If you have an outdoor garden, you sure faced some doubts when it comes to the right ground cover you should have in it. There are so many plants you can choose from. Sure thing, some plants like Baby`s Tears, thyme or Dichondra will always be a good choice. However, if you want something outstanding, you should turn to succulents to help your garden really stand up.
If you want to fill just a couple of square feet or you need a large part of ground covered, either way, succulents can be a great choice. Youll get a cover that is easy to grow and eye-catching at the same time. You can use them to fill some bare spots, make a contrast with some of the larger plants or just bring some colors to the greenery.
What Makes Aptenia So Perfect?
One of the succulents you can use for the ground covering is Aptenia (“Red Apple”). This native South African succulent have grayish stems that spread up to 2 feet (60 cm) in length, with inch long (2.5 cm) leaves that are lime green and fleshy, boarded with white. Aptenia is a summer bloomer, so you can expect half-inch (1.2 cm), fuchsia-red iceplant flowers that will form small rosette clusters from the center. The flowers are there until late fall.
You can plant Aptenia in every form you want. It can cover small patches in your garden or a large piece of land. However, to maintain the best effect, you should consider planting it on a modest-sized open plot. Soon you’ll have a 2-inch (5 cm) high blanket that will create a sea of green in your garden. With Aptenia you don’t need to worry about those unattractive woody stems. You can also plant it over low walls and use it as a cascade plant.
Grow and Care Tips
Aptenia loves well-drained, sandy soil. Also, make sure that it’s planted in the sunny part of your garden with some light shade if you live somewhere with really high temperatures. Once established, Aptenia needs just a little summer watering. This succulent can survive high temperatures (up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit/ 38 degrees Celsius), but it’s very sensitive to freezing. As with many other succulents, you should avoid watering it in the winter, to prevent rotting of the roots.
When it comes to propagating, you can get new plants from cuttings. Just plant plugs few inches apart. You can easily shape your Aptenia in any direction you want it to grow by pinching the soft stems. Generally, this succulent is resistant to pets. Just make sure the soil is dry before watering to prevent rotting of the roots. Aptenia is really attractive to bees and butterflies, but they don’t harm it at all.