|Certain readily available succulents not only get by on rainfall alone, they’ll grow in nutrient-poor soil and can handle searing sun and frost. No-water succulents for Southern California gardens that are native to the Southwest and Mexico include dasylirions, agaves, cacti and yuccas. They thrive from south of the border to the Bay Area and in parts of Colorado, Texas and the Carolinas (Zones 7b and higher).
Above: In the Evans’ garden are Yucca rostrata, Agave attenuata and Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet). A topdressing of golden decomposed granite lends a finished look.
Above: Two Dasylirion whipplei (which resemble pincushions) are 15 years old. The Yucca aloifolia at left was there when Mark and Cindy bought the house in 1999. “I think it’s pretty old; its base is huge,” Mark says. Four silvery blue Yucca rostrata also are 15 (the much larger one at right gets more sun). Mark planted the spineless paddle cactus along the wall from cuttings six years ago. Behind them, at right, is a 6-year-old blue Agave americana. Growing in the dry fountain are 8-year-old foxtail agaves (Agave attenuata).
How is it possible that yuccas and dasylirions, which have thin leaves, are succulents? It’s because they store water in their trunks. A succulent by definition is “any plant that stores water in fleshy leaves or stems in order to withstand periods of drought.”
Related info on this site:
Read my article: “Is Cactus the New Black?”
Long a pariah plant, cactus is becoming cool. Spiny succulents are following smooth ones in popularity, notably in [Continue reading]
Be sure to see my YouTube video: What you MUST know about century plants (Agave americana)