Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For the new gardening season, there will be many new succulents available for the first time. Here is some background on some of those varieties.
Sedum cauticola Cola Cola
Hardy to zone four, this dwarf perennial is only about six inches tall. With a mounding growth habit, Cola Cola has lovely grayish-blue foliage. Quite floriferous, this begins blooming during the late summer and continues into the fall.
This has large, vivid pink, star-shaped flowers that appear in clusters. It is a vision of beauty for the plant is literally covered with masses of blooms. The leaves are oval to rounded. This species was originally native to Japan. Cola Cola is recommended for rock gardens, flower beds, and borders. It is also suitable for container gardens, especially combo plantings.
Sedum Frosted Fire
This is a lovely, variegated hardy variety. It is winter hardy to zone three. Over 1˝ feet tall, Frosted Fire is a form of Autumn Fire. This has very sturdy, thick, succulent stems and rounded to oval thick foliage.
It is especially free flowering. The very long lasting blooms open in large clusters. The flower colors range from pinkish-red to bronzed salmon and reddish-copper.
This delightful variety emerged as a seedling of Andrew’s Pinky. This is noted for the colorful new foliage, which is splashed with cream and pink. As the foliages ages, it becomes a lovely green. Reaching about eight inches in height, Pinky is hardy to zone three. It has gorgeous pink blooms.
Pinky Grey is very similar to Pinky in most respects with the differences being the color seen in the new foliage. Pinky Gray has deep red along the toothed edges of the greenish-gray leaves.
Award Winning Succulent Container Plantings
These are very popular among consumers. The Ohio State University released the results of its annual bedding plant trials. They evaluated over 600 varieties in all. Visitors to the garden were asked to rate the plants and plantings on a scale of 1 to 5 with five being the very best rating.
Among the 15 top performing varieties in 2020 trials there were two of these award winning succulent plantings. Mixed echeveria plantings received a rating of 4.60, which is nearly perfect.
A mixed succulent planting received a high rating as well though this was slightly lower than the mixed echeveria group. The succulent mix received a 4.58 rating.