10 Top Succulent Plants for the Midwest | Midwest Living
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10 Top Succulent Plants for the Midwest

Succulents are easy to grow, stingy with water and rich in texture and shape. Here are 10 of our top choices for sedums and other hardy succulents that thrive in the Midwest.

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Sempervivum spp.

The Sempervivum hens-and-chicks are a group of succulents that grow in low, rosette-forming colonies. With their wide range of colors and textures--some develop long, white hairs that resemble cobwebs--they're perfect for a rock garden or in containers. Their common name comes from the way these succulents spread, with new growth (chicks) forming from the mother rosette (hen).

Size: Up to 6 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 3-8

See how to make a succulent wreath at our sister publication, Better Homes and Gardens (bhg.com).

Opuntia 'Compressa'

With its large pads and showy flowers, this low-growing variety of prickly pear cactus is great for rock gardens and focal points. In late spring and summer, look for gorgeous yellow flowers.

Size: Up to 12 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 4-9

Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder

Sedum 'Frosty Morn'

'Frosty Morn' has beautiful grayish green leaves with creamy white stripes on the edges. Tiny pink flowers sprout in cooler climates, while white blossoms develop in warmer areas. Pinch back stems once in early summer to prevent floppiness.

Size: Up to 12 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 3-9

Sedum spectabile 'Meteor'

'Meteor' has large pink flowers atop blue-green foliage. While it grows in well-drained soil, it can tolerate clay. It's also tolerant of heat and drought once established.

Size: Up to 18 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 4-9

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

This newer selection of Sedum offers dark purple, almost black foliage, crowned by pink-purple flowers. It has a long bloom season, generally from mid-summer to early fall. Like most sedums, 'Purple Emperor' attracts butterflies and is drought-tolerant. For a distinctive look, pair it with a brightly colored foliage plant.

Size: To 15 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 3-7

Sedum acre

At just 2 inches tall, this is one of the lowest-growing sedums. In summer, the fast-growing groundcover bears a mass of bright yellow-green blossoms. For an even shorter variety, 'Minor' is just 1 inch tall.

Size: Up to 2 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 4-9

Sedum 'Vera Jameson'

The medium-height 'Vera Jameson' boasts an attractive combination of dusky pink blooms and mahogany-purple leaves. It attracts bees and butterflies with its late-summer flowers.

Size: Up to 12 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 3-9

Yucca filamentosa

Technically, yucca isn't a succulent, but this strappy plant looks like a succulent and provides an interesting contrast when combined with traditional succulents. Also called Adam's needle, yucca forms a tight rosette of large, leathery leaves that can be green or variegated. A tall flowering stalk rises from the center of each rosette and bears creamy white flowers in late summer.

Size: Foliage up to 3 feet; flower stalk up to 8 feet
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 5-10

Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut'

'Fuldaglut' is a low-growing, mat-forming sedum that can be used as a groundcover. Plants are only a few inches tall but spread as wide as 18 inches. In late summer, the leaves deepen to a maroon-bronze color, creating an interesting contrast with its rose-red blossoms.

Size: Up to 4 inches tall
Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
Zones: 4-8

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