Autumn has arrived at last. It feels good to be a succulent geek right about now, especially if you have a bunch of plants exiting summer dormancy. Nothing like looking forward to seeing your aeoniums, your senecios, your sempervivums, get a little wild in wintertime. Of course, for those in colder areas, that festival of life will have to be held indoors, in a space blessed with light.
Whip your winter growers into shape by trimming off any overgrown sections or seen-better-days bits. One way to really get an aeonium party started is to source those overgrown parts for cuttings. Fall is the time to do just that, again with the caveat that those in chilly climes will need to nurture their succulent babies inside. Those in temperate areas, zones with little to no frost threat, can plant aeoniums in the ground now and enjoy watching them take off in the garden — as in active development. (They better otherwise stay put in their designated spot!) That planting proviso doesn’t apply to sempervivums, which are tough little succas — some of the cold-hardiest succulents on the planet.
Been eyeing aloes for the landscape? Species such as Aloe plicatilis (fan aloe) and A. dichotoma (quiver tree) add height and interest to any landscape and are good ones to stick in the ground in fall.
Even though autumn has just begun, it’s not too early to think a teensy bit about the chillier temps to come. Planting now, months prior to first frost, helps plants improve cold tolerance by allowing them to establish their root systems. Siting specimens near south-facing structures will allow for the most sunlight and protection. Doing those two things won’t allow super-tender species to survive in a place of hard freezes, of course, but it can help borderline frost-tolerant plants get through passing cold spells.
Among many agaves, echeverias, sedums, cotyledons, and others, here are four frost tolerant examples: Echeveria ‘Crimson Tide’, Echeveria ‘Sahara’, Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’, and Senecio mandraliscae.
What are your must-do tasks during this transitional time? We’ll follow up with a winter care rundown in a few months.