There are 50 olive jar shaped concrete planters in Plaza de Panama at Balboa Park. All of them are planted with succulents. All are watered with a long hose by traditional drench and drain watering. The water flow in the photo above was just a few seconds as the maintenance person moved from planter to planter. In the interior plantscaping business we used to call this type of watering "splash and dash."
Due to the drought and watering restrictions there has been far too little "drench" and it shows. The plants have not grown at all since installation. Some are in very bad shape as these photos show. They simply do not get enough water.
All of these planters could have been converted to sub-irrigation. Unfortunately no one at Balboa Park knows how to do it. If the planters were SIPs, the succulents would look as good as those at the SIP patio test garden I created last year on a private property very near Balboa Park.
Succulents are categorized as "drought tolerant" but they need adequate water to grow. All of these planters are located in full sun.
It is poorly understood that SIPs are rainwater collectors. All of the planter reservoirs would have received a significant refill each time there has been some rain. Instead what little rain has fallen just quickly drained away with little benefit to the plants.
Click to enlarge. More photos on Flickr