The siren call of the succulent! They are so diverse and mysterious. Great for year-round color whether in pots or planted in your garden area. These hardy plants can weather most conditions with little care. A great option for drought-tolerant landscaping. Not only that but some produce the most stunning blooms!
In this article, I will be introducing you to tips to make your newfound hobby a suc-cess.
As noted they are a low water type planting, so if you have them in pots outside or rooted in the ground, using a low flow drip system on a timer may be a great idea for their care. It alleviates overwatering and provides the correct amount directly to the root system with little to no waste or evaporation. Plus no water spots on the leaves.
I have found that when designing your container it's best to keep like-minded/watered plants together so as not to overwater or be underwater. The same applies when you plant in your landscape.
I must say I love the propagation stage, it's like watching your kids grow only slower. You can achieve a lovely plant from just a single leaf or cutting. There are many methods out there.
Some swear by the water method: which involves inserting the cutting/leaf cut side down just above the water to stimulate growth. I have had hit-and-miss success with this one.
I recommend that you let the cut ends callous over for a few days if you intend to do the soil method.
Lay the cutting on top of the soil and place it in indirect sunlight. Spritz occasionally once the leaves start to look dry and basically forget about them. I have had the best luck with this method.
It’s even better when you find that random start from a leaf you didn't know dropped and low and behold a tiny succulent baby is sprouting.
Don't be afraid to behead that one succulent that has stretched or etiolated. That’s how you create more of your favorites or at least bring the languishing one back to life again.
I will totally admit to apologizing to it as I am going through the process.
Once your chosen method has been put in motion it then becomes a waiting game.
You will check daily, (I know I do) to see if there is anything growing. Looking for those minute fine roots to show or on occasion the littlest succulent you have ever seen to start growing. Some may sprout quickly and others at the speed of dial-up.
As your new succulent develops the care is minimal at best, filtered sun and the occasional misting or light watering is all that is required. You will notice the mother leaf will start to wilt and die off. At this point, if there are established roots you can carefully remove the start by cutting off the mother leaf. If no roots then let the mother leaf die off and your start should begin to put down roots.
The soil medium you use is very important, as is the container. Both have to be well-draining. I have had really good luck with Fox Farms Ocean Forest. It has a blend of earthworm castings, bat guano, sea-going fish & crab meal, forest humus, moss & more.
When it comes to containers, never be afraid to drill a hole in anything and turn it into a planter.
Let’s talk about unwanted friends/guests. Nothing worse than a gnat infestation! I have dealt with that several times. It can feel like the universe is challenging you. I have used mosquito bits soaked in water with some success. Another option that works is to mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with four parts water. Allow the top layer of your soil to dry, and then water your plants with this solution as you normally would. The soil will fizz for a few minutes after application; this is normal. Contact with hydrogen peroxide will kill fungus gnat larvae on contact. But it does not harm your plant.
To catch those pesky adults that have hatched you can order some of the yellow sticky traps from amazon to place next to your plant. Mealybugs are another nasty pest, I use a Q-tip dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe the mealy away and any remnant thereof. Neem oil is another treatment for those mealies and spider mites.
A good rule of thumb when purchasing is to thoroughly check your plant (I bring a small magnifying glass with me) before bringing it home and then once home quarantine it for a week just to be sure no hitchhikers were on board.
You can find these lovely gems at your local nursery, or mom n pop plant shop. But to get the truly rare ones you will either have to join a group or groups in hopes of being able to locate a rare specimen. There are some lovely sellers online too. Truly though once you make some connections that's when the sharing of knowledge and plants or cuttings begins.
Before I went down the rabbit hole of succulents I thought there were only hens n chicks and the cacti family. So not true lol. It seems over time and propagation many varieties of succulents and cacti have developed.
Much like all plants, they do have their dormancy periods. Some of the summer dormant plants are aeoniums, haworthia, peperomia, snake plants, and various sedums.
Winter dormant include agave, echeveria, ficus, sempervivum, and tillandsia.
Your plant care changes with the seasons as well. I do find myself moving my potted succulents around based on sun/shade availability. Especially if a particular plant
lives both inside and outside. I do try not to overexpose them when it is so hot out.
Unless it is a cactus as they love it!
You will find that some types of succulents such as jade and various Christmas cacti make wonderful family heirlooms. When cared for properly they can live for many years. It is a lovely way to memorialize a lost loved one or to get your youngster started on their plant journey.
We hope you find this information helpful and it furthers your enjoyment of the wonderful world of succulents. If you have additional questions or comments please let us know. email@example.com
Share a plant today you will be glad you did