Succulent of the month: Get creative with Sempervivum

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Andrea Caldwell

Jeremy Archer of Krugersdorp writes: I was browsing through my garden centre’s succulent section and found an unusual Echeveria, only to discover that it is a Sempervivum. What’s the difference between the two and how can I use the latter?

John Sauer of Ngena Succulents replies: It’s not unusual to get confused! There are three different types of succulents that form similar rosettes: Echeveria, Sempervivum and Aeonium. Sempervivum leaves are softer and not as rigidly fleshy as Echeveria, and have toothy or spiny edges. They also form smaller, tighter rosettes. Sempervivum multiplies quickly, tolerates the cold (being an alpine plant), and has shallow roots that make it ideal for planting in shallow bowls or troughs, in-between pavers or bricks, in loffel stones, hollowed tree trunks, cupcake baking trays, or any other quirky containers. In small gardens or beds, let the plants spread and form a mat-like groundcover or edging in front of taller succulents. Here are some ideas:

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April 2023

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