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Cacti and Succulent Ground Covers

Cactus plants and succulent plants can sometimes make great ground covers. In the fast-draining soil of rock gardens, for example, cacti and succulent ground covers work well, as they are drought-tolerant.

'Chocolate Drop' Sedum
'Chocolate Drop' sedum is one of the so-called "black plants." Thus the cultivar name, which refers to the chocolate-brown color of the leaves. While Chocolate Drop produces pink flowers, it is certainly not for their sake that one grows this succulent. Learn more about an attractive, drought-resistant stonecrop here.

Pictures of Cacti and Succulents
Cacti and succulents are famed for their ability to store water, making many of them ideal plant choices for hot, dry spots. They run the gamut in size from minuscule plants that would fit in the palm of your hand to giants like the saguaro cactus.

Stonecrop: Autumn Joy Sedum
Where is the joy in growing 'Autumn Joy'? Well, let's start with the fact that this succulent ground cover blooms late, meaning that it furnishes blooms for your landscaping at a time of year when many perennials have long since ended their blooming. Add to this the attractive, low-maintenance foliage of this sedum, and you have something to be joyful about.

Sempervivum tectorum plants are succulents that tolerate cold weather. Native to Europe, people grew them in the thatching of their roofs; learn why in my article. More importantly, learn what zones they grow in, what their growing requirements are, how to care for hen-and-chicks and more.

Prickly Pear Cactus
Where does the "pear" come from in the name, "prickly pear cactus"? Well, these succulent ground covers bear a fruit known as a "tuna." If you think there's something fishy about that, then you may really question the following statement: this cactus is so cold-tolerant it can even be grown in parts of Canada.

Aloe Vera Plants
It is a succulent ground cover. It is evergreen. It can take a lot of heat and dry conditions. For those living in northern regions, it can be brought inside for the winter and used as a houseplant. You can use it as a home-grown hand lotion. What's not to like about Aloe vera?

Angelina Stonecrop
I do not grow this succulent ground cover for its flowers, although it does push up a stalk filled with yellow flowers. The flower stalk is actually rather gangly, appearing too big for the its base. I grow it for the chartreuse mat it forms in a corner of my landscaping where I don't walk that much.

Adam's Needle: Yucca Filamentosa Equally at Home in Southeast, Northeast
Yucca plants are remarkably rugged, which is why they can sometimes present a solution to a landscaping problem. I discuss Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa) in this article, a plant that has naturalized as far north as New England.

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