About me

About me
🌿 I've been gardening ever since a child, when I spent time with my father in his vegetable garden. But my fascination with Echeverias started in the 1980's, when my father gave me a pot with five Echeverias, which turned out to be E. imbricata. At first I wasn't much interested in them and planted them in some obscure corner of the garden and completely forgot about them. How great was my surprise when, a couple of months later, I noticed that they had spread and made a beautiful display - I was hooked!
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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Succulents and rain

Seeing as most succulents and cacti come from hot, desert regions and are also well-known for their drought resistance, one would think that they can't tolerate a lot of water and most don't. But there are always a few exceptions to the rule and through trial and error I have discovered some succulents that actually thrive on a lot of water.

This little cactus, above, Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrosa (Eve's Needle) is in full sun in the garden and gets lots of water, me and the rain! and it has absolutely thrived. It is also very frost tolerant and extreme cold doesn't seem to have much effect on it.

This Crassula muscosa, above and below, from the Crassulaceae family and indigenous to South Africa, is very drought resistant but absolutely goes wild with lots of water! When in full sun and with little water, it tends to go brown and get woody but when watered a lot, it makes lovely clumps of bright, healthy-looking green clumps. Tends to spread very quickly when watered a lot.

Crassula muscosa

Crassula muscosa in a pot

Flowers of the Echeveria imbricata

The effect of lots of water on Echeveria imbricata is amazing! You are rewarded with plants the size of dinner plates and a profusion of flowers! We've been having 10-20mm of rain almost every day for the past couple of weeks, and my Echeverias have never been so stunning! However, one has to cut down on watering in winter and they are not frost-tolerant, so wet feet would be bad news.

Echeveria imbricata in a pot on my patio

Echeveria imbricata in a pot on my patio

Huge, dinner-plate size Echeveria imbricata in pots on my patio

More huge Echeveria imbricata in a pot on my patio

Echeveria imbricata in a wooden planter on my patio

More Crassula muscosa enjoying lots of water. The Echinopsis cacti will only tolerate lots of water if it is planted in a well-draining soil - when they get soggy they easily suffer from rot.

The Geraniums have been loving the rain, but the Eve's Needle in the pot gets moved under roof at the first signs of rain. Since I got it as a tiny, 3" little plant, it has been acclimatising in this pot with no holes, but is now ready to be planted directly into the garden.

My Old Man Cactus (genus Cephalocereus) has spent many years in this pot with lots of rain, but it does have holes and a well-draining soil, and is now sporting two new pups which are ready to be removed and re-planted.

Kalanchoe rotundifolia, indigenous to South Africa) on the right in the white pot is tolerant of both drought and lots of water. I propagated this one from a little cutting and it has been under cover for quite some time and I only placed it in full sun this week. So I will be keeping an eye on it to see how it develops before transplanting it straight into the garden.

The Rattail Cactus (Aporocactus Flagelliformis or Disocactus flagelliformis) above, is native to Mexico, which means gardeners only in the warmer zones can grow them outdoors. Mine spends summer outdoorsin full sun with LOTS of water, but it doesn't tolerate frost and I bring them inside every winter. And then, every spring I am rewarded with this beautiful show of flowers!



  1. Your succulents and cacti are thriving! Gorgeous photos!

    1. Thank you Serena! Yes, they certainly are, but I've had to bring some of them under cover, getting much too wet!


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