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Consider succulents for low maintenance and low-water

Water-wise succulents | Pacific Nurseries
For installations that require low maintenance plants that are stingy on water needs, nothing could be better or easier than water-wise succulents.

With an astounding variety of leaf texture and color, these landscape gems provide interest and focal points in the garden.

Water-wise succulents worth considering

Pacific Horticulture magazine recently published an extensive article on how landscape professionals throughout Northern California are expanding their plant palettes to include these uniquely functional plants.

The article discloses how over the last few years, landscape architects and designers are recognizing that more and more clients are asking specifically for custom-designed succulent gardens. Below are a few of our favorite succulents that Bay Area Landscape Pros tell us their clients love.

Agave franzosinii

Common Name | Agave ‘Sawtooth’
Agave franzosinii | Pacific Nurseries
Agave franzosinii | Pacific Nurseries
For a great focal plant, look no further than Agave franzosinii. This giant Agave grows 6 to 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Agave franzosinii’s silver/blue leaves make its presence known. It requires summer irrigation in hot inland climates to look its best but it’s remarkably hardy and very low maintenance.

Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’

Common Name | Golden Japanese Stonecrop
Great Shade Plants | Pacific Nurseries
Sedum makinoi 'Ogon' | Pacific Nurseries
Another great low growing succulent is Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’. It grows well in shadier gardens and has bright yellow leaves that lighten up any dark areas. It also mixes well with many styles and conditions. I grow it myself in both tropical and succulent pots.

Echeveria elegans

Common Name | Mexican Snowball
Echeveria elegans | Pacific Nurseries
Echeveria elegans | Pacific Nurseries
One of our favorite water-wise succulents is Echeveria elegans—also known as the ‘Mexican Snowball.’  This plant is incredibly hardy and as it grows low and spreads, it provides great color and contrast to other darker or large-leafed plants. It’s a perfect solution for inserting in rock walls or any other random crevice you can find in your project. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to propagate. Just pull out one of the stems and plant it in moist soil to start a new, slow-growing cluster of beautiful snowballs.


Common Name | Tree Houseleek
Aeonium for fire-resistant landscape | Pacific Nurseries
Aeonium | Pacific Nurseries
Aeonium is a genus of more than 30 species of succulent, subtropical plants that include the popular Aeonium hierrense and Aeonium undulatum | Saucer Plant. Leaves are typically arranged on a basal stem, in a dense, spreading rosette that is divided into sections. They are drought-tolerant, low maintenance, and prefer full sun.


Common Name | Tree Houseleek
Calandrinia grandiflora | Pacific Nurseries
Calandrinia grandiflora | Pacific Nurseries
Cistanthe grandiflora/Calandrinia is a stunning and unusual succulent that features fleshy, narrowly oval and pointed blue-green leaves about 4-6′ long. From spring into fall, it produces a beautiful display of brilliant magenta flowers along tall, slender stems that can rise +/- 24″ above the evergreen foliage. It’s a great addition to rock gardens and it can tolerate little water and very dry conditions. We love this very popular plant.
“Succulents are great fire proof ground cover that provide a wonderful aesthetic look with beautiful flowers in many colors.”
David Rimer | Hummingbird Tree Service

Dudleya farinosa

CA Native  Common Name | Bluff Lettuce
Dudleya farinosa | Pacific Nurseries
Dudleya farinosa | Pacific Nurseries
Dudleya farinosa is a native succulent plant that’s attractive to hummingbirds along the coast in its natural range. Its leaves are generally very pale green but they often have edges or tips that are bright red. The plant erects a tall stem that bears a branching flower cluster with many pale to bright yellow flowers. It’s commonly found on bluffs and coastal hillsides and is very easy to grow in marine environments. It prefers well-draining soil in either full sun or part shade.


Common Name | Sea Cabbage
Senico for fire-resistant landscape | Pacific Nurseries
Senico | Pacific Nurseries
Senecio is a spreading succulent from South Africa that grows to 12″-18″ inches tall with 3″-4″ long, blue-gray pencil-like fleshy leaves. They bloom with colored flowers in mid-summer and form a dense carpet of angled upward leaves as they spread. As a  hardy ground covers, this versatile and widely use succulent prefers full sun.

Agave americana

CA Native  Common Name | Century Plant
Agave americana | Pacific Nurseries
Agave americana | Pacific Nurseries
Agave americana is commonly called the century plant. It typically lives 10 to 30 years and spreads to 6–10′ with gray-green leaves of 3–5′ long. Give this dramatic plant plenty of room and install it away from foot traffic because the prickly leaves sport a dense spike at the tip that can be quite dangerous. Near the end of its life, Agave americana sends up a tall, branched stalk, laden with yellow blossoms, that may reach a total height up to 25–30′ tall. It then dies after flowering.

Save water and add beauty to your client’s garden

These water-wise succulents are the perfect solution for your client that’s concerned about plants that require little water and very little maintenance. We offer many other succulent varieties in our large on hand inventory.

Serving landscape professionals since 1869

For over 150 years, landscape professionals have turned to Pacific Nurseries for our personalized service, expert advice and an ever-growing selection of plants. From one item to an entire installation, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in over 40 acres of inventory that includes everything from the ordinary to the exotic.

As both a grower and a plant broker, we’re ready to work with you to provide just the right water-wise succulents, uncommon trees or California native plants that will make your project a success. It’s one of the many qualities that makes us different from just an ordinary nursery.

And if you need a plant material Estimate or would like to place an Order, just click on over to use our convenient ONLINE ESTIMATE | ORDER FORM.

Have you installed succulents that your customers love?

Have you been using any interesting succulents in your projects that are worth sharing? Let us know. We look forward to hearing from you!

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