Succulent Survival Guide
Essential Supplies for Successful Succulent Planting:
• Succulents • Succulent Soil
• Container or Pot • Shovel
(preferably with drainage hole)
• Top Dressing
• Mesh Tape/Drainage Screen/Rocks (decorative rock)
Succulent are plants with fleshy leaves and/or stems capable of storing moisture.
They come in varieties of sizes, leaf shapes, colors, flowers and unique features. Originating from the dry areas of Africa, Central America, European Alps, South America and South Africa, these tough plants are adapted to be drought tolerant. Favorited by many, they are easy to grow and maintain with minimum care.
3 COMMON MISTAKES
#1 - Pots or containers without drainage hole(s).
Your plants will still survive in a pot with no drainage but
will require more work to keep them happy.
#2 - Poor draining soil.
Succulents cannot sit in wet soil for long periods.
Which is why choosing the right pot and proper soil is important!
#3 - Watering with a spray bottle.
When watering, use a watering can or soft-sprayer hose attachment. Succulents absorb water around them, not through direct contact.
When planting, there are 3 options. Seeds, propagating leaf cuttings or mature
plants purchased from your local garden center. If you choose to start with
a mature plant, we recommend re-potting it soon. Nurseries often use a
universal soil for all of their plants which is too rich and retains too much water.
You can mix your own soil (see Indoor, Outdoor soil recipe)
or use premixed Cactus Soil or Potting Mix.
Indoor Soil Recipe: Outdoor Soil Recipe:
1 part Pine Bark Fines 1 part Coconut Coir
1 part Turface (absorptive rock) 1 part Pumice (turface or crushed granite)
1 part Crushed Granite
Pine bark provides organic elements and holds water but has air pockets for ventilation.
Another advantage of Pine Bark is it takes longer to break down. Turface absorbs
water and slowly releases it. Crushed Granite allows water flow among all particles.
Coir absorbs water easily yet drains well and it is a lightweight material.
Remove plant from original pot, gently shake off or use fingers to loosen existing dirt.
Set plant into prepared soil and sift soil around their bases, gently tamping down as you go.
Then cover the surface with course sand, gravel or inorganic mulch. Water gently to settle soil around roots and bases. Allow to completely dry in between soakings/watering.
Starting from Seed:
Planting succulents from seeds requires much patience as it could take 6 months or as much as over a year just for them to sprout. Start by preparing your pot/container with proper soil. Press seeds lightly into the soil and lightly cover with sand. Using saran wrap, cover the top of your container. This will help conserve moisture and humidity. Temporarily remove the cover if it gets to steamy, recover as needed. You'll want to place the container in bright but INDIRECT light. Watering: Avoid displacing seeds by watering from the bottom as needed. You can do this by placing your pot/container in a tray of water until it has soaked enough water.
Genus and species of your plant determines what kid of cutting you can take from it. Tender succulents such as Sedums and Echeverias can be propagated with either a leaf or cutting. On the other hand, some succulents such as Aeoniums can only be propagated from cuttings.
To propagate a leaf, gently twist leaf a leaf off of the stem of your plant. Making sure it is a clean pull leaving nothing on the stem or even better if you take some stem with the leaf. Let your leaf dry out 1-3 days or until it has scabbed over otherwise your leaf will absorb too much water and drown. Once it has scabbed over it may have shriveled up a little bit but don't worry, this is normal. Many experts suggest sticking the ends into the soil but I've been more successful just laying the leaf down without the ends not touching the soil at all. Using a spray bottle, spray until the soil is moist. Continue to water everyday or when soil is dry. Usually takes 2-3 week to root.
Cuttings are a tiny bit different. Since it is somewhat a fully grown plant already, it will need to be placed into the soil. Water as usual, when soil is dry. This method usually roots within a few weeks as well. Results depend on time of year, temperature of area, type of succulent, humidity etc.
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