Thursday, June 15, 2017

Window Box Idea: Succulents!

By Stephanie Rukowicz

Unlike some other Master Gardeners, I have not yet developed a knack for ornamental containers. Philadelphia's hot summers, long dry periods, and our home's south facing location add up to annual die-off of most of my window box plantings. The shallow, narrow boxes just don't retain enough water to cope with the elements. Short of an auto-drip watering system, I was running out of ideas until I stumbled past this window box on one of my walks. 

Succulents! The perfect plant to withstand the urban summer elements. Now I just need to decide which varieties to try, as there are so many to choose from. 

This article from Penn State Extension is helpful in narrowing down the options. An excerpt:
"Besides their eye-catching appeal, succulents are relatively pest and maintenance free. They are easy to grow if their cultural needs are met. Their large, fleshy leaves store moisture, making them relatively drought tolerant. The larger the leaves on the plants the longer they can go without water. The most critical aspect of success with succulents is to plant them in a container mix that drains freely...Variegated and light green leaves can scorch in full sun. Darker green and burgundy leaves can generally tolerate more sun."

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