm sure if you went to a SummerWinds nursery they would have various flats of sedums to look at.
There are many ice plant types, both large leaved and the small leaved types, and the small leaved types are very nice when they flower, almost blinding, but they don't flower for long and they prefer maximum sun.
Another low maintenance option would be ornamental grasses instead of the lawn. There are many varieties that look real interesting for most of the year. If you are near a library, there are several newer books about succulents or ornamental grasses with lots of pictures that you couild look at for ideas. Some bookstores might also have them and you could just take a look but not buy.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

Thanks for all the valuable inputs.

I guess I need to provide some clarification about myself. :-) I don't expect no maintenance at all from succulent gardens. But definitely want significantly less work than grass lawn, roses and other flowers in terms of watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. and heard I can have that with succulents. I don't mind working on my gardens occasionally :-)

deep roots, does summer winds nursery carry a good selection of succulents? Where else can I go? I found a big place in Castroville which is like 60 miles away but if there is one nearby, that'd be great.

Thanks again.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

Robin Stockwell's Succulent Gardens in Castroville is easily worth the drive. Lots and lots of plants to choose on over 3 acres. An amazing place! Half Moon Bay nursery might be a little closer, and has a lots of succulents, many from Succulent Gardens.

A variety of Sedums, Echeveria, Graptopetalum, Sempervivums would be great. Keep an eye out for Oscularia deltoides, a terrific groundcover with lots of flowers.

Brad


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

Thanks a ton, Brad. I'll definitely check out that place.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

I recently removed my lawn and replaced it with succulents. I used Senecio Serpens & S. Madriscaliae to cover most of the area, and am using sedum prealtum as a taller hedge-like plant material. I went off of this picture for the color combination (found online at daylily hill nursery's website).

I also added swaths of bright red wax begonias. And, in between the sea of blue groundcover, I planted groupings of Aloes (Aloe Striata, Aloe Tomentosa, Aloe Camerooni) and three Agave Vilmoriniana as backdrop plants.

I hope this helps!


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

For the past few years I've been growing a plot of "Sedum Spurium Dr. John Creech". Love it ! Grows very low, blocks out most other things so it requires very little weeding, tolerates at least a little foot traffic, and also tolerates drought, although it loves to be watered better. Lovely, delicate, green, hardy little succulent that spreads well if it gets enough water. Growing in Minneapolis, MN. Survives winter, no problem. Have not tried other Sedum Spurium types.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

I would suggest doing some research on light-hardiness before you choose your plants. Many succulents will tolerate and adjust to full sun but in my experience, only some of them love it. Many plants will turn interesting colors in the sun, but will only grow very slowly if at all. I could suggest species to avoid for full sun like Haworthias, Aloes, Kalanchoes, Gasterias and Echeverias, but there are always exceptions, especially with Aloes. Just be aware that many succulents prefer mostly shade with bright diffused light. I see burning plants in front yards all the time.
I think Brad's advice is great. Just research any plant before you buy a flat of it.


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RE: best succulent groundcover?

I second Brads Oscularia + add O. caulescens, Ruschia (some sp. very nice), delospermas (I like cooperi, virens) and the Lampranthus - some of these grow up, so it depends on your plans. With things like Echeveria's you can do "succulent painting" they look so nice on mass. Aloes - bigger the specie more full sun it takes, dwarfs usually occur in forests or grass environments, where they are protected, even Aloe variegata from Karoo (arid), I have seen mostly grow in or under bushes in nature. But as above people has mentioned - research is the key and deciding on what look you want.


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