These are Dudleyas. I love the mix of forms, all in varying shades of silver, and the way the silver is set off by the white ceramic pot. Dudleyas are super easy to root from just a leaf. Just lay a leave on top of loose potting soil, keep the soil a little moist, and bam! roots and leaves. You can also just break off a rosette and replant.
Sedum in a turquoise ceramic pot I bought at an estate sale. For this pot, I like plants that spill over its squat, round form. When your sedum gets a little leggy like this one, just cut off the ones that don’t look good at the base of each stem. Trim the stem close to the leaves and tuck it back in your pot.
Haworthia growing in another estate sale find. This combination gives me a southwest/70s/midcentury vibe. Haworthia is a slow grower, but eventually it will get big enough for you to divide and repot. With this one, I have NOT had luck snapping off a rosette and replanting it.
Echeveria ‘Jade Point’ in a red ceramic pot. I like the chunky forms of both the succulent and the pot, and the red tips of the leaves with the red ceramic.
Here is a cute group of succulents in terra cotta and handmade ceramic pots. The grouping works well because the pots are all natural tones including some soft blue greens that echo the blue green of the plants and the handmade ceramics emphasize the sculptural quality of the plants. The succulents are all different types of echeveria (I especially love the luminous white/silver) so the forms are variations on a single theme. I like to plant one type of succulent per container, and just rearrange the containers when I want a new combination.
Buy your succulents in the tiny 2″ pots so you can afford to try tons of varieties. They will grow quickly and give you plenty of babies along the way. I don’t do anything special – I give them the cheapest potting soil, full or part sun, and weekly water. Ceramics can get pricey so if your mother doesn’t go through a ceramics phase, you can get fantastic ceramic pots at estate sales, garage sales, or flea markets.
This is one Kalanchoe pumila. Believe it or not, this started out as a single plant in a little tiny pot (this planter is about 1.5’x3′ to give you an idea of the size). It grows like crazy and if you want more, just break off a piece and plant it. I love this one because it gives a full, lush look of a something leafy but only needs to be watered once a week (or less).
Agave, Kalanchoe luciae ‘Flapjack’, Echeveria ‘Afterglow’, and Baby Jade (also called Elephant Food or Portulacaria afra). Here, the Agave is used as a focal point and the other succulents are planted in drifts. I love this treatment and it really shows off the beauty and uniformity of their forms.
Make sure you really want an Agave before you put it in the ground, because it will grow to be a big, heavy, thorny monster. It’s beautiful, easy to grow, and hard to kill. They tolerate most soils, including heavy clay. Although they don’t need much water, they will happily survive a wet California winter without rotting.
Kalanchoe will rot if it’s overwatered. It dies after flowering, but its offsets will regrow in its place. It will die back from frost, but usually regrows. If you’re planting this one in the ground, you may want to amend your soil a bit so that it’s got some drainage.
Echeveria and Portulacaria are pretty straightforward. Interestingly, Portulacaria is native to South Africa and is being used for habitat restoration. It’s not a true jade (Crassula) but the cuttings root just as easily.
This is Echeveria ‘Imbricata’ in planter boxes under one of my front windows. Succulents are a great choice for your summer window boxes (or year round window boxes in mild climates like mine). All they need is weekly water and the very occasional cleanup. I wanted a uniform look (and a mass of flowers this time of year), but you can mix succulent types to combine colors and give you some height. Echeveria ‘Imbricata’ is probably my favorite succulent. The rosettes can grow to the size of plates, they can take some shade, hummingbirds love them, and they give you tons of babies. All of these are from a single plant I bought a few years ago.
Here are some large planters with Echeveria and Aeoniums. I love the blue and black tones in the blue planter. The Aeoniums (the black ones) will become tall and branching. If you want to keep them low, just break them off and stick them back in the dirt.