Drought-Tolerant Plants, Trendy Succulents at Home Depot

Posted by: on May 23rd, 2012 | One Comment
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There’s rising interest these days in growing drought resistant plants, which is exactly why The Home Depot is expanding its line of drought tolerant plants to more stores. If you haven’t already, you should soon be seeing more of these hardy varieties, including more than 75 types of trendy, mod succulents, in Home Depot Garden Centers across the southern United States.

These Home Depot exclusives are in the Smart Planet line, launched in 2010 by Altman Plants. The company’s mission was to create the most ecological plants possible. Altman Plants Vice President Erin McCarthy explains in the video below how the new drought resistant varieties were developed, and what Altman does to continue fostering a healthy planet even after the plants are sold.

 

There’s no standard definition of “drought-tolerant”, but Altman Plants estimates that the Smart Planet line uses between 30 and 70 percent less water, depending on the area of the country and climate, than non-drought resistant varieties. Many of the perennials and shrubs that Smart Planet carries are unique hybrids created for their water saving properties. And many of the succulents, which have been hogging the spotlight in the design and gardening world of late, have been grown for a while but are enjoying a revival.

“People like to make ecological decisions,” said McCarthy, “Sometimes they just don’t know how.” She hopes that the expansion of the drought-resistant line will give customers an easy, approachable way to conserve a precious resource.

Want to be a part of the water-saving solution? Whether you are ripping out your entire yard to plant smarter or just potting for the first time, read on. 

Succulents 101

Smart Planet Horticulturist Bob Reidmuller provided us with some tips for creating a visually appealing, easy-to-keep succulent garden at home:

An Echeveria succulent

An Echeveria succulent. Credit: Altman Plants

 

Pick your perfect plant.

One reason that succulents have becoming a runaway trend, aside from their gorgeous forms, textures and colors, is the ease of care—so don’t be afraid to let your imagination be your guide.

One of the stars of the succulent world is the Echeveria, which has been used in a multitude of ways. Their symmetrical “rosette” shape makes this succulent coveted for all kinds of applications, from landscaping and container gardens to bridal bouquets. Combine with other succulents, like aloes and agaves, to fill out a stunning starter garden.

 

Succulents planted with rocks

Succulents planted with rocks. The planter should have proper drainage. Credit: Altman Plants

 

Make sure your succulents have proper drainage.

For a first shot at succulent planting, make sure your container has drainage holes. That said, once you’re a little more familiar with succulents, you can grow them in just about anything. Since succulents store water in the leaves and stems, you could even grow one in a tea cup. (Just give it enough water to plump up without getting waterlogged in the holeless vessel.)

 

Succulents in a colander

Succulents in a colander. Credit: Altman Plants

 

Choose a wide, low planter.

Anything from fancy, expensive glazed ceramics to whimsical repurposed items, like kitchen colanders and shoes, will work—just make sure the top of the container has a wide, low profile. Keep the soil-to-plant root ratio low since most succulents don’t have large root systems. A large volume of soil with few plants can result in wet, soggy soil—and root rot and fungal problems could follow.

 

A succulent garden

A succulent garden requires less water. Credit: Altman Plants

 

Take advantage of succulents–and water less.

The ease of care and reduced water requirements mean you can fret less about your new garden, which is especially intriguing in water-challenged areas like the Southwest. Water thoroughly when you do, but allow the soil to become fairly dry before watering again. Lots of bright light and even a few hours of direct sun will help keep the plants compact and colorful.

Enjoy your elegant, unique succulent garden knowing that you’re conserving the earth’s limited water resources.

Take a look at our Flowers, Plants and Trees page at homedepot.com for more on the plants we carry, and for some terrific gardening project ideas. 

 


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  1. Linda says:

    I’ve a variety of succulents & cactus, that I’ve plant with other plants in containers & vary spots in my flower garden. I’m a experience gardener. I’ve ran out of ideas on what to do with my succulents & cactus ? Certain times of the year, I thin out & put them in pots. The ones that are thinned out, are usually use for some of my creation later on. Like for gifts for the special person, that likes to have a little garden, but are too busy. I make them in a ceramic- decorative pot, succulent & cactus garden, that doesn’t take much care. When dry out I advise,the person to put a ice cube or two in & let it melt. So, if there’s any new suggestion or ideas? Please let me know? Thanks Linda