by Nira milo

I would like to plan outdoor living walls for my west and east side house walls. I would like to use succulents as I love their colors and textures.

Would you be able to recommend small succulents which will survive the cold temperature in Toronto?

My east side wall is totally exposed and gets lots of sun until about 1pm.

My west side wall is in the shade during the summer months since I have a very large tree in that area. In the winter when the leaves are gone and the sun is shining there is sunlight from about 2pm.
thank you for your help
Nira Milo

Hi Nira, the best succulents would be some of the smaller Sedum, which are used for ground covers, and can withstand quite a range of conditions. You can see more about sedum for green roofs – these are tough and reliable, and have been well tested in similar situations on green roofs.

Other plants that thrive in challenging conditions are Sempervivum and Jovibarba, both of which will form colonies of plants, eventually covering the surface of the wall.

All of these plants will require a bit of re-planting, because they’ll all tend to want to fall off. Luckily, they are easy to pin in place with a toothpick or behind netting. Also, with them being exposed through the winter, your wall may experience higher than normal losses, because although they’re hardy in garden conditions, without snow cover they are less protected.

Hope that helps give you some choices,