Cactus and Succulents forum: Best performing succulents/cacti in full sun and dry heat, in your garden

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_Bleu_
Feb 23, 2019 1:33 AM CST
I have room for four more plants in my succulent and cacti garden. Last summer I lost three plants during the heatwaves, probably because I bought them in May and they'd only been a month in the ground before the first heatwave hit.

Which plants would you recommend for full sun and dry heat, based on your own experience?

What's in my garden now:

Aeonium 'Kiwi'
Aloe 'Blue Elf'
Artichoke agave
Cotyledon 'Mint Truffles'
Cotyledon 'White Sprite'
Crassula (Crassula capitella 'Campfire')
Silver Jade
Jade Plant
Gollum Jade
Blue Chalk Sticks (Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae)
Senecio barbertonicus
Slipper Plant (Euphorbia lomelii)
Variegated Indian Corn Cob (Euphorbia mammillaris var. variegata)
Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks'
Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra)
Jelly Bean (Sedum rubrotinctum)
Graptosedum 'California Sunset' **** this one did not do well last summer, half of the plant succumbed to the heat
Kalanchoe Marnieriana
Golden barrel
Michoga

I water by hand and pay a lot of attention to the plants' needs.

Thank You!
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Zone11a w/ lots of winter rain
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Crazycactiguy
Feb 23, 2019 4:12 AM CST
I would recommend opuntias, mammillarias (karwinskiana, polythele, magnimmma, compressa, gemnispina...), ferocactus, echinocactus, yucca... all these plants are absolutely bulletproof. Other than these high desert cacti like oreocereus, some espostoa, browningia and similar all do well with extreme heat.
Personally i shy away from crassulaceae when i have to deal with full sun and extreme heat. I found that cacti in general are more tolerant of heat and drought than succulents
[Last edited by Crazycactiguy - Feb 23, 2019 2:46 PM (+)]
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greyhorse
Feb 23, 2019 2:05 PM CST
Yes, cacti are much better than succulents in the heat. In my limited experience, barrel cacti, yucca, prickly pears, chollas and ocotillos all do well.
Β SoCal - Sunset zone 23β˜€οΈ (Zone 10a)
Region: California Adeniums Hummingbirder Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
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_Bleu_
Feb 23, 2019 7:32 PM CST
Thank You! @Crazycactiguy and @greyhorse for the suggestions. I will check them out; hopefully, some of them can be found locally.

Perhaps I should've mentioned that I planted a lot more succulents than cacti in my garden because that's what seems to make more sense given our microclimate. Walking around my neighborhood I see very few cacti, they are used as accents and many are potted. I think I should probably do the same.

Back to succulents, if you have echeverias, sempervivums, and sedums in your garden, do they tolerate dry heat and nights in the upper 70s during July and August?
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 25, 2019 7:00 PM CST
HI _Bleu_ pretty much for the greater variety of succulents, once temps starts hitting 95F to 100F++ and humidity going so dry like less than 20%, they will naturally shut down a bit. Then all will recover much better, waiting for the cooler temp transition of Fall.

They will also survive the excessive heat conditions, if you can reposition them in an area where they get morning light and filtered/dappled light in the afternoon.

So far Euphorbias, Crassula ovata, Crassula ovata 'Gollum', Graptoveria, Aloes, Yuccas, Adeniums will take the heat. But I also prepare for it, since humidity is too low, dry out is way too fast, so I have to adjust watering frequency at that stage, like a forecast of one to two weeks heat wave, that will make me water them twice a week, doing it early in the day.

If there are alpine succuelnts in your collection like Sempervivums, Sedums, best to really keep them watered well, and positioned in shade. Aeoniums goes dormant in summer here, so no amount of increased watering will perk them up.

I love Adeniums the best when we go on heat wave, they can take it so well, as long as watered everyday by then. Blooming time is actually at the peak of summer. Will take all the direct sun and heat even up to 122F. Thankfully we have so far reached 116F at its hottest for just a couple of days.

All my cacti likes the summer warmth, some even likes daily watering, just depends on what variety it is.

