In many dry-climate regions, succulents are showing up everywhere: replacing thirsty lawns, in street medians, and in residential front and backyards. While landscaping solely with succulents and hardscape is possible and looks good, you might want to consider these companion plants, which highlight the form and color of succulents and have similar maintenance requirements.
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Size: to 4 feet high; can trail several feet
Natives to South Africa, these woody-based perennials have a mounding or trailing habit and produce lots of daisies over a long period in warmer or milder climates. Their flowers open in sunlight and close at dusk. While they are considered drought tolerant, good soil and regular watering help them look their best. Tip-pinching and deadheading helps
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Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Admired for its frilly, silver-grey-green foliage, Artemisia 'Powis Castle' is a woody perennial that looks striking planted near light green, purplish, or red succulents or drought-tolerant plants. Sometimes known as Wormwood or White Sage, Artemisia should be cut back in spring. For proper growth, don't cut into old wood below buds.
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Size: 1 foot high; 10 inches wide
This European native thrives best in full sun and forms dense tufts of narrow blue-gray to silvery white narrow leaves or blades. Considered a small ornamental grass, fescue works well as an edging or ground cover. 'Elijah Blue' is one of the stronger types that can live for a long time.
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Blue Mist Spirea
Caryopteris x clandonensis
Size: 3 to 5 feet high, up to 3 feet wide
A profuse bloomer in summer and fall, this shrub is a native to southern and eastern Asia and was introduced to the United States in the 1960s. Also known as bluebeard, spirea produces clusters of powder blue flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. It requires water but is drought tolerant once it's established.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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E. rigida, E. cotinifolia (Caribbean copper plant)
Size: E. rigida: 2 feet high; E. cotinifolia: 9 to 18 feet high
Euphorbia includes about 2,000 genus. E. rigida is a native to the Mediterranean and has fleshy gray-green leaves. In early spring, domed chartreuse flower clusters form, eventually fading to pink. E. cotinifolia hails from tropical America and can be grown as a shrub or small tree. 'Atropurpurea' is the most popular form and has dark red leaves. All euphorbias produce a milky white sap that irritate the skin and can be toxic if ingested.
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Size: to 4 feet high; 6 feet wide
With their gray, gray-green, and yellow-green leaves, lavenders look beautiful growing among succulents in a garden. These natives to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, and Madeira are known for their aromatic scent and spikes of purple flowers.
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Size: to 12 feet tall; to 15 feet wide
A native to Australia, this evergreen tree and shrub can get by with little or no water. A member of the protea family, grevillea is sensitive to high levels of phosphorous in the soil. Most have fine-textured foliage and long, slender, curved flowers.
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Santa Barbara Daisy
Size: 10 to 20 inches high; 3 feet wide
Also known as Mexican daisy, this delicate, trailing perennial can be identified by its dainty white and pink flowers. In warm climates it blooms throughout the year, and looks good growing in rock gardens, along borders, and among succulents.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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Size: to 12 feet high; 8 feet wide
Yet another native to the Mediterranean, rockrose is an easy-to-grow shrub that produces lots of flowers from early spring to summer. Their silver, grayish, or soft green foliage blends well with succulents and adds a different texture to the landscape.
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Size: Up to 3 feet tall
A perennially blooming herb that spreads underground by rhizomes, this drought-tolerant plant produces flowers in assorted colors: yellow, pinks, white, mixed pastels, red, and orange. Yarrow is not fussy about soil and can grow anywhere the sun shines, year after year.