Succulents have been growing in popularity for interiors over the past few years, but for those in dry climates (or who want to skip watering the lawn) they are popular choice outside as well. Today we have experts from Rolling Greens in Southern California offering tips for growing succulents both inside and out. Initially only to the trade, Rolling Greens has long been a vital source for landscape designers, interior designers, event planners, and production designers. Now open to the public, in 2008 Rolling Greens opened their second location in an old tire shop selling plants and containers, as well as a wider variety of home décor including furniture, gift items and one-of-a-kind pieces. In the slideshow, see a peek inside Rolling Greens’ landscaping work for STRIIIKE Salon in Beverly Hills and learn how to grow your own succulents below.
Why are succulents so great for dry areas?
Succulents are a natural fit for dry areas since they have adapted to thrive in hot, arid climates across the world from the deserts of North America to Africa. They successfully live by holding water in their leaves, stems, and roots, allowing them to stay hydrated and flourish throughout the dry season.
Fortunately for us, their adaptations have allowed them to require less water and maintenance than most other plant varieties, which means that anyone (yes—even if you have a black thumb) can care for them! With a huge variety of species that offers unique colors, shapes, and sizes, succulents have become the perfect medium for everything from landscape design to potted arrangements.
What are your top tips for creating an outdoor succulent garden?
Succulents come in a huge variety of colors and color ways including everything from pastel hues and shockingly vivid colors to strictly warm-tones and cool-tones. When designing your succulent garden, whether in a space or in a container, it’s important to choose a color way and plant within those means to achieve the most cohesive and impactful design possible.
There are hundreds of uniquely shaped succulents that can alter the entire feel of a garden. We always aim to create a “moment” when designing, which can be achieved by picking either one succulent or a carefully curated grouping of succulents to act as your focal point. Height, a pop of color, a fuzzy texture or an unusual shape can all add drama to any design.
Adding a topper can completely change the feel of your garden. Using our STRIIIKE installation as an example, the white pebbles completely elevated the tone and feel of a space. There are plenty of types of gravel, recycled glass, and even bark that you can add to a container or garden to create the finishing touch.
What about for people who don’t have outdoor space. How do you care for succulents indoors?
Succulents love light and prefer bright light. If you are leaving your succulents indoors, position them on or near a South or East-facing window. However, don’t just leave them there and assume they will stay alive–If they are receiving too much light, the leaves will scorch and turn brown or white. If they aren’t receiving enough light, they will begin to stretch and show an elongated stem and leaves. When you see your succulents reacting, the best solution is to place them in a space with proper lighting and then prune back to shape as new growth appears.
Succulents need sandy, well-drained soil to thrive. You can buy soil tailored to the succulent’s conditions or create your own by mixing half potting soil and half sand to make a porous blend. If you are potting succulents in a container that does not have any form of drainage, be sure to line the pot with a layer of gravel to offer a drainage outlet.
This goes for all succulents, but overwatering to happen more so if succulents are indoors. In addition, this is one of the biggest problems we see when customers visit us and inquire about reviving their succulent—it is one of the fastest ways to kill one of these little guys! Make sure to test if the soil is dry by sticking a finger or two into the mix down to your knuckles. If it is dry, you can water. Shrinking, puckering, or dull leaves is another sign to water.