SUCCULENTS
      AND CACTI

Aberdeen Florist and Garden Center carries a large selection of succulents and cacti plants. Most cacti and succulents fall into the "Easy Care" category and that is true for the plants listed below. Our selection varies throughout the year and you may want to call ahead to be sure we have what you want. The Sandhills has a rather unique population because of its attraction for retirees and the large community of soldiers stationed here. The result is many people have enjoyed cacti and succulents from many places in the world and we'd love to know about them. We can't be sure we can add them to our selections but we'd love to try. Below are listed some of our most popular offerings:

 

Watch Chain Cactus: Crassula muscosa, also called Club moss Crassula, Princess Pine, or Rattail Crassula. This plant is not hardy in the Sandhills but can make an interesting houseplant and can add excellent texture when used in a succulent dish garden. It's height at maturity is 6"-12" and it prefers full sun. Like with most succulents, let the soil dry out between waterings. This plant is drought tolerant.
Although grown mainly for its blue-green foliage, it does produce a small white bloom with a tinge of yellow in late summer to mid fall.



Haworthia: A native of South Africa and related to aloe, this plant has many varieties, two of which  you can see in the photos on the left and right. At maturity the plant can reach 2"- 8". Water regularly but let the soil dry between waterings. Haworthia requires light shade to bright light (protect from midday sun). In shade the foliage remains mostly green, while full sun will darken it and give it a reddish brown color. Can be sunburned if moved from shade into full sun too quickly. Most Haworthias will not survive a Sandhills winter but they make interesting houseplants and can be brought outside from spring to fall as long as they don't get the hot afternoon sun. The haworthia bloom consists of tiny white flowers that come up on thin 6"- 8" stalks. Deadheading the stalks after the blooms fade will keep the plant flowering.

 Photo above courtesy of Andrew Butko and Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

 

Panda Plant: also called "Pussy Ears", "Chocolate Soldier" and "Felt Plant", it is in the Kalanchoe genus with a scientific name of Kalanchoe tomentosa.  A native of Madagascar, the Panda plant is an evergreen and a succulent. It will not survive a winter in the Sandhills and is grown as a houseplant mainly for its foliage. The color and texture of Panda plants make them perfect in a succulent garden. At its mature height the plant can reach 18" - 24". It prefers sun to partial shade and regular watering but, as usual with succulents, allow the soil to dry between waterings. This plant is drought tolerant. The plant supposedly blooms with flowers that range from pale yellow to orange-red in late fall or early winter but we have not personally seen a Panda Plant bloom.
Photo courtesy of Mokkie and Creative Commons.

 

Drunkard's Dream:  also called Mistletoe Cactus or Spice Cactus. It's botanical name is Hatiora salicornioides and in our area it's considered a Tropical and Tender Perennial. At its mature height it is listed at reaching 12-18 in. but we have some in our greenhouse almost twice that size. Pruning is easy as is propagating the cuttings. This cactus is happiest in Light Shade. The plant's name, Drunkard's Dream, comes from its blooms which can vary between orange and bright yellow. When the buds first appear they have the distinct appearance of tiny beer bottles. This plant is not hardy to overwinter in The Sandhills but is suitable for growing indoors and is drought-tolerant.


 

Burro's Tail Cactus: Sedum morganianum. Also called Donkey Tail Cactus but it is really a succulent not a cactus. It cannot overwinter in The Sandhills area but makes an excellent annual or houseplant
Although often listed as doing well in Full Sun, most local owners of this plant recommend that it NOT be in direct sunlight.
It also tolerates Partial Shade and Light Shade. The plant's blooms (if you're lucky enough to ever see one) are pink.
Note: Some owners report that handling this plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction but this is often disputed. Burro's Tail is mainly grown for its unique foliage and can be very dramatic, either alone or with other succulents, in both hanging baskets and containers. Water regularly but do not overwater because it is susceptible to root rot if overwatered.

Photo courtesy of Jerzy Opiola and Creative Commons.

 

Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy: This succulent is believed to be a variant of Echeveria runyonii. It is fast growing and forms rosettes of pale grayish blue leaves that curve upwards towards the center of the plant. It produces offsets which can be easily removed and propagated, although leaving them on the plant can result in an extremely dramatic appearance.
It blooms with bright orange flowers form on tall slender stalks that rise above the foliage, usually late summer into fall.  It is hardy to 25 degrees which makes it an "iffy" perennial in our area. Although often listed as preferring Bright light (some owners state that this plant does better if not in direct sunlight).
Photo courtesy of Mokkie and Creative Commons.

 

Echeveria 'Rosea': This purplish gray-green succulent has a rose-like look with thin, ruffled leaves.
It has a mounding habit and matures to about 4" to 6". When in bloom, it sends up a tall spike with delicate lantern-like coral flowers. Outdoors, it prefers bright light or partial sun and out of the hottest sunshine of the day.  Hardy to the lower 20's. Allow soil to dry out between waterings.

 

 

 

 

Aloe (non-medicinal): Grown, primarily, for its interesting foliage, this variety of aloe has slender, blade-like leaves that are smooth and shiny. Like other aloes, this one spreads by offsets which can be separated and potted up.

This aloe variety works well in dish gardens and terrariums because of its unique foliage. The garden on the right has the aloe with Burro's Tail Cactus and Dwarf Jade along with Haworthia.


Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant that at maturity can reach two to three feet.  Like most succulents it spreads by offsets which can be removed and potted up. The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces The leaves of the plant have serrated edges with small white teeth.  Like cacti, succulents do best in dry conditions. When growing aloe vera plants, plant them in a "cacxtus mix" or a regular potting soil with additional perlite or coarse sand. Do not allow your aloe vera plants to stand in water.

 Aloe vera plants need bright light, so they do best in south- or west-facing windows. The medicinal benefits of the aloe vera plant are legendary and an internet search can easily reveal just how valuable the plant can be to you and your family.

 

Sempervivums and Echeverias: Some Echeverias, unfortunately, share the name "Hens and Chicks", with all Sempervivums, another rosette-forming genus (pictured on the left).  However, unlike echeverias (on the right) which can only tolerate occasional frosts, Sempervivums can withstand extended below freezing temperatures here in The Sandhills. During the summer the tables are turned and Sempervivums have difficulty in the heat.