I find Albucas, Dudleyas, Aeoniums going to sleep here during the hot months. Blessing I get, I have the canopy of city trees giving added protection to the garden. But dry heat is such, thankful succulents have that capacity to store moisture, otherwise they will all be demolished here with zero rainfall for 6 to 7 months.
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 26, 2019 9:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 25, 2019 9:29 PM CST

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Agaves, at least the ones from desert locations, tend to be pretty indestructible in full sun and dry heat. Also Hesperaloe, which is great for flowers and lacks the dangerous spines.



I would think the soft plants in the Crassulaceae (like Aeonium, Echeveria, Sedum, Sempervivum) would do better given some relief from the sun when it's really hot (especially at night). But my experience with actual heat is nil.
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Hamwild
Feb 25, 2019 9:50 PM CST
Not that I have the conditions as most folks on here and I only have one planted succulent, but it'd be my Yuccas. I planted them and forgot them. They've survived the cold, heat, lots of rain, and drought.
Β SoCal - Sunset zone 23β˜€οΈ (Zone 10a)
Region: California Adeniums Hummingbirder Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses Herbs Garden Art Garden Photography
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_Bleu_
Feb 26, 2019 1:00 AM CST
@tarev,

Thank you so much, all that info is very valuable to me. I looked up Adeniums, wow, that's such an interesting plant. It would be a great addition to my garden. I saw some at the nursery the other day but I thought they were bonsai D'Oh! and now I'm so happy to learn that they actually thrive in high heat. Great! Do they like being in ground? I ask because in most of the photos I've seen on google and all of the Adeniums I saw at the nursery happened to be potted. Some plants seem to perform better when their roots are contained.

So sedums and sempervivums are cool weather succulents. That explains why the Jelly Bean and the Graptosedum did so poorly last summer. They have recovered but if we get scorching weather again this summer, I'll pot them and plant more resilient plants in those spots. Shading that garden is not going to be easy; a sun sail would be ideal but I don't think we can place it high enough for good air circulation, but it will be needed during July and August only. We'll see, maybe we can attach it to the fence on one end and to something taller (like, say, 9' stakes) on the other - not even sure that's feasible.

Thanks, again, Tarev. Smiling
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Β SoCal - Sunset zone 23β˜€οΈ (Zone 10a)
Region: California Adeniums Hummingbirder Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses Herbs Garden Art Garden Photography
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_Bleu_
Feb 26, 2019 1:05 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:But my experience with actual heat is nil.


That sound like perfect weather to me! Not too much rain, not too much heat. Lovey dubby
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Β SoCal - Sunset zone 23β˜€οΈ (Zone 10a)
Region: California Adeniums Hummingbirder Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses Herbs Garden Art Garden Photography
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_Bleu_
Feb 26, 2019 1:12 AM CST
Hamwild said:my Yuccas. I planted them and forgot them. They've survived the cold, heat, lots of rain, and drought.


I wish I had the room for them. When I planned my garden I completely forgot about yuccas. Crying

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Georgia (Zone 8a)
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Hamwild
Feb 26, 2019 7:38 AM CST
_Bleu_ said:

I wish I had the room for them. When I planned my garden I completely forgot about yuccas. Crying



Oh no! The Yucca filamentosa I have isn't supposed to get that big... but I imagine that's not accounting for babies upon babies. Sad
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Feb 26, 2019 9:13 AM CST
Yucca filamentosa (its grown here a lot), tends to average at about half a meter in diameter, often less.
Other yuccas like the gloriosa are larger, often heaving a span of over a meter.
In general, they are not plants for tight spaces.
if youre looking for something unusual,(not sure if mentioned here) a plant called manfreda. Im sure youve heard of it, but just in case, its smaller, and related to the agave. Range is listed (for the most common species) "central texas to gulf of mexico", so it might just work out in your area.
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Feb 26, 2019 9:15 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 26, 2019 9:55 AM CST
_Bleu_ with Adeniums, I also have them in containers, since they go winter dormant. Once outdoor temps starts going below 50F, I bring them in. Your area maybe better than mine and may do the overwintering more into December, but once you notice it starts getting yellow leaves and dropping them in Fall, it is preparing to go dormant.

