Succulents are a staple of water-wise gardens, as they are hardy and easy to grow – a wonderful solution for those without green thumbs!
However, you don’t need to give up beauty for convenience, as there are a host of indigenous succulents with beautiful flowers out there.
Read more: How to propagate succulents from leaves
Crassula capitella (Red flames)
As the common name suggests, red flames has thick leaves that start out bright green and develop into an intense fiery red as they mature – if the plant gets lots of sun. Not only do these crassulae have interesting leaves, but they also carry small (mostly white) flowers on thick stems during summertime. There are five subspecies, so chat to your local nursery to find out which one will suit your garden best.
Bulbine latifolia (Broad-leaved bulbine)
A favourite among low-maintenance gardeners, these plants have clusters of bright yellow flowers that grow near the top of their inflorescence. The cheery flowers attract bees and other insects, and the plants spread easily.
Cotyledon tomentosa (Bear’s paw)
The flowering succulents have bell-shaped flowers ranging from light yellow, orange, orange-red or pink. The leaves of the shrublet are hairy, with multiple triangular red-tinted tips, giving it the appearance of bear claws.
Read more: 10 waterwise plants your garden needs
Cotyledon orbiculata (Pig’s ears)
Looking for a handsome plant that grows well in a pot or in your garden? The pig’s ears plant has flat grey-green leaves that grow near the ground, with a longer stem that shoots up and carries red tubular flowers, making them look like small bells drooping down. Rarer varieties bear orange or yellow flowers.
Carpobrotus edulis (Sour fig)
This flowering succulent ticks all the boxes – these are low-maintenance, water-wise plants that work well as ground cover in even the most difficult areas. It has singular yellow flowers that fade to a pale pink during late winter and springtime.
Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)
This versatile plant carries bright flowers that range anywhere between purple and red, but they mostly manifest in a brilliant magenta colour. The leaves are glossy and thick, making it an ideal succulent ground cover even when it’s not in flower.
Crassula multicava (Fairy crassula)
The fairy crassula lives up to its common name by carrying dainty star-shaped white flowers. The leaves are generally round or oval-shaped and glossy, and when planted in large quantities these succulents will provide you with a uniform mat of ground cover.
Catherine Schenck – All4Women
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