Cacti and Succulent Gardening in Connecticut

Hey GPODers!

A new editor is at the helm of Garden Photo of the Day, and I want to take the opportunity to (sort of) formally introduce myself. My name is Kaitlyn Hayes, and I’ve been working with Fine Gardening behind the scenes for several years in digital content production—though you may have seen my name sprinkled across the website or gracing the pages of the magazine here or there.

I grew up around women who loved to garden. I spent most summers deadheading annuals with my mom or picking the biggest tomatoes from my grandmother’s beds. I’ve always held a great appreciation and love for plants large and small, but I also always said that the green thumb in my family must have skipped a generation. Year after year I would try to keep all variety of plants alive, but with no success. I gave up hope of enjoying my own gardening endeavors until I began working at Fine Gardening and, with a new wealth of knowledge, decided to give plants another go.

This was also around the same time that I bought a camper van and started taking months-long trips across North America while I was working remotely. These two worlds collided, which led me to my newfound love of cacti and succulents. Their low-maintenance needs and the many varieties that are slow growing allow me to take my green treasures on the road while ensuring they’ll survive and won’t outgrow my limited space.

With that being said, I’ve quickly amassed a collection that is growing beyond camper-van capacity. Below are just some of my favorites, new and old. If anyone is interested . . . they’re mostly well behaved, and I could really use a plant sitter!

Crassula ‘Baby’s Necklace’ – a new addition that has quickly become my latest obsession. The trailing, beefy foliage is so much more interesting that string-of-pearls (Curio rowleyanus, syn. Senecio rowleyanus) or Burro’s-tail (Sedum morganianum) (in my opinion), but they’re ten-times more hardy and won’t drop to the floor with the slightest touch.

Babys Necklace succulent plant from aboveA shot of ‘Baby’s Necklace’ from above captures the deeper color that emerges on the tips of some leaves.

Silver squill plant from aboveI’ve had this silver squill (Ledebouria socialis) for a few years now and it remains a favorite. I was instantly intrigued by the above-ground bulbs when I first purchased the plant, and it stays at the top of the pack for the many tiny flowers that bloom every single year.

close up of Silver squill flowersA close up of some of the tiny flowers on display this year.

Pencil cactus planted in old candle jarI love recycling and utilizing unconventional containers for my indoor plants, and sometimes the container helps a plant become a new favorite. This pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli) fit perfectly in an old candle jar. After very carefully drilling some holes in the bottom with a diamond-tipped drill bit, it became the perfect home for this peculiar plant.

close up of Bears Paw succulentBear’s paw (Cotyledon tomentosa) is a newer addition that I can’t help poking at all day. I’ve never been so tempted to hold a bear’s hand until I gave a pinch to one of these fuzzy, succulent leaves. The adorable pink duck I was able to pot it in does give it some bonus points, but the incredible growth its had over just a few months would have had it at the top of my list either way.

various houseplants on a table in front of a windowHonorable mentions to some of my toughest warriors: Snake plants, a money tree (Pachira aquatica), and ladyfinger cactus (Mammillaria elongata). I’ve had these plants the longest and all have survived various methods of abuse and neglect (AKA surviving the long drives from Connecticut to Vancouver and back).

close up of Old man cactusAnd my final feature for today is an oldie, but goodie. My old man cactus (Cephalocereus senilis) never fails to put a smile on my face. Everyone should have at least one plant that looks as kooky as it sounds.


If you would like to see some of the adventures I take with my plant companions, check me out on Instagram: @agirlherdogandtheroad

And as always, please share your garden treasures with us! The email and process to submit remains the same (see instructions below).


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart