Garden Photo of the Day

Growing Desert Plants in a Rainy Climate

Pots on the porch allow dry-climate plants to thrive

Today we’re heading to Georgia to see a potted succulent garden and to learn about a way to grow these plants that will work for nearly everyone, even if your climate isn’t usually succulent friendly or you don’t have a lot of space.

Hello! My name is Whitney Shaffer, and I garden on a 4½-acre property in rural Georgia. I have three boys and work part-time as an admin for my husband’s business. Gardening is my ME time! I have also been sharing my love of gardening through my personal blog,

I have several different gardens (veggie, shade, iris), but I wanted to share my succulent container garden with you today. Succulents don’t do too well in the ground here, due to our high humidity and average rainfall, but I have found that they do quite well outside in containers under the cover of a porch or veranda, where the gardener can more closely control the soil and water conditions. (Editor’s comment: For those of us in cold climates, succulents in pots are also easy to bring inside for the winter, again allowing us to grow plants that normally wouldn’t thrive in our climates.)

I always put my succulents in terra-cotta pots for their neutral look and their even evaporation of water from the soil.

In utilizing container gardening where needed, you may be able to tend to plants you otherwise thought would never thrive in your current zone. Out of all the plants in my gardens, succulents are the ones I get the most comments on.

Echeveria ‘Cubic Frost’ (Zones 10–11), Graptoveria ‘Francesca’ (Zones 9–11), and Senecio haworthii (woolly senecio, Zones 9–11)

Echeveria ‘Lola’ (Zones 9–11)

Aloe, Andromischus cristatus ‘Key Lime Pie’ (Zones 9–11), Echeveria ‘Blue Reef’ (Zones 9–11)

Aloe ‘Crosby’s Prolific’ (Zones 9–11)

Graptoveria ‘Francesca’


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/03/2019

    Hi, Whitney, since I'm a glutton for more garden pictures, I checked out your blog and Instagram. You're certainly an admirable energetic multitasker. Just being mom to 3 young children would use up more hours in the day than most people have and yet you manage to fit in gardening and writing as well. Thanks for sharing here in GPOD land.

    1. Whitneykshaffer 06/03/2019

      Thank you, I try. I do admit that sometimes my plants suffer when my human babies need me more. I think my love of gardening comes from my love as a mother, seeing things that you care for grow and thrive sure does make me happy!

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/03/2019

    Love them all.

    1. Whitneykshaffer 06/03/2019

      Thank you!

  3. Jarnaann 06/03/2019

    I love your use of a lovely piece of Labradorite in your pots, nice way to show off the stone and your succulents.

    1. Whitneykshaffer 06/03/2019

      Thanks for noticing! I love to incorporate my love of stones in many of my container planting for a little extra interest.

  4. Chris_N 06/03/2019

    Nice collection and a clever way to grow them in your climate.

    1. Whitneykshaffer 06/03/2019

      Thanks Chris! There was definitely a learning curve for me when I first started collecting them about five years ago. Originally I had them on an uncovered porch and the amount of rain we received doomed many of them to root rot. I have since learned to refine not only their location, but their soil mixture and watering as well.

  5. btucker9675 06/03/2019

    Love these! I have a concrete bowl planter with 5 varieties of succulents planted. It's about a foot in diameter and about 5 inches deep at the center. I purchased it at Wave Hill in NY when we still lived in NJ. Succulents look so nice next to interesting rocks and I've also scattered a few muted color glass marbles here and there in the bowl.

    1. Whitneykshaffer 06/03/2019

      Thanks for reading!

  6. User avater
    simplesue 06/03/2019

    Beautiful solution for growing succulents, they are like small sculptures in a pot! I'm also enjoying looking at your gardening blog!

    1. Whitneykshaffer 06/03/2019

      Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm glad you liked it!

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