Succulents are composed of a group of perennials, which characteristically are drought resistant when established, require little maintenance, and thrive in both full sun and partial shade gardens. Well-drained soil is required for maximum blooming. Brightly colored succulent flowers attract birds and insects while adding interest and color to the garden.
Chiastophyllum oppositifolium, also known as variegated cotyledon or Jim’s pride, is a succulent that thrives in shady gardens. Green leaves with yellow scalloped borders and blazing yellow medium-sized flowers pop when integrated with a rock wall or when used as edging in a garden. Cotyledon is easy to grow and will not encroach on your other plants or become invasive. These slow growers will bloom throughout summer and spring in mild regions and will spread up to a foot. They are a good landscaping choice for a garden that receives partial shade.
Autum joy sedum (Sedum herbstfreude) is an easy-to-grow perennial garden flower that blooms in August and September. The flat, clustered flower head blooms pink in July and gradually becomes rusty-red in the fall. Their leaves are silvery green and frequently used in dried flower arrangements and crafts. Autumn joy is also valued because it attracts butterflies to the garden and does not need a lot of maintenance besides deadheading (removing the dead flowers and stems). They grow well in Zones 3-9 in full sun and achieve a maximum height of 2 to 3 feet.
Dicliptera suberecta goes by many names--hummingbird bush, king’s crown, and Uraguayan firecracker plant (because of its Uruguay origin). This carefree plant produces coral-colored tubular flowers amid velvety bluish-silver foliage. Hummingbirds are attracted to the rich colors and can be seen hovering around the plants mid-summer through fall. The number of blooms will increase in direct proportion to the amount of sun the plant receives. The hummingbird bush grows best when planted in full sun in Zones 8-10 but it is quite hardy and can be grown as an annual or a potted plant in zones with a maximum temperature drop of 20 to 30 degrees F.
Sedum telephium or emperor’s wave will add clumps of purplish-red flowers to your succulent garden. This sturdy plant flowers in late summer and bears pale blue-green leaves. This sedum is versatile and is used in borders as well as flowerbeds and arrangements. Drought and disease resistant in Zones 4-9, this perennial attracts butterflies and bees with its burgundy blooms.
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