Succulent plants, such as sedum and hens and chicks, seem to be maintaining continuing popularity, with good cause. Succulents are easy to grow, drought tolerant, and come in enough varieties and sizes to suit nearly every gardening taste. But did you know how easy it is to overwinter potted sedum and sempervivum, the botanical name for hens and chicks?
Last June I potted sedum and hens and chicks in matching cobalt blue ceramic pots.
The combination was instantly wonderful and remained so until the end of the growing season in my zone 6 Connecticut garden. (Scroll over the photo above to see the botanical names of the succulents used.) I did not want to lose the combination so, rather than transplant these succulents to a garden bed before storing the ceramic pots away for the winter, I stored the succulent-filled pots in the garage near a southwest-facing window. Through the cold winter months the pots only received minimal water when the soil felt good and dry. The plants stayed in a state of suspended animation during the coldest parts of winter – they held their color but did not grow. As the sun became stronger in late winter and early spring the succulents began to grow.
Here's how one of the pots looked when placed back outside this April 13.
Its sister pot looked the same.
This is how the pots look today.
The plants have already begun cascading over the edges of the pots.
The pair adds striking color during a time when plants in adjacent perennial beds are still in early stages of growth.
Best of all, these containers will continue to fill out and look wonderful from spring through autumn as long as the soil remains on the dry side. All this entails is moving the containers off the saucers so rain-soaked soil can drain. Succulents such as sedum and hens and chicks grow best in drier soil, making them ideal container plants for busy people with little time to fuss with watering. With the added bonus of overwintering well, the busy gardener can plant a container like this just once to enjoy multiple seasons and years.