Portulacaria afra in ground

When you grow succulents in your garden, you’re helping combat global warming.  The plants are especially efficient at scrubbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  It has to do with

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Fancy ruffled echeveria

Fancy ruffled echeverias—those large, flowerlike succulents—eventually need to be beheaded and the rosettes replanted. This is a bother, but it comes with a benefit: New clones will form on old, headless stalks. But not always. Here’s how to ensure success.

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Euphorbia inermis or Euphorbia esculenta

This essential info on medusoid euphorbias (snake-leaved plants) is from “Spiny Succulents: Euphorbias, cacti, and other sculptural succulents,” by renowned nurseryman Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents near San Diego. I highly recommend his brand new book.

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Agave 'Snow Glow'

Those plants that made the final cut are lovely year-round, especially in autumn. These tall, medium and low succulents combine to create a balanced, aesthetically pleasing landscape. And if you have an entire yard to fill, they’re wonderful repeated.

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Above: Aloe ferox at Desert Theater nursery, Escondido, CA. From my video, Spectacular Aloes in Flower. Large, sculptural aloes with brilliant, Popsicle-like flowers make striking garden plants. Midwinter is peak aloe bloom season and an excellent time to see them in nurseries and landscapes. Aloe ferox, or Cape Aloe, might be considered a tree because of its height at maturity–6 to 8 feet with bloom…

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Cactus snowflake

Remarkably, the spination of certain cacti suggests snowflakes, something I first noticed years ago at a succulent specialty nursery. I was there to photograph aloes in bloom, but I’d come too early in the season. I thought of leaving, and I’m so glad I didn’t! That afternoon forever changed the way I see certain succulent…

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