Prized by gardeners for their architectural shapes, fascinating textures, vibrant colors, drought resistance and low maintenance, succulents are a joy to behold and a delight to design with. Well suited for climates with high temperatures and low rainfall, thanks to their ability to store water in their leaves or stems, most are easy to grow, with few disease or insect problems, and tolerant of heat and poor soils. Quite versatile, they add drama in most garden settings and work well in a variety of garden styles including Mediterranean, desert or xeriscape gardens and rock gardens.
When designing a succulent garden, you should not limit yourself to the succulent world. There is a wide range of companion plants that will bring out the best qualities of your succulents and share their space with a serene balance. These companion plants will provide contrast and add interest during the periods when your succulents are not in bloom. Whether ornamental grasses, perennials, annuals or shrubs, these companion plants should have the same cultural requirements as your favorite succulents.
Since majority of cacti and succulents grow in desert and savannah situations, this means bright light (full sun or dappled shade), minimal water with excellent drainage, good air circulation, dry air and high temperatures.
Ornamental grasses add shape, color, texture and movement to the landscape. Their cascading blades of grass lend softness to the garden where agaves and other succulents bring a statuesque presence. If you limit yourself to the succulent palette, there is a high probability your garden will look heavy and rigid since lacking the movement ornamental grasses provide.
Below is a list of pretty ornamental grasses that share most of these growing requirements. They will bring out the best in both the succulents and their world.