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succulent/cacti for winter & spring coursework

While succulents and cacti have seasonal subtleties, their bloom times can vary by species.  Some may bloom in spring while others in summer and autumn.  See individual species for their bloom time.

The benefit of understanding  watering requirements for cacti means managing their growth rate. Less water means slower growth, more water (without over loading) means somewhat faster growth.  If a landscape maintenance crew does not understand this, problems can arise.

Succulents respond more dramatically with water depending upon the species, but properly observing their behavior is key to avoid overwatering or underwatering causing leaf desiccation.  Similarly, soil can play another factor in causing problems.  Clay soil is problematic when combined with excess watering or heavy winter rains, as frost can melt succulents with low tolerances to cold.  So, what does this all mean for a landscape designer?

Make sure plants that are categorized as low to very low water users are on separate irrigation schedules from everything else.  Test the soil to determine if your design is feasible.  Try not to crowd cacti, as that factor alone may cause bloody injuries for someone trying to clean up debris and weeds between them.  To gain greater information for Bay Area gardens, I highly recommend visiting the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek.

The following list is fluid, meaning it will change as new information is made available, including new species and status on campus.  We welcome any updates, corrections, or comments to continue to make this page useful to students at West Valley College.

If a scientific name is linked, please feel free to find additional information via this website.

scientific name

Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'

Agave americana

Aloe arborescens

Carpobrotus edulis

Cephalophyllum 'Red Spike'

Crassula ovata

Drosanthemum floribundum

Echeveria elegans

Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'

Hesperoyucca whipplei (formerly Yucca whipplei)

Yucca elephantipes

common name

large purple aeonium

century plant

torch aloe

hottentot fig

red spike ice plant

jade plant

purple carpet ice plant

Mexican snowball

sticks on fire

our Lord's candle


giant yucca

campus location





Physical Education

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