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Sensational succulents succeed with little water

Pork and Beans, California Sunset, and Powder Puff are just some of the interesting names of succulents. Succulents are grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance. Many succulents come from desert or semi-desert areas where high temperatures and low precipitation force these plants to collect and store water to survive long dry periods.

Succulents have a waxy, hairy, or spiny outer surface that creates a humid micro-climate around the plant, which reduces air movement near the surface of the plant — thereby reducing water loss and creating shade. Succulents have roots that sit very near the surface of the soil, which enables them to take up moisture from very small showers or even from heavy dew. They also have the ability to remain plump and full of water even with high internal temperatures up to 126 °F.

Succulents should not be confused with cactus. Botanically cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.

Succulents are plants with some parts that are thickened and fleshy, which function to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in various structures, such as leaves and stems.

The UCCE Master Gardeners Advice to Grow by Workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday October 18 will focus on these sensational succulents.

The program will begin in the auditorium with a presentation on succulent basics, water saving with succulents and succulent landscaping. Several local gardens will be showcased.

The workshop will then move to the garden where a master gardener will demonstrate how to propagate succulents and share other pertinent succulent information, in cluding the effects of the ongoing drought. A tour of the succulent plot will follow with a discussion of the many cacti and succulent varieties. A limited supply of succulents will be given away after the class.

Please remember to bring a hat and sunscreen for the outdoor portion of the program. Hope to see you there!

Are you interested in becoming a UCCE Master Gardener? We are having an Informational Meeting on Monday, October 20, at 1:00. For more information visit: http://ucanr.edu/sites /mgslo/Master_Gardener_Training_Program/