“As the market for water thirsty plants dries up, sales of cacti and succulents are thriving — and San Diego’s North County is ground zero for all things succulent.” So begins a segment on KPBS-TV by Alison St. John, a bureau chief who has been covering local issues for decades. Alison interviewed me in my garden[...]
If there’s a good thing about our too-hot Southern California summers, it’s that heat makes certain succulents turn color. A case in point is Aloe nobilis, which in my garden grows in nutrient-poor decomposed granite with minimal water.
Chris and John Gleason of San Diego did a brave thing: They tore out a perfectly fine front yard. Most people who want to save water merely let their lawns die and replace them with less thirsty plants. The Gleasons went several steps further. They got rid of a healthy ornamental plum tree and a privacy hedge that[...]
When young succulent horticulturist Matthew Wong, 11, visited, we cut down the bloom spike of my octopus agave and harvested bulbils. Octopus agave (Agave vilmoriniana) grows to about 4 feet in diameter and 5 feet tall. A “soft” agave, its leaves lack teeth and its tips come to a point but are not sharp. In[...]
I was pairing some newly acquired succulents with containers I had kicking around, and discovered that one plant in particular, Euphorbia meloformis, looks great in just about anything. It’s symmetry, ridges, stripes and red-green-brown hues make it the Naomi Campbell of succulents. Similar to spherical Euphorbia obesa (baseball plant), Euphorbia meloformis is whimsical, visually appealing, easy to grow,[...]