Sensational Succulents For Zone 5 & 6

Posted in Houseplants, Perennials, Simplify Your Gardening Life

Sensational Succulents For Zone 5 & 6

Ask most gardeners to define succulents, and they’ll likely respond with “cactus” …

And while there’s some truth to that answer, the real story goes far beyond …

Let’s explore the back story of these fabulous, hardy plants – and bust a few myths while we’re at it. There are indeed quite a few succulents appropriate for Zone 5 and Zone 6 gardens, and their easy care will have you taking a second look at these unique and diverse beauties …




Succulents Defined

The gardener that equates the terms “succulents” and “cacti” is correct. All cacti are succulents, but that’s where it ends …

Not all succulents are cacti, and broadly defined, succulents are plants with the ability to store water in their leaves. Cacti are actually a distinct family of succulents, most commonly differentiated by their protective spines …

Some general examples of succulents include the following familiar plants: Aloe, Jade, Cactus, Sedum, Agave, Crown of Thorns, and literally hundreds and hundreds more are common examples.

That’s not to say, though, these plants will do well in your Zone 5 & 6 gardens.

Read on for more …




Why Succulents?

Long a favorite of indoor gardeners, succulents like cacti, aloe, and jade plants are attractive to any level of expertise because they’re so easy care.

In fact, one of the most common causes of demise for many succulents is over watering. Remember, most of these plants do very well in dry, arid, hot conditions. They thrive without water in nature for weeks or even months at a time because of their unique water storage capabilities …

In colder climates, succulents are commonly grown in pots and kept indoors. For the most part, they’ll do well in well draining soil, minimal watering, and bright, sunny conditions …

Succulents In Zone 5 And Zone 6

Many people are surprised to know succulents can survive, indeed thrive, in colder conditions. It’s not unheard of for some types of succulents to do well in Zone 4 locales, even Zone 3 …

The trick, though, is something we continually preach to all our gardening friends. Knowledge is power and research is key. If you’re buying succulents on a whim, check the plant’s tags to make sure they’re appropriate for your growing zone …

Succulents are commonly seen as landscape elements and are often used by landscapers to fill voids or establish a garden. Chosen properly, a succulent variety can be the cornerstone of your garden for years or even decades to come …




Here’s a list of our five favorite succulents for Zone 5 & 6 gardeners, along with pictures, descriptions, and general care requirements …

Best Succulents For Zone 5 and Zone 6 Gardens

FlowerChick.com/sensational-perennials-for-zone-5-and-zone-6

Color Guard Yucca

Color Guard Yucca: This one of a kind plant fits the bill if you’re looking for an easy care variety with three season interest …

The Color Guard Yucca is best known for its variegated foliage … they look terrific in a rocky garden, with perennials, or in a pot on your patio …

The plant starts out in the spring with individual leaves shooting up four to six inches from the mounded center. You’ll love the vibrant green trim they offer, which transition to red and pink as the weather cools.

Color Guard Yucca does best in full sun but will gladly tolerate partial shade. It tops out at about two feet with a similar or slightly larger spread …

If you add this succulent to your garden, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief – deer and rabbits don’t like it!

This plant is exceptionally easy care … drought, wind, heat, and humidity won’t deter it and it’s hardy down to Zone 4 …

FlowerChick.com/sensational-succulents-for-zone-5-and-6

Purple Ice Plant

Purple Ice Plant: Best used as a ground cover or potted plant, the stunning purple color of this succulent will wow you …

An early summer bloomer, the Purple Ice Plant will reward you with color all summer long. The foliage reaches only about 3-4 inches in height and the spread at maturity is about a foot wide …




This plant does well in full sun and is both drought and deer resistant …

Pair it with a nearby rose bush and you’ve got an eye catching colorful display!

FlowerChick.com/sensational-succulents-for-zone-5-and-6

Sempervivum – Hens & Chickens

Sempervivum (Hens and Chickens): We love the whimsical name of this colorful hardy succulent, but even more than that we love how it looks and performs in the garden …

A sempervivum (which means “always alive”), this plant is an excellent choice for beginners since it’s so easy care. Don’t worry at all about planting it in Zone 5 … it’s hardy for colder climates even to Zone 3 …

Hens and Chickens does really well in fast draining soil with plenty of sunlight. They like a good watering every couple of days but are generally drought resistant and as an added bonus, deer shy away from them …

They get their name from the small rosette looking buds (hens)that sprout small colorful flowers (chickens)! Hens and Chickens are an excellent and colorful succulent choice for Zone 5 & 6 gardeners …

FlowerChick.com/sensational-succulents-for-zone-5-and-zone-6

Sedum Cauticola

Sedum Cauticola: We especially like this Sedum for two reasons … it’s colorful and it’s a slow spreader. If you’ve shied away from Sedums in the past because they tend to overtake your garden, consider this one as it’s easily controlled with just a bit of pruning …




Used primarily as a ground cover, this plant works well as a border or near landscape rocks. Butterflies love the flowers which appear later in the summer and turn a beautiful shade of crimson …

About as “set it and forget it” choice you’ll find, the Sedum Cauticola does well in just about any type of soil and tolerates drought and sunny conditions. The blue-gray foliage with purple edges is easy on the eyes and blends well with any garden color display …

This plant tops out at about five inches and at mature spread it’s a little over a foot …

Hardy down to Zone 4, it’s an excellent landscape plant that adds color interest and is very easy to maintain …

FlowerChick.com/sensational-succulents-for-zone-5-and-6

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow: Another excellent all season color interest plant is the Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow. In the late winter and early spring, it features spikes of lime, cream, and green flowers …

As the temperatures begin to warm, the plant changes hue to a soft green grey color with cream accents. Saving the best for last, you’ll get a vibrant display of red and pink as the cooler temperatures arrive …

Distinct and unique, the Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow is well suited as an accent plant or in a featured container. It’s easy to grow and does well in the heat and drought …

Best of all, it rewards you with color all season long!

Care Instructions For Succulents

While issuing the general caveat that each plant is unique with their requirements, it’s fair to say succulents are among the most easy care plants …

There’s a reason they’re used so often in landscape beds – they do well without any specialized care and they’re long lasting and look good!




There are some general guidelines you should follow for succulents. Here are a few:

– Allow your plants to dry out before watering. About the only mistake you can make with succulents is over watering!

– It’s perfectly o.k. to trim and prune succulents to maintain their shape and keep them looking their best. Don’t fret about trimming too much or damaging the plant – the choices above are the ultimate in hardy.

– Succulents love sunshine, so always do your best to plant them in sunny locations …

– In terms of soil, succulents do best in well draining soil. If you’re creating your own potting mix, go for equal parts of potting soil, pea gravel, and sand.

But really, don’t worry about having to be “perfect”. Succulents are generally quite adaptable and will survive and thrive in pretty much anything but the worst soil conditions …

Summary

There’s a reason why succulents are so popular, and Zone 5 & 6 gardeners needn’t shy away. There are more than a handful of these hardy specimens that do quite well in colder climates …

Of course, succulents also make wonderful houseplants! They’re easy to maintain and serve as excellent air cleaning additions to indoor environments …

If you want to further explore the world of succulents, almost every decent sized community has a local succulent society and club where you can compare notes, meet fellow gardeners, and even adopt specimens for your home.

A good resource is the Cactus and Succulent Society of America at www.cssainc.org

Happy Gardening!




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  1. Practical Gardening Monthly – August 2017 Issue - […] out these informative, seasonal posts on Flower Chick including “Sensational Succulents for Zones 5 & 6” and “Creating a…

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