Everyone is spending a lot of time talking about succulents these days. Even teenagers are starting to install them in their bedrooms. Succulents are a good choice because they’re very easy to grow, needing hardly any water, because they store it all in their fleshy leaves.
However, those succulents for indoors aren’t really suitable to use outside. However, did you know there are some succulents that we can grow outside as border plants? I’d like to introduce you to a range of hardy succulents that will give you colour year after year, whilst being entirely drought proof and hassle free in growing!
These succulents are the perfect addition to rejuvenate rockeries, for maintenance-free window boxes, for creating green roofs, or for simply dotting some in patio pots. Plant them up next to your petunias and let these new kids give the traditional plants the shock of their lives…
If you’re feeling inspired, watch my video on planting up a Rainbow Succulent container here.
Sedum have come along way. They used to be seen as quite boring plants, only ever used in amenity planting. That has all changed with the introduction of a brand-new plant, in fact it’s a hybrid that didn’t even exist 10 years ago!!
Super hardy plants, that will live year after year outdoors, whether that’s in the border, lining the pathway, planted amongst the gravel, or in fancy pots. Read more about this series and it’s creation here.
Create a patchwork in your borders with the dazzling range of leaf colours and patterns. It won’t just be you that’s excited by this plant though, the bees and the butterflies will be just as dazzled by its high resolution appearance.
Not all succulents are grown for their fancy leaves, this one just happens to have the most amazing psychedelic flowers over a long summer period too. This is the Wheels of Wonder, a plant who’s initials happened to be W O W! Not a coincidence…
A fantastic, easy growing plant for any dry sunny and difficult area. These succulent plants will cover large areas of ground quickly and easily, creating a weed suppressing blanket to!
The colour of the flowers will need you to wear sunglasses though, and we won’t apologise for that! The detail in the flowers is also incredibly beautiful, so make sure you get up close to them as well. Planting up a few in small terracotta pots for the tabletop outside would also be welcomed.
Every time somebody posts a picture of the Gold Nugget variety of Sempervivum, the Internet goes into meltdown. These plants have nothing on the Kardashians!
Bred in Michigan, the Chick Charms are a brand new generation of a very normal every day plant. The familiar rosettes of the Hens and Chicks plant are now available in a range of bright colours, many with contrasting edges.
An exciting outdoor succulent, which will grow in the most inhospitable of conditions. In fact, in the olden days, they were often grown on roofs, and thought to protect a house from lightning strikes. It’s always worth a chance, so if you’re the superstitious type, then why not get planting!?
Succulent appearance, easy care and as hi resolution as they come, this is Sedum ‘Atlantis’. Smart, rosette forming plants are splashed with cream. And, if that wasn’t enough, they ALSO have amazing summer flowers!
ZERO maintenance, perfect for your new rainbow succulent garden, xeriscaping or just casual patio pots..!
Gnome Domes (Orostachys)
Whilst stock of these exciting plants hasn’t yet reached Europe, they’re worth mentioning for sure. A remarkable feat of breeding, the Gnome Domes are brand-new hybrids of relatively unknown plant Orostachys.
The name comes from the shape of the flower stems, as they rise to the sky they give the appearance of gnome hats! Gnomes have been mystical creatures for centuries, and often associated with being a good luck charm. How about a living good luck charm, these new plants could certainly give four leaf clover a run for its money.
A fantastic succulent plant, which is of course drought tolerant, and most at home in a Xeriscape or rock garden! Brilliant for kids too, of course! I’d have loved to have grown these when I was a kid.
What do you think of these outdoor succulent ideas? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments section below!
All the varieties shown above are from Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America).
See previous articles on Plantipp plants here.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.