SoS: Creating a Succulent Garden (Part I)

My gardening six this week focuses on a new project to extend one of our succulent gardens and identify ALL the succulents. Research seems more labour intensive than the physical aspect of digging, moving rocks and planting. Is anyone else confused by all the different names?

1. Succulent Garden – Work in Progress

I originally started this rockery style cactus garden several years ago as a temporary home for some Aloe Nobilis.


I had not intended to extend the rockery,  however,  what started as a simple five-minute job to remove some weeds, evolved into a full-scale project to extend the area as a place to rehome the numerous succulent cuttings I’d taken over the last eighteen months.

The arrows in the picture below indicate where we will place further rocks to extend the area.

Rock Garden
Rock Garden

The brown slate style rock is found locally and creates and interesting backdrop for the succulents and cacti.

After a recent visit to a friend’s garden, I was inspired to use rocks and shale to cover as much earth as possible  to retain moisture in the soil during the hot summer months. He assured us using this method he rarely watered his garden once the plants were established.

So far we have sixteen different succulents (and counting) and two evil prickly cacti.

2. Sedum

I think this is a Sedum rubrotinctum (Jelly Bean Plant)?


3. Cotyledon Macrantha

I belong to a succulent FB group and I received two conflicting replies re identification.

UPDATE: I agree with Fred (see comments below) it is a Cotyledon Macrantha

Paddle plant
Cotyledon Macrantha

4.  Euphorbia Firestick (Euphorbia tirucalli )

I  need to move this away from the edge of the rockery as it potentially grows a lot larger than I realised and the milky sap is poisonous if ingested and it will burn the skin.  And I’ve just discovered it is NOT a succulent it is a cacti.

Euphorbia Fire Stick

Euphorbia Fire Stick – Euphorbia tirucalli

5.  Plectranthus Neochilus

The leaves on this plant smell so disgusting (like sweaty armpits) it deters mosquitos and other bugs.

Plectranthus Neochilus

6. Aloe Nobilis (Aloe Mitriformis – Crocodile’s Teeth)

Crocodile’s teeth: this is aptly named!

Aloe Mitriformis - Crocodile's Teeth
Aloe Mitriformis – Crocodile’s Teeth

Is it just me or are cacti and succulents really difficult to identify?

So that’s it for this week and hopefully part two will follow next. In the meantime pop over to the propagator’s blog to check out other Six on Saturday gardeners.


22 thoughts on “SoS: Creating a Succulent Garden (Part I)

Add yours

  1. I do not think that all succulents are difficult to identify, but a few are. I have worked with many species of Aloe, but still could not identify the ‘common’ Aloe vera. I have seen way too many other species of Aloe labeled as such. The identities of many species of Sedum are obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice Six. # 3 is rather a cotyledon orbiculata ( give me your opinion after reading this article)
    About the Plectranthus, I have one (a cutting brought back from Malaga last year) and the opinions on the smell are very different. I can’t say I don’t like but it’s not repulsive for me. On the other hand, effective against mosquitoes for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The rockery garden looks beautiful Carole. I have all of those succulents but I don’t bother with the names, I just plant them :). I had no idea the Plectranthus Neochilus deters mosquitos, so I’ll have to plant some closer to the back patio to protect us when we sit outside in the summer nights.
    Have a lovely Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, Sami. I never used to bother with names but as I’ve started collecting them, I thought I’d better at least be familiar with their names and genus.

      As for the Plectranthus Neochilus , I must take some more cuttings to plant more near our outside seating areas.


  4. If that sedum isn’t called the jelly bean plant it should be! Describes it perfectly. Number 4 reminds me of a coral reef. The rock garden is looking good. Very impressed by the arrows – I don’t think I can do arrows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, #4 also reminds me of a coral reef. I bought it at a gardening fair not realising it was so hazardous. The arrows.. download a photo management program called ‘Paint’. They are really easy to create. And the OH he just placed some more rocks as per the arrows. He never asked me he just referred to my blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: