Oh! Succulents are Fabulous!

Oh! Succulents are Fabulous! Most people aren’t aware of the spectacular flowers, the colorful foliage, the variety of shapes, and the ease of care of succulents.

Three or four tiny pots of succulents and a small cactus or two are the usual starting point for a lifelong interest in succulents as house plants.  The succulents are indeed a good starting point for children as the plants are easy to care for and can withstand a great deal of neglect and miss management and are amongst the easiest of all plant groups to propagate.

Succulents are easily defined as plants with fleshly leaves or stems which can store water much like the cacti. There are hundreds of succulents with widely different shapes and sizes that are commercially available. Most of them have a rosette shape, as the tightly packed leaf arrangement helps to conserve water in their desert habitat. With age, some of these types become rosette trees with leaf clusters at the end of a woody stem the remainder grow as trailing or bushy plants.

Despite the wide variety of shapes, the succulents are remarkably consistent in their needs. They evolved in the dry areas of the world and their general requirements are related to this environment. good draining compost, sunshine, fresh air, and water in the growing season and a cold and dry resting. Winter dormancy is vital if you want your plants to bloom and last for many years. Another requirement for top-quality plants is a period outdoors in the summer.

Secrets of success

Temperature:  Average warmth from spring to autumn. Succulents, unlike most houseplants, thrive best in day temperatures of 70 to 80. night temperatures  60° to 70° is ideal but no harm will occur at 40°

Light:  A window seal is a right spot as some sunshine is vital and try to choose a south-facing window seal if you can, but some shade in summer may be necessary. Also if there is insufficient light you can add artificial light. The use of fluorescent or plant grow lighting has created a nice advantage for indoor gardening.

Water: Treat as any ordinary house plant from Spring to autumn water thoroughly when the compost begins to dry out.  In the winter water very infrequently once every 1 to 2 months

Air Humidity: No need to mist the leaves, the main requirement is for fresh air, open windows in the summer.

Repotting:  Only re-pot when essential then transfer to a slightly larger container in the spring. Use a shallow pot rather than a deep one

Propagations: Cuttings root easily. Take stem cuttings, offsets, or leaf cuttings in spring or summer. It is vital to let the cutting edge dry for a few days, large cuttings for 1 to 2 weeks before inserting them in compost. Water very sparingly and do not cover. Another propagation method is seed sowing, germination temperature is 70° to 80°

How to make a dish garden

Succulents are ideal plants for a dish garden they are less work than most house plants because they can tolerate ordinary household conditions of reduced light and dry atmosphere. Because of their water storage tissues, these plants can also survive periods of inattention.  Because some are so small and slow growing, you can use these plants to create an entire landscape indoors with little effort and expense.  It’s best to select a dish that is at least 4” deep. If there is no hole for drainage, you will have to allow for a layer of drainage material at the bottom, covered by a layer of charcoal granule. An additional thin layer of sphagnum moss will prevent the soil from sifting into the drainage bed.   Plant the arrangement the way that is most pleasing to you. Leave about an inch between the soil and the rim of the dish to aid in watering.

Plant carefully and aim for an attractive landscape. Once made it will require very little attention and should last a number of years.  Avoid overcrowding by placing rocks between the plants helps and remove the rocks as plants grow.

Use bushy rosette or trailing succulents and aim for different shapes and colors, cacti can be included. Use tree like succulents at the rear or center

Have fun with Succulents they are seemingly indestructible plants that have briefly survived years of adversity to bring us an infinite variety of forms and colors and their needs are minimal and easy for the average home gardener.

Here two awesome gift ideas for yourself or that special person on your Christmas List

and this nice book I bought on Amazon that I really enjoy and found very helpful…

Also, watch this intriguing how-to video to make a creative Fairy Succulent Garden  

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