Friday, February 14, 2014

my new love--succulents

Since today is Valentine's day, I thought I'd write a little post dedicated to my newest love: Succulents.
 
I have been collecting succulents the past few months, and let me tell you: this absentee gardener is OBSESSED! I have kept plants in my various apartments, and they've always ALWAYS died. Succulents, though, thrive under my care! What little there is, that is...
My lack of success with most greenery isn't due to a black thumb, but a more embarrassing problem: I just forget about them.

It's not that I don't like having plants around, either, because I do! I just forget that I have them and sometimes weeks go by before I remember that they need to be watered.
Sad, sad, sad.

Turns out, succulents are the plant for me because not only can they survive while neglected, they thrive because of it! Root growth happens most often during drought conditions (they're seeking out water), so if I forget to water them for a week or so, it's probably better. :)
The odd thing is, since starting my collection, I've been super vigilant about watering them. So go figure.
I just LOVE them, so much. I mean some of them are just so dang cute, right?! There are so many different varieties, too, so I'm never bored hunting for ones I don't have.
 
Tim would probably be thrilled off I suddenly stopped coming home with more. I keep clusters of  "terrariums" all over the house (at least, places the bird won't get to them, because wouldn't you know it she LOVES chewing the dang things!) and they're so cheery and happy. All they need is a spritzing of water every couple of days, just to get the top of the soil wet. I use a spray bottle.
I have stuck with glass containers in the house and terra cotta planters for the ones on the patio, simply because that's what I had. I didn't pay more than a dollar per container, either--most of my terrariums are glassware from the dollar store or thrifted from somewhere. There are a lot of uniquely-shaped containers out there for cheap!
I have....um..... Quite the collection going.......!
And these are just the ones waiting for some growth before I move 'em...! But here's the best part--My collection was close to free! Succulents are so easy to transplant and grow that you can take a piece of an existing plant to grow a whole new one. Just ask succulent-loving friends and family (or neighbors! Or total strangers!) if you can take a little piece of their plants; if you can get a little of the root then you're golden, but you can use trimmings too. Just make sure you have at least an inch of stem if you use a trimming, and let them sit in a cool dry place for a day or two before you plant those. 
Fresh cuttings waiting a day or two to be planted.
Letting them sit un-planted lets them scab over just a bit, which makes them take in less water right away when you plant them. Which is good for a succulent, remember?
newly-transplanted cutting
I've had some success with propagating succulents from leaves too, which is pretty cool!
Roots and a baby plant on a succulent leaf // paper towel propigating
succulent leaf propagating on soil in a loaf pan
I'm doing experiments with this to see in which conditions they thrive best, so I'll get back to that once I know more. But it's pretty cool so far!
Have you fallen in love with succulents, yet? What are your favorites?

2 comments:

  1. well you KNOW I'm a schucker for schuccculents!

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  2. Well this post made me realize what I did wrong when I accidentally killed my only succulent! Probably overwatered! I'm used to having (killing) regular plants due to forgetting to water them, so when my succulent started looking sad, I was like, it must need more water!

    ReplyDelete

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