I just allow mine to go dormant during the cold season. I actually like it, one less plant to worry about during winter. Just keeping it in a warm area, keeping it dry and just wait for Spring to come back. I wait till mid Spring, when overnight temps are stable already at least 50F before I bring them out slowly, in part shade then into more direct sun. I resume watering when it starts making new leaves. Making its media very gritty and well draining is important, since it stores water in its caudex. Before it resumes more active growing I may decide to improve the media, and as I do it I lift the plant about an inch or so to expose more of the caudex.

I get the blooms in July, the peak of summer, so it becomes the queen in my yard, where most of my plants are just trying to endure the dry summer heat.

If you happen to get a much younger seedling, then it will like a bit more moisture, but the more adults ones have better drought tolerance.

My Adenium still hiding indoors, totally dormant, that fat caudex remains rock solid.
Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/b97c9f

When in bloom last July 2018
Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/6d47b8 Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/3b2375

[Last edited by tarev - Feb 26, 2019 10:18 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Feb 26, 2019 10:07 AM CST
Some more succulents or drought tolerant plants that enjoy our dry heat and full sun, plant the caudex half way above soil line, do not bury it. It endures wet winters okay, as long as media is again very gritty and well draining. Very happy during the heat wave months.

Cycad - I get the new flush of leaves in July
Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/a61dff Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/5c0370

Zamia furfuracea - cardboard like texture of leaves
Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/d8ab1a Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/c53ab3
grows new leaves also towards summer
Thumb of 2019-02-26/tarev/c97b76




Β SoCal - Sunset zone 23β˜€οΈ (Zone 10a)
Region: California Adeniums Hummingbirder Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Native Plants and Wildflowers Roses Herbs Garden Art Garden Photography
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_Bleu_
Feb 27, 2019 1:08 PM CST
skopjecollection said:if youre looking for something unusual,(not sure if mentioned here) a plant called manfreda. Im sure youve heard of it, but just in case, its smaller, and related to the agave. Range is listed (for the most common species) "central texas to gulf of mexico", so it might just work out in your area.


I just looked up Manfreda. Very interesting plant! The Manfreda undulata 'Cherry Chocolate Chip' is beautiful (photo from https://www.waltersgardens.com...):

Thumb of 2019-02-27/_Bleu_/93c3ff

In my climate, this plant should be potted, though, because our winters may be too wet for it. I also took a look at the Mangaves; very nice plants, I really liked the 'Desert Dragon' and 'Bad Hair Day' varieties.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 27, 2019 1:44 PM CST

Moderator

They are great potted plants, growing here (no heat to speak of) in day-long sun. The winter rain does not seem to be a problem. Our climates are very similar in that respect.



For the time being Manfreda is part of Agave, but the Mangaves are nice plants. Best color with maximum light.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 27, 2019 3:39 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Feb 27, 2019 3:10 PM CST
There are some terrestrial bromeliads you can try. They do look like aloes.

I like this one, and this endures well our summer dry heat as well as our rainy winter. My plant is still quite young though. Baja has a more matured one, I remember it is very beautiful! Lovey dubby
Deuterocohnia brevifolia
Thumb of 2019-02-27/tarev/6590ea

I have a noid terrestrial bromeliad here, I think it is some type of Dyckia. Waxy leaves, not succulent leaves but it is quite drought tolerant. Changes color when it is too hot.
Aug 2018
Thumb of 2019-02-27/tarev/939922

11Feb2019, it has been getting a lot of rain and cold temps, showing more green leaves and lesser reddish hues
Thumb of 2019-02-27/tarev/ac0ff7

Β SoCal - Sunset zone 23β˜€οΈ (Zone 10a)
Region: California Adeniums Hummingbirder Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
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_Bleu_
Feb 27, 2019 6:16 PM CST
Lovely Manfreda, Baja! Lovey dubby

Tarev, that Deuterocohnia brevifolia is really, really nice and the bromeliad is quite handsome too. Lovey dubby I'll add them to my list.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Feb 27, 2019 6:26 PM CST
_Bleu_my long term goal for that Deuterocohnia brevifolia hopefully it will mound and look like this. This one is on display at the local cacti nursery in Ripon, CA:

Thumb of 2019-02-28/tarev/af10b7

Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Houseplants Cactus and Succulents Birds
Critters Allowed Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
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Hamwild
Feb 27, 2019 6:40 PM CST
Blinking Lovey dubby *Blush*

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