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Iowans are discovering the pleasures of succulents. Ostrander recommends them because they come in many colors and textures, tolerate heat and drought, and are easily overwintered inside. Hogue likes ‘Zorro’ (top), a giant echeveria with rosettes that can reach 16 inches wide and foliage color that matures to a dark chocolate red with bright pink margins. “A bowl or trough of mixed succulents is perfect for weekend travelers,” she says of gardeners who aren’t around to water. “These plants can survive in shallow containers with very little water.” Photo courtesy Proven Winners.

Up to 8 inches tall, up to 12 inches wide
Part sun to full sun, Overwinter inside

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Muscatine native Chris Hansen is the co-owner of Great Garden Plants, a mail-order Web-based company in Michigan. Iowans will appreciate the beauty and toughness of the new sedums and hellebores he’s breeding.

‘Dazzleberry’ sedum, a new groundcover option for full-sun locations, has 8-inch raspberry flower heads on clumps that reach 8 inches tall and 18 inches wide. The smoky blue foliage is colorful all season. “It’s one of the first sedums to bloom in late summer,” Hansen says. “And it remains colorful for more than seven weeks!” Place it alongside black asphalt or curbs; it can take a beating.

8 inches tall, 18 inches wide
Full sun
Zone 4

Like all hellebores, ‘Grape Galaxy’ — introduced in 2010 — is deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and grows in both clay and sandy soils. This shade-loving plant boasts more than 10 weeks of 3-inch purple-spotted blooms and deep green leathery leaves. Photos courtesy Great Garden Plants.

‘Grape Galaxy’
20 inches tall, 24 inches wide
Full shade
Zone 4



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