Designing with Succulents

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Before you plan to plant succulents, it's best to do a little homework and find out how large that small succulent you are eyeing at the garden center will actually become. Many agaves and aloe will get very large and require ample space to stretch their prickly limbs. If placed in the wrong spot you can either hamper their growth or set yourself up for a difficult replanting session. 

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There are varieties that spread out, some grow tall, others will creep over the ground. Then there are those that have lots of nasty prickly needles, varieties that flower and others that love to reseed themselves without an invite. 

Agave Print

Agave Print

Then there is the movement of the sun that has to be considered. Throughout the year the amount of sunshine that an area received can change with every season. Succulents prefer bright light, such as found on a south-facing window. Watch the leaves for indications that the light level is correct. Some species will scorch if suddenly exposed to direct sunlight and prefer more dappled sunlight. The leaves will turn brown or white as the plant bleaches out and the soft tissues are destroyed. Alternatively, an underlit succulent will begin to stretch, with an elongated stem and widely spaced leaves. This condition is known as etiolation. The solution is to provide better light and prune the plant back to its original shape. 


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