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Category Archives: Garden Blog

A menu loaded with succulents, from small plates to party platters

Last week in this space, we got a little playful, a bit wild even, in talking about succulents with animal-inspired names, from Crassula ‘Calico Kitten’ to zebra plant (Haworthia spp.).

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Adopt a zebra … plant for your windowsill

It’s December and ooh baby isn’t it cold outside? Maybe even snow on the ground? That doesn’t mean you’re shut out from succulent planting until spring, though. We happen to be rather fond of a species that can not only live happily indoors year-round but also weather the dim tones of winter just fine: Haworthia fasciata, better known as zebra plant.

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Some ‘animal’ succulents worth adopting into the family

Have pets? Do you lovingly refer to them as your fur babies? All the time? Stickers on the car back window? It’s perfectly OK if you do. This is a judgment-free zone. After all, whether they be dogs, cats, birds, iguanas, velociraptors, or all of the above plus pot belly pigs and chickens, they are beloved members of the family. But where do your succulents fit on that pecking order?

Marble hanging out with panda plant kalanchoe, baby burro’s tail sedum, and other succulents.

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Adorn your space with this little jewel of a succulent

Pachyveria ‘Glauca’ is a diminutive but distinctive gem

We succulent lovers sure do live in a golden age of gorgeous variety. Pachyveria ‘Glauca’, aka “little jewel,” is a Pachyphytum × Echeveria mash-up — a cross between two members of the family Crassulaceae.

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The X-Succulents

Intergeneric hybrids: all crossed up and completely beautiful

Succulent fanatics enjoy more choices than ever before, with new plants popping up seemingly every day. Amazingly, there are nearly 20,000 varieties of succulents on this planet. Many of our fleshy friends available in nurseries and garden centers were introduced into the marketplace during the last few decades.

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Krazy for kalanchoes

These succulents are go-to choices for texture and diverse foliage

“It’s so fuzzy I’m gonna die!”

That might be the (perfectly rational) utterance of a succulent fan upon laying eyes on Kalanchoe tomentosa. Commonly known as panda plant, the species is distinguished by its fuzzy, velvety, dotted leaves, which kind of look like cat ears.Those who fancy fuzziness and brown bears might like the bear ear-shaped leaves of Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Teddy Bear’ even more.

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Getting into the fall and Halloween spirit succulent-style

So many fun Halloween/fall-inspired decorations and arrangements are possible with succulents. Here are the few we’ve done in the past week or so. 

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Heir to the succulent throne: Echeveria ‘Black Prince’

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ a noble choice for the garden, patio, or a bright nook indoors

The small, dark, and handsome echeveria known as ‘Black Prince’ has to make any list of Halloween-appropriate succulents. It’s unusual for an echeveria in that its rosettes often appear to be nearly black. Combine that with its glowing green center and striking red flowers, and this dark hens-and-chicks succulent just might startle an unsuspecting trick-or-treater. (Of course, it helps to have some well-placed, oversized spiders and bloodshot monster eyes nearby.)

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Bizarre yet endearing: Brave the world of mutant succulents

Crested and monstrose succulents — mutant forms only a succulent freak could love? We think not, whether it’s Halloween season or, say, Arbor Day…although these living oddities would be naturals in any décor scheme aimed at enticing or spooking trick-or-treaters and their parental units.

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Agaves rule!

 Here are fifteen images that prove our point

We’re fans of virtually all succulents, and are loathe to pick favorites, but there are agaves, those New World swordsmen, that tempt us to pick sides. We’re also fortunate here at Altman in that we at least get to lay eyes, if not always hands, on some non-garden-variety specimens…species that we enthusiasts cannot reliably find at our favorite nurseries or garden centers any and every weekend. That said …

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