Summer Heat in Vancouver

This calls for planting succulents.

What can you grow in a container on your overheated west-facing balcony or patio? The answer is to plant a “hot pot” full of sun-loving succulents — plants that carry their water supply around with them in their leaves and can take all the heat you can give them.

I’ll annotate as we read together from the Vancouver Sun.

To create the tender hot pot, first place gravel or terra cotta shards in the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage.

Just make sure you don’t block the hole. In fact, cover the hole with mesh, and place a fast-draining soil all the way to the bottom.

Fill the upright 18-inch pot with a quality container soil mix.

Make that a quality cactus and succulent soil mix. Regular container soils will rot the plants.

Next, place your centrepiece — the large, Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’. This will stand about 35 to 45 cm high in the pot.

We always start with the big plant, although we often plant it off-center for effect.

Moisten the soil before taking the three large “collector’s echeveria” — colours range from warm pinks to cool blues — and placing them equidistant apart around the aeonium. The roots can be pressed into the moistened soil without much difficulty, but be careful not to damage the leaves or interfere too much with the roots.

We recommend planting into dry soil, and not moistening anything for another week, since succulents have tender rot-prone roots. In other words, rather than press the roots into wet soil try digging a hole into dry soil.

Finish off your container by planting the smaller, filler sedums in between the echeveria.

I approve of surrounding echeveria with smaller sedums.

This container can be placed in full-sun, but will need to be moved into a frost-free room in winter.

So true for those poor unfortunate freeze-loving Canadians.

  Cactus and Succulents
  Carnivorous Plants

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February 2024

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