Xeriscaping with Succulents and Cacti
Creating rock gardens in places that receive little to no water in your yard can provide nice visual appeal with little maintenance. Many cacti and succulents are perennial and when they bloom, they add bright spots of color in your landscape.
There are very large eaves on the house, meaning that there is about three feet of the garden under the eaves that receives little to no rain but still gets lots of afternoon sun. Next to the side entrance, the ground is terraced (or baffled) to accommodate the steep slope. The top two terraces are under the eaves. This is where we have added a rock garden.
How to Create Your Cactus & Succulent Garden
First, I laid down a bed of pebbles purchased from a local hardware store. You can usually find different options available in bags. The pebbles will keep weeds from growing and provide a nice structure for the larger feature rocks.
I then carefully arranged some larger rocks in patterns that would create crevices in which I could plant the succulents and cacti. These rocks are collected from various places that I have lived or travelled. Many of them show brilliant colors when wet.
Then the plants were placed in the rock crevices grouped into bunches that created nice textural or color combinations. When needed, I used regular potting soil to fill in the extra space in between crevices. This allows the roots of the plants to spread as many of these plants self-propagate.
Since this area is terraced, I placed some trailing succulents at the edge of the rock garden, hoping they would continue to spread and cascade down to the next step.
Maintaining a Cactus and Succulent Garden
I rarely water this small xeriscape garden, and since it is so close to the house, the majority of the plants survive the winter. I have seen very interesting flowers come from these cacti and succulents, and it is a pleasure to have them right next to the side entrance where I can view them each day. There is some weeding involved, but most of the time, this small rock garden is very low-maintenance.
Plants To Use in Low-Water Conditions (Xeriscaping)
Some of my favorite plants for this area are pictured below. They include