Living in Texas can present some gardening challenges. As a young child, I recall visiting my Aunt Pinkie and Uncle Henry in Midland, Texas. They had a flower bed that ran between their drive and walkway. It was filled with rose moss.
The rose moss stuck in my memory because it was brightly colored flowers all intertwined. About a decade ago, I started using rose moss liberally in planters around my pool. I later began to appreciate purslane and substitute its hot pink variety for rose moss some years.
Both rose moss and purslane are forms of succulents. There are numerous other varieties that are at home in the Texas sun and dry climate. According to the website Succulents and Sunshine (succulentsandsunshine.com), “succulents are a group of plants that store water in their leaves.”
Another succulent that I grew up with is aloe. Aunt E always had an aloe vera plant on her porch. When we had a cut, scrape or burn, she would break off a leaf and put it on the wound. I usually keep an aloe vera plant in honor of Aunt E. Aunt E also had a cactus that she kept in the kitchen window. Cacti are also succulents. Aunt E’s cactus pricked my fingers countless times growing up. For this reason, I tend to shy away from them in my garden.
Because I don’t have any driplines for the three planters I keep by my garage, I like to plant Agave, also a succulent, in that location. They have withstood five summers of abuse and five winters in the garage. Just when I think they are down for the count, they perk back up and provide color for another year.
I am not as familiar with the names of the other succulents I buy from Lowe’s each year to put in pots around my backyard. I do recognize baby toes, probably because the name is so cute. Succulents come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Some seem to be prehistoric in their appearance, while others look like they are straight off the page of a Dr. Seuss book. Since most are drought tolerant, they are excellent for planting in pots in full sun.
As mentioned, some succulents produce flowers, some stalks, and some just slowly grow. They are all very interesting and will provide a bit of intrigue for your summer plantings.
A quick Internet search for succulents will show you the large number of these plants that exist. They really do make a great addition to summer planters and flower beds.
Did you know? All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. 🌵