Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Gardeners can choose from many kinds of cacti and succulents. While I rely on tried-and-true varieties that have done well for me in the past I also like to try some newer ones as well. Depending on the landscape use, these might be either annuals or perennials. Here are some recommended ones.
The Pazazz portulacas are varieties of the common portulaca, which occurs as a weed. The Pazazz series is noted for its large, sun-kissed blooms in vivid colors. Most have hot colored blooms. Very free flowering, the stems are compact, which makes them ideal for containers. Pazazz Red Flare was introduced in 2010. This has clear red petals and dark green centers.
There is also a yellow-flowered Pazazz as well. There are two pinks, including Pazazz Ultra Pink, which is pure pink. Pink Glow has lovely pink petals and colorful contrasting yellow centers. Salmon Glow Pazazz is the closest to a pastel. This has salmon-pink petals and yellow centers.
The Portulaca Supreme series is well named. It offers a very wide selection of flower colors. The vigorous, spreading plants are low growing. These are suitable for gardens and containers. The series includes a number of pastel flower shades, including White and Light Pink. Even the Yellow is a pastel shade rather than being hot colored. The Salmon is salmon-pink with dark pinkish-red centers. For orange tones, you can choose from Supreme Orange and Mango. This series has several reds, including Rose and Scarlet. The fuchsia has striking, very large, neon blooms.
Iceplant Iceberg is a variety of Delosperma. This is one of the hardy iceplants, and does best in zones five through eight. Shunned by deer, it is two inches or less in height. Iceberg is so named because of the stunning, pure white blooms that are shaped like stars.
On sunny days Iceplant Iceberg plants are just covered with blooms. The blossoms have yellow centers. The attractive, plump leaves are deep green. Like most other hardy iceplants, Iceberg has many uses in the landscape. It is recommended for use as a groundcover, for rock gardens, and other well drained spots in the landscape.