How to care for succulents in the Pacific Northwest

Description:  Keep your succulents growing and looking as healthy as when they came home from the nursery. Here's how to care for succulents in the Pacific Northwest.
Author: Lori Beehner
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Succulents are a special plant, commonly grown in arid climates, with their ability to hold onto moisture in their plump leaves. The question is, how do we care for succulents in the Pacific Northwest where it is not as warm and certainly not arid?

How to care for succulents

They are one of my favorite plants. I’m not sure if that’s because of their unusual shapes and beautiful pastel colors or because they make the perfect addition to a rock garden and nestled amongst the rock wall…or maybe it’s because they remind me of vacationing in the southwest. That is probably it. Either way, I love them, and I wish every variety would grow easily in our Pacific Northwest garden.

The truth is, there are several varieties that have adapted to grow quite well in many of the communities around the Pacific Northwest. Some of our succulents flourish outdoors, while others are happier indoors next to a window that receives a lot of light. This last winter was one of our coldest on record. The temperature dropped into the 20s for many of us…and stayed there. It seemed like the snow covered us for weeks. But now it’s spring and after taking an assessment of our garden, I see our favorite stonecrop succulent has survived!

View our Plant Database and select “Succulent” from the Sub Category listing. You will see almost 50 varieties of succulents that you might consider growing.

Helpful advice for how to care for succulents in Pacific Northwest:

  • Succulents love rocks of all sizes so be sure to plant them within a mixture of soil and rock. Mix in some perlite or vermiculite too as it helps with drainage.
  • Feed only once a year, if at all, and make sure the solution is at least half the normal strength. In other words, they really don’t need much food, so I recommend you bypass them when spreading compost.
  • They hold their own water, and some for longer than others, but they still need a bit of water if their ground becomes dry. And some varieties do not appreciate having water sprayed on their leaves.
  • Most do not like the cold. (I know how they feel!) If there is a chance the temperature will drop lower than what is suitable for that succulent, be sure to cover with dry leaves, straw or a clear container in late fall. Then remove their blanket in March, or when the spring temps return, so the plants can be exposed to the sun again.
  • If your yard is not the ideal location for growing succulents year-round, plant them in pots and let them travel to a warmer climate during cold and rainy months (meaning, indoors by the window.)

Care for succulents in the Pacific Northwest might be a challenge if your yard is sun-deprived. Most varieties need a lot of sun in order to thrive. However, there are some types of succulents that can live in the shade. We can help suggest plants to grow in these areas.

If you are looking to create a unique garden design with interesting and unusual succulents, contact us at Environment Construction Inc. We can help with specific information about how to care for succulents and other unique plants.

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