Ugly, spiky, thorny plants stuck between bare rocks in the rockery where nothing else would grow. This might be the picture that many of us have of succulents.
Recently however, there has been a renewed interest in these interesting and adaptable plants. They are being used in many gardens in new and striking ways, becoming a focus point in our gardens and serving the dual purpose of saving water in a country where water shortages are looming more and more on the horizon.
Succulents are plants that have adapted to arid climates by developing tissues that store water. Different succulents may accumulate moisture in their leaves, stems, roots, or a combination of the three. Succulents comprise hundreds of plant genera, including many plants we recognize by their common names.
Aloes are indigenous to South Africa and there are a myriad of species available. Although these plants thrive on little water they do need some water and will flower abundantly if circumstances are favourable. The flowers vary from bight red to orange and yellow.
Succulents grow well in pots and make a beautiful statement or feature in the garden or on a table on the veranda.
The photos above comprise only a very few of the variety of succulents available. They provide a huge amount of options in colour, form, texture, foliage and size. Add to these features the bonus of striking flowers and I wonder what is not to love about these plants?
So let us take our environment into account and plant plants that are water friendly in our country with its growing tendency to droughts and resulting water shortages.