I remember the first time I stumbled across a group of Echeveria Glauca in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Back then I was new to the gardening territory and like any other newbie, I have always thought that succulents and cacti belong in the dessert. After joining Instagram I started following Tracey Toby, an experienced gardener who lives in the Blue Mountains NSW.
I asked her a few questions to find out what plants are capable of surviving our NSW Winter and Summer. Here's what she had to say:
What are the challenges growing succulents / cacti in the Blue Mountains?
The climate in Winmalee (lower Blue Mountains) is a perfect climate for growing succulents and cacti all year round.
What is your most prized succulent / cacti?
All my succulents are my pride and joy. I love them all. My Romeo is my most expensive purchase to date and growing beautifully.
What are your top 5 succulents / cacti?
My top 5 succulents are:
- All varieties of agave (Agave Blue Glow is my favourite)
- Echeveria Violet Queen
- Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg
- Echeveria Imbricata Blue Rose
- Senecio Rowleyanus or String of Pearls
How do you overwinter your succulents / cacti?
Our winters are mild. Winmalee is a frost free area. I keep most of my potted succulents on a covered verandah and courtyard area. I have succulents in my garden exposed to the elements and they all do well.
Other than succulents & cacti, what else is growing successfully in your garden?
I grow lots of plant varieties:
Crab Apple Trees
Bird of Paradise
I have to ask you about Azaleas because mine haven't improved since the heatwave.
Azaleas need little attention once they are established. If you've only put them in recently you should be giving them plenty of water. They do like dappled sunlight so if you've put them in full sun, it might be too hot for them. They are pretty hardy otherwise.
Thank you for your time, Tracey. If anyone else is wondering, my azaleas had suffered a serious third degree burn from the heatwave. Since the interview, I have moved the azaleas under a tree. I am still hoping for a full recovery and I refuse to declare time of death just yet.
Follow Tracey on Instagram @traceysfavouritethings to see her garden.