Growing a variety of plants successfully here in the South Burnett can be both challenging and rewarding. With summer and winter extremes, finding suitable plants such as succulents, can lessen these challenges and ensure that we can enjoy our efforts.

Adapted to harsh, dry climates by storing water in their leaves and stems to keep themselves alive, succulents are survivors earning a valuable place in our gardens.

My garden is an eclectic mix of plants and includes succulents of various colours, shapes, and sizes with the pigface types of mesembryanthem, glottyphyllum and carpobrotus providing a real splash of colour recently. One of the most wonderful things about succulents and the reason for their huge popularity is that they are easily cared for. When given adequate light, good drainage and the occasional deep watering to replicate nature, they are ideal growing in pots and make beautiful gifts.

Succulents require minimum fertiliser and seem to be the perfect plant for people with busy lifestyles. Over the weekend I had a conversation with a specialist succulent grower located near Maidenwell. Her own garden balances the challenges of a cold and dry climate and she thinks about the needs of her plants so she is able to successfully grow beautiful succulents. She is often asked questions such as “What mix do you use? How much water do they need? Do they need fertiliser? As with many mixtures each person will have their own personal ratio of ingredients. Many people will add sharp sand, perlite, coco-pith and rock minerals to a potting mix base; the mix and ratio is really up to yourself and your own preferences; just remember that good drainage is the key.

As the years have passed I have grown an appreciation of the various features of my succulents. Whether in the garden or in containers they are wonderful plants available in such varied colours, shapes, and sizes. Sempervivum are one of my favourites with the striking structure of their leaves; I especially like the ones tinged with purple. Do you have a favourite succulent? Take care and “Happy Gardening” everyone, Romaine