If you’ve never been a natural ‘green thumb’ and struggle to keep plants alive (#guilty) than look no further than succulents, the species of greenery that’s not only trending right now but is basically unkillable. Really. These bad boys are the superhero of plants; they’ve got water storage super powers to live months off the one feed, dress in cool camouflage outfits, and share a mortal enemy: those that give AF. See, like your high school Ryan Atwood looking crush (or were you more team Seth?), these guys thrive off your inattention (told you they were bad boys). Making them the perfect plant for the workaholic, social butterfly, fi-fo worker and just down-right lazy!
The second-best bit? A succulent crush-turned-obsession is all but guaranteed.
I know, I know, everyone thinks they’ll be the “I’ll just get one” exception. But, once you start collecting these little guys, life as you know it is O-VA. Your obsession will grow and instead of purchasing that
new collection @undone just dropped or latest iPhone XX (ohh, are we up to the XXX? fancy) you thought you needed, you’ll be pouring your hard-earned pennies into the newest and prettiest variety of succulent on offer.
Still need some convincing? Well here grows (#sorrynotsorry).
So, we’ve already touched on this, but this has to be the most attractive quality of these little succers. Though they prefer sun, there are varieties which will grow just fine in shaded areas. There’s no need to prune succulents and they are quite literally the toughest of the tough when it comes to withstanding weather conditions. Having said all of this, everyone needs a bit of lurrrve, right? Just make sure you give them free draining soil (so they don’t rot), a tiny portion of water and you’re good as gold.
Nowadays succulents are seen in many landscape designs and shaded garden areas due to their hardiness, architectural and sculptural forms and variations. Thankfully, gone are the days where succulents are sparsely planted in gravelly, dry landscape surrounds; now you’ll see them used in a variety of settings including:
- Coastal gardens, where their unique glossy/spikey/rounded (you name it) appearance provides contrast, colour and vibrancy to the cool muted tones of the coastal shrubbery.
- Tropical-inspired landscape settings for added variation and texture
- Native Landscapes that likewise require little to no water
- Or even ‘that soulless sandy spot’ where the irrigation just won’t reach.
“Succulents are one of the most versatile plants, offering an array of possibilities for small or large scale landscapes including feature areas, pool side planting or even the front verge”- Senior Landscape Architect Joshua Casey from Perspective Studio.
Shapes, sizes & colours
Most people have a pre-conceived idea that all succulents are sharp, prickly, green and mean. That’s cacti peeps! Succulents come in all manner of shapes, sizes and colours so it would be impossible to list them all here. Instead, we’ll just name drop a few of our faves:
- The spiky leaf succulents. Think blue Aloes, Agaves & Gasteria.
- The romantic rose shaped succulents. Most commonly seen in those stunning succulent bowls that have become the biggest trend since Kim Kardashian wore bike shorts that one time in LA. Some examples of these are Aeonium, Graptopetalum and Xpachyveria.
- Round leaf succulents. Encompassing some of our favourite varieties including the lovely Chain of Hearts (which we heart 4 life) & the charming Peperomia.
Tips & Tricks to creating the perfect garden
But perhaps the greatest aspect of succulents are their amazing floral displays. Which don’t happen all the time – it’s a seasonal thing y’all – but then they do, swoon.
Here are our tips to creating the perfect garden:
- Generously use low lying Australian natives with silver foliage, such as Olearia Axillaris and Leucaphta Brownii to surround high stemmed flowers
- Aloes and Kangaroo Paws are a great way to add height and their flowers create a haze of colour attracting birds and insects (BIG signs of a happy, healthy garden).
- And our go-to: architecturally shaped greenery, which is often seen paired with modern architectural builds, the Mother in Law Tongue. This virtually impossible to kill plant with its upright leaves can artfully stands against walls or line entrance ways making it a stunning statement succulent for your garden area.
SO, now you know the ins and outs of sassy succulent world it’s time to invest and get planting smarties!