Monday, 10 April 2017


It was great to get out and about at Boconnoc spring show. Following our move to a new site last year this was the first time we have done a show for a while. It was lovely to see some of our regular website customers, some of whom travelled a long way to see us. It's always nice to put a face to familiar names. We will be at Royal Cornwall Show in June so come and see us if you can.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

New hybrids

The first Surreal Succulent Aeonium hybrid of 2017 has been launched and is now available on the website. Name 'Cornish Rose', we think this one is really special with large cup-shaped rosettes with a stunning colour and very free branching to around 1 metre in a large pot or in the ground. We can't take the credit for breeding this hybrid as it was the result of natural hybridisation in a Cornish garden from which we took a cutting. The more we grew it on the more it grew on us (ha, ha) so we set to propagating it during 2017 and the first batch of plants are now available.

Aeonium 'Cornish Rose'
We are still working on a few other Surreal Succulent hybrids, 1 or 2 of which might be available later on this year. Having been disappointed with a batch of new hybrids in 2016, having grown them on over winter we are now quite excited about several of them and will continue to grow them on and assess them over the summer. All being well 2 or 3 of the first batches of these could be available as 2018. One new hybrid, arriving in our collection from Aeonium grower Roger Mann, is a hybrid of canariense and sedifolium (picture below). It doesn't look much in the picture but I think this has the potential to be a real compact stunner.

Aeonium canariense x sedifolium

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

News from the nursery

Despite the fact that it is winter we still receive quite a few orders which keep the team busy. Here is a batch heading for the post office. We always enjoy sending our succulents to far flung corners of the UK, EU and worldwide. In fact, in the depths of the wet and windy Cornish winter it is tempting to use a big box and jump in there with the succulents.

Propapagation picks up pace again now as we head into spring but although it is sometimes a challenge to keep up with the jobs as they mount up it is always great to feel the first warm sunshine of the year on your back. The plants also enjoy of course and they start to pick up and look happier after the dark days of winter pass. Before you know it we will be putting the shade netting up again to protect some of the plants from full summer sun!

Here is a picture of some pots recently planted up for the nursery at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. We hope to be able to offer these as pots and planting kits ont he website soon - so keep an eye out for our new products during the year.

Monday, 23 January 2017

New Succulents

The first new additions for 2017 are starting to be uploaded onto the website and there are some exciting newbies coming this year. A couple of highlights from the latest new plants on the website are:

Aeonium arboreum 'Tip Top', a really nice Aeonium that is really quite different from anything else, a dwarf cultivar of the much larger arboreum with a mass of small rosettes covering the entire stem from top to bottom. At the moment it is quite green but will become dark red/purple as we move into spring and sumer.

Aeonium arboreum 'Tip Top'
Echeveria 'Pastel Rose', a new introduction bred for us by Echeveria Universe. It has a lovely rose-like rosette with beautiful and subtle pastel tones. This is a first and limited batch so get them while their hot as they will only be available for a limited period.

Echeveria 'Pastel Rose'
Many plants come and go on the website as stocks run out and newly propagated plants become available. Where plants aren't available they probably will be at a later point in the year. Aeonium 'Velour', understandaly very popular will be available again this week, as will the 2016 introduction Echeveria 'Cornish Delight', of which a limited number are available. If a succulent you particularly want is not available on the website it always worth sending us on email ( to see if we have it as sometimes we might have a small amount that we can make available.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Agave seedlings

At this time of year we aren't really propagating at the nursery (except some of the tougher Aeonium) but looking after existing plants and seedlings. The seedlings include batches of Aloe and Agave, which should be available on to the website from late spring. The picture below is of some Agave tequiliana seedlings as they germinated earlier this year, the plant that is actually used in the production of Tequila. Thoughts of sipping Tequila in the sun are far from our minds at the moment as, while I write, hailstones are falling on the roof and we are all wrapped in multiple layers trying to keep warm. It is not quite cold enough to fleece the plants down here in west Cornwall, most succulents being able to cope with temperatures hovering around 3/4C. Elsewhere in the country succulent growers will (or should be) covering their cossetted plants with fleece and their greenhouses and polytunnels lined with bublewrap and heaters set ready to keep their prized specimens frost free. We really are a bit spoilt down here in west Cornwall with temperatures in winter rarely getting down to freezing (when it does, though, the results can be devastating on collections of exotics built up and coaxed through mild winters). With better weather forecast next week we can start to get ready for the season ahead, growing larger plants for shows and the nursery at Tremenheere and continuing to propagate new stock.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Happy New Year!

We hope all of our customers had a merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year. Here at Surreal Succulents the team enjoyed a festive night out at a local meadery and, as you can see from the photograph below, a good time was had by all. Only five years ago the company occupied one glasshouse and began from the succulent collection of Daniel (bottom left) who set up Surreal Succulents with his wife Chloe (bottom right). Colin (top left) propagated stock and built the website for 3 years and was then joined by Jack (middle left), the fastest propagator in the west. Surreal Succulents then began to supply Tremenheere Nursery near Penzance and the website started to take-off. Alison (middle lower right) joined in 2014 and Sarah (middle upper) came on board as our apprentice and Emma (top right) as logistics, marketing and products guru, both in 2016. So Surreal Succulents is growing in more than one sense. Our plans for 2017 are to offer more succulents than ever and continue to develop and improve our website and the products we offer. We are also attending a couple of shows this year (Cornwall Spring Show in April and Royal Cornwall Show in June) with a view to attending shows on the national stage in 2018 (so keep watching this space).

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Aeonium 'Lemon & Lime'

Aeonium 'Lemon & Lime' is a real stunner. Like Aeonium 'Sunburst' it is often attributed as a cultivar of Aeonium decorum and first arrived on the succulent scene in California but with its variegation in the centre of the leaves rather than the margins. In truth, there is little in this Aeonium cultivar to suggest decorum in its parentage; it seems more likely to be a sport of 'Sunburst' in cultivation. Either way there are few Aeonium that have as much impact as this one, with multiple rosettes up to 30cm diameter it really catches the eye. It is not without its drawbacks as it is prone to reversion to green leaves and can suffer from leaf scorch on the hottest summer days making it ideal for a situation in part or dappled shade.

In our collection at Surreal Succulents we have never been able to build up the numbers to any large extent, being restricted by its tendency to revert. When we moved nursery sites in early 2016 the mother plants lay hidden for a while and when it came to propagating them we found that we were down to only 2 or 3 viable true 'Lemon & Lime'. The challenge was on to save it and increase the number so that we could re-introduce it for sale in 2017. Well, we are now at about 12 viable plants with several offsets on the way so when you see it for sale in summer 2017 there will have been a lot of work that has gone into keeping this beautiful succulent available.

The first generation of 'rescued' Aeonium 'Lemon & Lime' with
new offsets on the way that should result in new sale stock in 2017.