Across Two Continents

If you have adeniums, or indeed any one plant, it is extremely unlikely that you only have one. We have other succulents. We have many other succulents. Most of them are easy, some of them are difficult. All of them are pretty cool, even if they just sit there and not even purr.

Creating this page has forced us to conduct an inventory of our succulents and that isn't as easy as it sounds. Most of these plants have no name. Keep checking.

These are tiny, clumping leaf succulents, usally slow-growing and just generally gorgeous. The genus is a bit bewildering, with species usually having several scientific names. But at present, there are 28 recognized species, mostly from South Africa, as well as natural hybrids. 

They are not commonly seen in garden centers or big box stores but most succulent nurseries will have them. More...

Haworthia and Gasteria
Easily the most rewarding of all succulents, in variety and ease of care. Most of the species in this family are small and compact--you can keep hundreds of them and they will still only take up a reasonable amount of space. Most of them are slow-growers so they rarely need to be upgraded to bigger pots. Most of them need very little fertilizer and they are not the sun-sluts that most cacti are. It gets a little tricky raising haworthias and gasterias in hot, humid regions but they are still grow vigorously with a few adjustments to culture. In temperate regions, they are perfect for those who have little indoor space in the winter. They propagate easily and although it is often easy to trigger root death, a little care allows them to recover from over or under-watering. They also readily bloom in late spring or early summer. The flowers are not awe-inspiring as, say, aeonium flowers, but they are elegant, minimalist and photogenic.  More...

Winter look
These are fantastic plants especially for growers who operate on only two modes: obsessive and negligent. There is only one rule for these plants--they can take the rain, they can take the heat but not both at the same time. Keep in full sun, in a pot or in the ground althougth they are happiest in the ground, especially in sandy soil. Although sand is a plant killer in the pot, it is the best for succulents if they are in the ground because they drain freely. Semperviven form clumps readily and prefer to be left alone. They turn all shades of red, orange, chestnut and purple in winter. The oldest ones will bloom in the spring and, being monocarpic, will die promptly thereafter. More...

Ailonopsis schooneesii
This is the wretched, finicky family of plants with thick, fleshy leaves, broken down into Mesembryanthemaceae and Ruschioideae. More pupularly known as mesembs, these are one of the easiest plants to germinate from seeds, a process followed almost immediately by mayhem and death. The family is so varied and so widespread in radically different habitats from Africa to Australia that you might actually need a spreadsheet to get a grip on how to care for the specific ones you have. More...

Cacti (New!)

Cactus! These are to plants what camels are to mammals. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Here's the cool part--almost all cacti are succulents. Almost! That means some of them aren't. In tropical regions, other cacti grow as forest climbers and epiphytes (plants that grow on trees). Since these plants are known to require very little watering, they sound easy to care for. But it is possible to kill these things and the way to do that is usually with water. So if you have one, the best thing to do when you feel like watering it is this: don't.
As with other succulents, the gritty mix is your friend. That way you can give them the full sun they need and not worry about the rain. If, however you are somewhere with true monsoon rains, give them an umbrella. More....


A lof of these plants compete with mesembs in plump cuteness. Mesembs will probably almost always win but sedums are significantly easier to care for in cultivation. If you have to bring them indoors during the winter, though, then you will discover that sedums become rapidly ugly under low light conditions. To keep them compact and growing well even indoors, artificial lighting will be a must. In the winter, water sparingly to keep them somewhat dormant. This will help keep them from etiolating. A lot of these plants can also be planted in the ground, some are even frost hardy. Coming Soon.

Kalanchoe and Echeveria
This is Kalanchoe tomentosa, only one of a wide variety of
plants in this genus. The selection ranges from this one, commonly known as Panda Plant to the bizarre Mother of Millions, usually described as a plant that will take you seven minutes to buy and seven years to get rid of. Most of these plants really are extremely difficult to kill, even this K. tomentosa has gone through various Catzilla events, extended droughts under some bench where it was left for dead and a full week of light frost on the roof where it was, again, forgotten. Coming Soon

Everyone has a jade plant somewhere in their houses. They kind of just show up, unexplained. There are other crassulas you have to get on purpose. This large genus of succulents include a mind-boggling array of species and their cultivars like this Pagoda Village, quietly calculating its Fibonacci numbers. Like haworthias, these are some of the most stare-worthy plants. Crassulas are normally less finicky than other succulents but almost all of them need tremendous amounts of sunlight and will require glaring light in the winter to keep their form. Coming Soon


These plants are bewildering in their variety and strangeness. What they have in common is their poisonous, milky, white latex-like sap as well as their unusual and unique kind of floral structures. Orchids have nothing on these buggers--their flowers are usually minimalist, reduced to the barest essential parts needed for sexual reproduction. The best way to appreciate them is with a magnifying glass or, if you are so inclined, a macro lens on an SLR camera. Even without the flowers, the plants themselves are often uniformly bizarre, from Medusa plants to the cactus-like globules of E. obesa. 
Fun fact: poinsettias are actually euphorbias. More...

More Pachycauls
Instead of evolving thick, fleshy leaves for water storage, caudiciforms evolved fat trunks that they use like tanks. This makes for some strange looks, from the Baobab to the Hottentot Bread. Most of them are slow-growing plants. This Pachypodium brevicaule seedling, for instance, will take 15 years to grow into a 6-inch pot, if it survives that long--they are not easy plants to keep in cultivation. More...

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