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Northern California Regional Reports

Growing Succulents Successfully in Northern California

Use these growing tips for healthy, colorful succulents in your garden and containers

‘Lipstick’ echeveria (Echeveria agavoidea 'Lipstick', Zones 9–11; back) and peacock echeveria (Echeveria subsessilis, Zones 9–11). Photo: Fionuala Campion.

Succulents are remarkable plants that have evolved the ability to store and reserve water within their plump and fleshy leaves and stems. This allows them to remain hydrated during times of water scarcity and to thrive in arid regions that would otherwise be uninhabitable. This adaptation led to the evolution of a diverse group of fascinating, drought-tolerant plants found in a wide range of sizes, colors, textures, and shapes, often with equally stunning blooms. Though succulents are indigenous to a wide range of habitats and can be found all over the world—from the rainforests of Brazil to the rocky soils of Eastern Siberia—most of the varieties available to Northern California gardeners hail from the warm, dry deserts and semi-deserts of South Africa, North and South America, Europe, and Mexico.

It’s extremely rewarding to incorporate these intriguing plants into your garden’s design. Whether you’re debating the merits of xeriscaping…

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