flowerbed of succulent plants – Questions and Answers succulent plants

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Answer: flowerbed of succulent plants

Dear Linda,

since many succulents and all cacti are native to South America, there is a tendency to weigh that they are plants that need a warm climate throughout the year, given that we think of South America as a continent with a homogeneous climate, tropical type, in fact, the climate of the South American continent is quite heterogeneous, even if you consider state by state; Mexico, for instance, has mountainous zones, with mountains exceeding the 3000 metres of height, which act as an obstacle to the rains, and cause arid zones, but at times with temperate climate; Peru is lapped on the coasts by the current of Humboldt, which brings dry and icy air from the Antarctic; Argentina has many zones with very cold climate, which recall, in the numbers, more Alaska, than Brazil, but characterized by a very strong wind, which causes a lesser presence of precipitations and a drier climate.

Besides this, the arid zones of the whole globe are characterized by very high daily temperature ranges, and the rainy periods are often intense and sudden, with the presence of ephemeral rivers and streams, which may exist even for only a few hours. For this reason, many succulent plants and cacti can stand the frosts, even intense, without suffering any damage, even temperatures below -10 ° C may not give any kind of concern to many species and varieties of cacti.

You then have the good fortune to live in Sicily, where the winter climate is decidedly pleasant, with only episodic frosts, which often do not occur. Among the most common succulents in cultivation, the only ones that can hardly stand the winter cold and prefer to be placed in an apartment during the cold months, are the euphorbias (although a couple of species could find a place in the garden).

Then, the pachypodium, are plants for warm climate; and the tylecodon, the jatropha, some species of ferocactus and gymnocalycium. Most of the cacti, on the contrary, can be cultivated in the garden, also in winter, and, especially, agave, aloe, echinopsis, echinocactus, most of the ferocactus and gymnocalycium, the lobiivie, the opuntie. Online you will surely find long tables indicating species by species, with the minimums supported.

The fundamental problem lies in the fact that most of these plants bear temperatures close to -10°C, but only if the soil in which they are placed is perfectly dry; for this reason, already in October, we stop watering, and, if necessary, in case of intense rain, we cover the flower-bed with plastic material, so that it is not excessively watered by the bad weather.

In order to favour this type of climate, dry and cold, the plants are placed in a very well drained soil, formed by a small part of mould, mixed with washed river sand and other granular material, such as pumice, pozzolana, lapillus: it depends on which is the easiest material to find in the zone where you live.

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