With the onslaught of the drought in California during the past four years, landscapers and gardeners alike have had to adjust to a more drought-tolerant plant palette when installing new gardens. One obvious direction has been toward the use of succulent plants. But not all succulents are created equal, and some are simply not suited for long-term landscape functionality due to sensitivity to frost or heat, or to high care requirements. Here is a list of some tough succulents that have been proven to succeed in a California landscape.
A large-growing aloe hybrid that can handle freezes into the low 20's and can resist long periods of drought.
Agave 'Blue Glow'
A stunningly beautiful, and architecturally perfect agave hybrid. I have witnessed this plant endure temps into the high teens without sign of frost damage. Highly drought-tolerant.
A variable species, all forms of this tough echeveria can handle frosts into the low 20s. Excellent plant for the landscape, and can survive on little water once established.
Another highly variable species, all forms of this succulent can handle cold winters as well as hot summers. Produces a powder white residue on its leaves and red leaf margins. Hardy down to the high teens.
This member of the ice plant family is the perfect ground cover choice for landscapes. Its cascading habit is remarkable, spilling over walls to a length of four feet, and forming swathes of green carpeting in a garden. This yellow-flowering species is hardy down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and handles the summer heat without any problems.
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