#4 In bloom

Home (South Africa) - - SUCCULENTS -

Suc­cu­lents are usu­ally cul­ti­vated for their wa­ter­wise char­ac­ter­is­tics, in­ter­est­ing fo­liage shapes and strik­ing colours that look good through­out the year. But have you con­sid­ered their pretty flow­ers?

Like any other flow­er­ing plant, dif­fer­ent suc­cu­lents bloom at dif­fer­ent times of the year – some more of­ten than oth­ers and some more abun­dantly or spec­tac­u­larly. In the depth of win­ter, cer­tain aloes and the del­i­cate Cras­sula mul­ti­cava pro­vide much-needed colour, while vy­gies put on a breath­tak­ing dis­play in spring.

Suc­cu­lents have the ad­van­tage of be­ing able to con­tinue flow­er­ing and thriving de­spite lit­tle wa­ter and ex­tended dry spells. In ad­di­tion, if you give them the right care, suc­cu­lents are long-lived, pro­duc­ing blooms year af­ter year. (See tips on page 99.)

Plant guide Com­mon name Fairy cras­sula Botan­i­cal name

Cras­sula mul­ti­cava

Fairy cras­sula bears dainty, star­shaped white and pink flow­ers on stalks car­ried above the fo­liage. This is one of the few suc­cu­lents suit­able for shade, mak­ing it an ideal ground­cover un­der trees. In­dige­nous Grows 10–20cm tall Flow­ers from late win­ter to spring

Prefers shade but can also be grown in the sun

Plant guide Botan­i­cal name

Ca­lan­drinia spectabilis

This peren­nial suc­cu­lent, which orig­i­nates in Chile, boasts ma­genta blooms on long stems car­ried above the leaves in sum­mer. Full sun Grows about 30–45cm tall At­tracts bees and but­ter­flies Ex­cel­lent ground­cover

Plant guide Botan­i­cal name

Kalan­choe ‘Tessa’

This ev­er­green peren­nial suc­cu­lent bears orange-red tubu­lar flow­ers that pro­vide a showy dis­play in pots and hang­ing bas­kets. It grows eas­ily from cut­tings.

Flow­ers from late win­ter to spring

Grows about 30cm tall and 0.1–0.5m wide Needs well-drained soil Full sun to semi-shade

Aeo­nium ha­wor­thii Cras­sula mul­ti­cava Kalan­choe Se­dum ru­pestre ‘An­gelina’ Two dif­fer­ent Echev­e­ria blooms

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