When I first started with succulents I had no idea how many of them produced flowers and how many they would produce. Some succulents do not produce flowers, some produce flowers and then die, some flower in spring and some flower during the winter. Some do not flower until they are mature plants and others will flower when they are less than a year old. They can be star shaped, tubular, dangle like a bell or look like any other flowering plant.
However, a large majority of succulents do flower and they flower profusely as well. Just like many other flowering plants most succulents tend to flower during Spring. Different succulents can flower from spring and summer to autumn and winter. Therefore, just as with other types of plants your garden can look beautiful in Spring (or anytime of the year) if you only have succulents in your garden.
As usual, in the amazing world of succulents there are a many and varied flowers which all look amazing with brilliant shape and colours. There is a common appearance between the Echeveria, Graptoveria, Pachyveria and other Echeveria hybrids, they are usually orange, red or yellow. In one instance, the only way to determine a Graptoveria succulent from an Echeveria succulent is by the flower it produces! (What is the difference between an Echeveria and Graptoveria succulent?)
The size of the flower depends on the size of the plant. My Echeveria Strawberry Heart is large and thus has large flowers (see below left). Conversely, a small Graptoveria Fred Ives has tiny flowers. (Below right).
As mentioned above, some succulents – such as some Agaves, Aeoniums and Sempervivums will flower and then the parent plant will die. These succulents are known as being – ‘monocarpic’. However, the plant will produce many babies/offsets during the flowering of the mother plant so it is not too devastating for the owner! (Which succulents die after flowering?)
Winter Flowering Succulents
Aeonium succulents are Winter flowering, also monocarpic (see above). You can often see them growing on the side of the road as they are very hardy. They can be quite untidy succulents while the flower and the attached stem is dying.
What should I do when the flowers die?
You can prune the dying flower stems at any time. Usually the stems start to look unsightly which is when I prune mine. If you do not prune them they will eventually shrivel up and drop off by themselves.
Do succulents flower when grown indoors?
Succulents ‘rarely’ bloom when they are grown indoors. In their natural habitat they can require high temperatures in summer to trigger flowers to grow. Air conditioned houses do not provide these high temperatures.Conversely some succulents need winter dormancy and cold temperatures to induce flowers. Light and water conditions are also conducive to whether a succulent flowers or not.
Succulents (in flower) from my Garden
The Aeonium Pinwheel is a very compact plant that is hardy and easy to establish. This year is the first time mine has flowered, (it has been growing for approximately 3 years) It is Monocarpic, so the stem from which the succulent has flowered will die, however, the rest of the plant growing from other stems should survive. Below is a photo of the flower which is quite stunning.
This succulent is usually sold for Mother’s Day as it has beautiful flowers of white, red, pink or orange. This succulent flowers in the spring.