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Can I plant outdoor succulents in Maryland?

Updated: May 21

Succulent ground cover is a unique and low-maintenance option for homeowners seeking to create a no-fuss area in the garden. You can have succulents in Maryland if you do your research. Low-growing succulents come in a variety of sizes and colors, many with flowers that add a unique charm to your landscape. For the best results, follow this guide on how to grow and care for succulent ground cover.

Know your hardiness zone

Be aware that succulents grow best in warm, dry, frost-free climates. Because Maryland is a frost zone, that means you'll have to be prepared to pot succulents each winter. This type of ground cover can also work in cool, moist environments, but you need to plant the correct varieties. Here are some popular options:

  • Caucasian stonecrop (zones 3 to 8)

  • Hens and chicks (zones 3 to 8)

  • Creeping sedum (zones 4 to 9)

  • Ice plants (zones 5 to 9)

  • Ghost plants (zones 7 to 11)

  • Echeveria (zones 9 to 12)

How to plant succulent ground cover

Thanks to their drought-tolerant properties, succulent ground cover is ideal for xeriscaping. They add much-needed greenery and flowers to gardens in areas with watering restrictions. Since they creep along the ground, you get excellent coverage from just a handful of plants.

In general, succulents do best in well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy (like mot Maryland soil is), you can amend it by adding sand or gravel to the top few inches. Succulents have shallow root systems, so in most cases, a few inches of loosely draining soil is enough to satisfy them. Water lightly and often during the first month as your new ground cover becomes established.

Avoid using organic mulch around succulents, as this can increase fungal or pest issues. It also conserves too much moisture for these desert-dwelling plants. Pea gravel or small stones are appropriate inorganic mulch options.

How to maintain succulent ground cover

One benefit of succulents is that they require very little maintenance. They typically remain free of pests and disease and tolerate poor soil. Ground cover also offers weed-resistant properties. Here’s what succulent ground cover maintenance entails:

  • Deadheading: While your succulents are in bloom, keep an eye out for dead flowers. Remove them to encourage the creation of more blossoms in their place.

  • Fertilizing: Add liquid fertilizer to your watering can once a year at the start of the growing season. This gives your ground cover a boost as summer approaches.

  • Watering: While they are desert plants, some succulents need supplemental watering. The amount and frequency depend on the season, sun exposure, and soil conditions. As a rule of thumb, water your succulent ground cover deeply, and then refrain from watering again until the soil is dry several inches deep. Succulents need more water during the active growing season and very little water in the winter.

If you’re not up for maintaining your succulent ground cover (along with the rest of your residential landscape maintenance) reach out to the pros at Rooted in Nature! Please contact us at 443-846-0199 or

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