Tired of the usual geraniums ? Instead, choose cacti and succulents for your flower boxes ! In addition to give an original look to outdoor arrangements, these plants are very easy to grow. With a reputation for being robust and resistant, these plants can be grown in almost any situation during summer : around swimming pools, on terraces, balconies, parking lots, roofs or even walls !

Cactuses are adapted to arid environments. During evolution, their leaves have transformed into spines to limit transpiration and their stems have developed to store large amounts of water. Succulents have thick leaves and stems also containing big quantities of water. These reserves allow them to survive during long periods of drought. These easy undemanding plants are perfect for gardeners who have a busy work schedule or who spend more time surfing – on waves or internet – than maintaining their garden ! If you take care to provide them a well drained soil and a sunny situation, these plants require no maintenance at all. No watering, no fertilizing, no pruning. Nothing ! Just let the sun and the rain do their job ! In addition, most cacti and succulents are resistant to cold temperatures, even below freezing point in some cases ! So they can be placed outside as soon as late april.

Because they are very architectural looking, cacti and succulents can be used to create original and distinctive arrangements in pots or planters in combination with annuals, vegetables and even herbs. Here are some ideas of extreme arrangements made of cacti and succulent that will make a hit on your patio this summer ! Get the geraniums out of your life !

Standing in a beautiful metal box, this arrangement has a very modern, noble and elegant look. The charming russelia (Russelia equisetiformis) – also called coral plant –, which falls on the front of the container, contrast with the erect leaves of the mother-in-law’s tongue ‘Moonshine’ (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’) and the blue chalk sticks (Senecio serpens, syn. Curio Ficoides ). The russelia has a fine foliage reminiscent of horsetail and produces all summer long pretty drooping red flowers.

Although they are mainly grown for their decorative leaves, some succulents are valued for their very attractive flowers, as shown in this arrangement featuring the dwarf kalanchoe (Kalanchoe pumila) and the violet squill (Ledebouria socialis). On the other hand, the dark green leaves edged with yellow of the mother in law’s tongue ‘Black Gold’ (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Black Gold’) and the pendulous twigs of the rhipsalis (Rhipsalis capilliformis) rhythmize and dynamize this arrangement.

This colorful arrangement is high energy ! The magenta flowering kalanchoe ‘Monaro’ (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana ‘Monaro’) contrasts sharply with the gray-green foliage of the stonecrop ‘Burrito’ (Sedum ‘Burrito’), the orange leaves of the Barbados gooseberry ‘Godseffiana’ (Pereskia aculeata ‘Godseffiana’), the copper spoons (Kalanchoe orgyalis) and the almost black foliage of the pachyveria ‘Black Magic’ (xPachyveria ‘Black Magic’).

I want to thank the Le Cactus fleuri team for their help in creating the arrangements presented in this text.