Succulents and Cacti

by Bethany Day on September 6, 2012

In the summer months it can be a struggle to find plants that will happily endure heat and sunshine without losing any of their appeal. Succulents, a plant group often left in the shade are more than willing to step on to centre stage at this time of year.

These water-retaining plants are adapted to arid climates and are easy to care for, very low maintenance and attractive to look at with their tightly packed rosettes and sculptural leaves.

Due to their evolution in dry areas of the world, the care and conditions needed by different types of succulents to thrive are all very similar; free draining compost, sunshine, fresh air and a period outdoors in the summer. In short, they are the perfect plants for summer.

Here’s our guide on how to keep succulents at home. 


With its clean lines and tidy finish this cactus garden is an ideal gift for him.

Utilize your space outside if you can, with this striking display of Sempervivums, or Cobweb Houseleeks as they are more commonly known. Completely hardy, they thrive on neglect, love the heat and sun and will add class and style to your frontage, whilst more fragile varieties are wilting inside.

For an outdoor table arrangement with a difference, plant sculptured Echeverias into individual containers; two or three grouped together or arranged in a line will complement any barbeque or garden soiree. The fact that they will last all summer long is a great selling point.

Make a style statement. This bench of differing shapes and styles of succulents planted in a mix of vintage containers has the feel of the Victorian hot house about it.

A few tips on planting up and displaying succulents:

  1. Many succulents and cacti have short, fibrous roots and prefer to be planted into shallow dishes and containers. Provide drainage holes and line the bottoms of the pots with gravel or broken clean clay pots to ensure adequate drainage.
  2. If only planting up small numbers, it is worth buying specialist compost which is available from most garden centres.
  3. Water infrequently in the summer, once a week or less and cut this down again in winter, as little as once every 1-2 months. Never leave them standing in water.
  4. There is no need to mist succulents, their main requirement is fresh air, if displayed indoors, stand them in an airy, well ventilated place.

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Bethany Day

Blogger and online PR guru for Interflora UK. Interested in guest-posting on our blog? Email or connect with me.

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Post category: Care Tips  

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jess 11 Sep 2012 at 12:11 pm

I fail at keeping anything but succulents, our conservatory is full of them. My current obsession is my Mexican Hat Plant.

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