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Succulents Provide a Hardy, Inspired Natural Flair for Your Yard and Home

Liven up your decorating portfolio by staging a still life that you can easily arrange yourself

The textures and colors of succulents make them a visually interesting — and appealing — arrangement, inside and outside your home. Click to view larger
The textures and colors of succulents make them a visually interesting — and appealing — arrangement, inside and outside your home. (Hilary Doubleday / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Perhaps it is the result of the drought, but the appeal of succulents has never been stronger. While fresh cut flowers are stunning, the fact that colorful, versatile succulent arrangements need so little water, thrive on neglect, love our climate on the Central Coast, and last for months, if not years, make succulents a sound décor investment in a number of ways.

Used inside or outside, succulents make an especially dramatic impact when artfully arranged in containers. The term succulent is loosely used to refer to plants that store water in their tissues to survive periods of drought, making them intelligently designed as well as beautiful.

New Santa Barbara business owners and siblings Cali and Elliott Dunn admired succulents so much that they recently launched Dalla Vita, a company focused exclusively on succulents and located inside Caroline Diani’s newest brainchild, Diani Living in Santa Barbara. Dalla Vita offers same-day delivery of five standard succulent arrangements as well as succulent landscaping and event arrangements. More succulent arrangements are available at the Della Vita storefront inside Diani Living, l324 State St. downtown.

Needing little water and only occasional clipping or replanting to hold their shape, succulents in containers are reasonably foolproof for novice or forgetful gardeners.

They are also easy to plant. Simply cut the succulent clipping off of a larger plant and stick the cut end into potting soil so it can take root and grow on its own. If the succulent is planted in soil, transplant it as you would any other plant (soil and all or with the roots intact) into the new container.

Cali Dunn had some helpful advice for creating great looking succulent arrangements at home:

» For arrangements that are going to be inside, dark green succulents are best and last the longest.

» For arrangements that are going to be outside, the more colorful succulents work well. Sunlight enhances their colors.

» Don’t overwater succulent arrangements. They usually need water two times a month or when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch.

» A top cover of gravel or sand is attractive and provides good drainage for succulents.

» Vary texture and color to make the arrangements visually interesting.

Some of Dunn’s favorite succulents are echeverias, sempervivums, crassulas and small jade plants.

When asked what she loves most about succulents, Dunn replied, “Succulents have so much texture, color and variety. There are literally thousands of different kinds ... They are drought tolerant and can last for months. They are also easily propagated.”

Because they look great all year round, are quick and easy to plant, and require little care once planted, succulent arrangements make great gifts, a new kind of “a gift that keeps on giving.”

Without a doubt, succulents are sure to inspire your creativity and prove a rewarding investment.

Noozhawk contributing writer Hilary Doubleday can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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