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Life After Lawn: A succulent gem

Mother of pearl plant is a handsome shade-loving succulent with rosettes of pale blue foliage.
Mother of pearl plant is a handsome shade-loving succulent with rosettes of pale blue foliage.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.

Mother of pearl plant

Graptopetalum paraguayense

Size: Up to 1 foot tall and 2 to 3 feet wide at maturity.

Bloom season: Non-showy white flowers produced in spring.

Exposure: Can tolerate early morning sun in summer, but prefers shade in hot afternoons.

Pruning needs: None; remove spent flower stalks if desired.

Water needs: Low water; once established, irrigate once or twice a month.

Snapshot: Aptly nicknamed, this beautiful succulent has almost translucent foliage in a mix of different shades of pale blue, pink and purple. The individual rosettes are 3 to 5 inches wide, but branch freely to form a cluster. This groundcover succulent can easily be expanded by detaching the rosettes with a small bit of stem and sticking in moist soil. Easy and adaptable, it is useful for container plantings, cascading over walls and for edging along paths.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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