Cactus and Succulents - Part Shade

Astroloba foliosa

2″ rosettes grow to 12″h.; pups at base; light-shade, protect from frost

Astroloba herrei

2″ rosettes grow to 12″-18″h.; pups at base; shade tolerant

Austrocylindropuntia subulata

Opuntia subulata

Andean tree cholla gets 12 feet tall in habitat but can reach 25 feet in Bay Area, tubular leaves, long spines. Creates a very effective living fence. The fruit often drop and root in place.

Begonia dregei

Easy to grow natural bonsai with small succulent caudex.

Begonia rex hybrids

Rex Begonias come in a wide range of cultivated varieties, with vibrant multi-colored leaves in all sizes.
They’re a low light tropical houseplant with underground succulent rhizomes that need to be kept relatively dry. And yet the leaves need moisture – a puzzle indeed. But not too difficult to solve. Follow along.

Soil: They need a fast-draining soil that will dry out fully between waterings. A high quality houseplant mix will work – but be wary of lower quality mixes because they hold too much moisture. An orchid blend is even better. If you use a cactus or succulent blend, we recommend adding coir chips or a little bark mulch to the mix, or even some vermiculite.

Light: For the best vibrant colors, we recommend bright indirect light only. If they’re going to get some direct sun, make sure it’s no more than 1 to 2 hours of morning sun, and not too close to the window or the plant can burn.

Watering: Here’s what we’ve discovered as the key to successful rex begonias in the Bay Area with wet winters and dry summers. It all depends on the temperature in your home through the year.

Below 60° – The plant is going to go semi-dormant, so reduce watering to every 2 weeks and let some of the leaves fall off for winter.

60’s – Water once per week, letting the soil dry out completely, and don’t mist.

70s – Water weekly, and mist the leaves occasionally with a very fine spray.

80s – Water weekly, and mist the leaves 2 to 3 times per week with a very fine spray.

90° and above – Water twice weekly, mist the leaves every other day or place on rocks in a saucer filled with water to increase the ambient humidity. Don’t let the pot sit directly in the water.

Watering Note: Always let the roots dry out between watering and never let the pot sit in water.

Misting Note: When misting rex begonias always use a very fine mist and never let water droplets collect on the leaves.

If you live elsewhere your results will vary, depending on your temperatures and especially your humidity.

Billbergia “Hallelujah”

Terrestrial bromeliad to 1 to 2 feet tall with very strongly variegated/spotted leaves. Glossy foliage, upright form, multicolored blooms. Grows quickly if not too wet.

Billbergia “Las Manchas”

Terrestrial bromeliad with compact base to 10″ high. Upright form. Multicolored blooms. Sharp edges with marginal teeth.

Billbergia elegans

Terrestrial bromeliad to 1 to 2 feet tall with subtle variegated pastel-colored leaves. Upright form. Multicolored blooms. Sharp edges with marginal teeth.

Bowiea volubilis

Bulbs spherical to 10″, long twining vines, sm. greenish blooms

Bulbine latifolia

Clump-forming shrubby rosettes, w/yellow blooms attractive to hummingbirds

Bursera simplicifolia

Slow growing shrub, natural bonsai; rare; caudex with peeling bark. Can get to 10 feet tall.

Cephalopentandra ecirrhosa

Caudex develops “pimples,” or fissures, as it ages. In the Cucurbitaceae family, forms wild-growing vines with large lobed green leaves and large yellow-green squash-blossom flowers.

Ceraria pygmaea

Portulacaria pygmaea

Natural bonsai shrub succulent, to 8″h., with small thick green leaves. Stems can get 4″ thick.

Cereus peruvianus

C. repandus

30ft. Branch from base, segmented stems; bright red fruit

Cereus uruguayanus

C. hildmannianus ssp. uruguayanus

Tall, columnar, branching cactus with large summer night-blooms

Ceropegia woodii

Vines to 2ft, heart-shaped succulent leaves; Moist in summer, dry in winter


Cheiridopsis denticulata

Dwarf shrublet with paired leaves in the Iceplant family. Tiny little teeth-like protrusions on the tips of the leaves. Variable flower colors from pale-peach to bright yellow. May also be the same species as Cheiridopsis candidissima.