Saturday, December 8, 2012

Succulents overwintering on our front porch

Many succulents don’t handle freezing temperatures very well. Fortunately, our nighttime temperatures are still in the 40s so I haven’t had to worry about frost protection. However, rain at this time of year can be just as detrimental, especially if it continues over an extended period. Succulents sitting in cold, soggy soil are particularly susceptible to root and crown root, which often proves fatal. To avoid this, I try to keep most of my potted succulents as dry as possible.

Last month I built a new rain shelter attached to the front porch but it isn’t big enough to protect all my potted specimens. Many succulents permanently live on our front porch where they are naturally sheltered from the rain. This winter they are sharing their quarters with dozens of other potted plants which I moved there from other spots around the yard. And things are getting a bit crammed, as you can see from the photos below. “The more, the merrier” definitely applies!

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Front porch as seen from the lawn

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Front porch as seen from the dining room

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Plant rack in the corner

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The bistro table is home to a bunch of cacti

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Agaves and cacti in a corner of the front porch

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A few split rock plants

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Another view of the table…

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…and the plants now overwintering on the porch

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Deep nursery trays…

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…holding agaves…

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…and a Tephrocactus articulatus (top left)…

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…and an Aloe capitata var. quartziticola (lower right)

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A few more succulents are on the edge of the porch, still protected by the deep overhang

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These plants are out in the open for now, but they can be brought under cover at a moment’s notice. The dolly holds a large pot with different succulents that had been on top of the fence where I put up the rain shelter (you can see it in the photo above). The container had to be taken down to make room for the tarp.

8 comments:

  1. Great collection Gerhard! I was scrutinising some of the photos, looking at all your spiky goodies and I've seen a few already that I've added on my wishlist. Good work shifting all them where they will be snug when the cold weather arrives.

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    1. I hope the cold weather won't arrive this year but somehow it always does :-).

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  2. Ah what fun! A very nice selection of succulents, it must be so nice to keep them outdoors all year round. This year's migration was a real exercise and made me question the sanity of plant hoarding. Of course now that they're all tucked in and safe, I can put the pain behind me and enjoy them for the winter. It really is a lot of fun, they're a satisfying group of plants to collect, and only get cooler with age.

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    1. I never know how many plants I have until I have to move them under shelter for the winter. I haven't had much luck with smaller potted cacti (they rot so easily when they get wet at this time of year) and won't be buying any more. So hopefully my collection won't grow much more going forward. Otherwise I really need to find a spot for a small permanent greenhouse.

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  3. The array of potted succulents you have is overwhelming, so I can't comment on specific plants. I will say though that some of those must really be a challenge to move! Also, I love those deep nursery trays -- where did you find those?

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    1. It's a bit overwhelming for me too!

      The deep trays are awesome. I bought them from Yucca Do a couple of years ago. They were used and very reasonably priced. I wish I'd bought more.

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  4. Looking good so far my friend! Your plants are looking awesome! I love that our weather has stayed fairly warm but I know it is coming and if it rain much more my potted plants will have a problem. So today I went and got two saw horses and we are building a long table in the garage. we also got a big roll of 6 mil 10 ft X 100 ft husky clear plastic to enclose the gazebo again! Next couple of days we will be busy!

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  5. Cold weather or not they look very healthy and well cared for.

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