Succulent success

Mon. Nov. 21, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Succulent success

Succulents are easy to grow, easy on the eyes and easy to propagate!  Any succulent is a candidate, especially those with a central, trunk-like stem.  But, really, they’re all easy!

Succulent - Crassula
Succulent – Crassula

Crassula is a very large family of succulents that come in a wide variety of shapes and colors.  They’re also one of the easiest to propagate.  Check out the variety at The Succulent Garden.

Crassula 'Green Pagoda'
Crassula ‘Green Pagoda’

From Organic Life magazine:  Use a sharp pair of scissors to snip a leaf covered section at least 3 inches long.  This is your cutting.

Succulents will propagate from individual leaves too.  You can either pluck leaves from your clippings or from the parent plant.  Hold the fleshy leaf close to the stem Twist gently to remove cleanly.  What’s left on the leaf stem looks like a potato eye.  The is where small new roots and leaves will start to grow.

succulent-leaf-cuttingsPlace cut ends up in a dish with fast draining soil and facing indirect sun.  Leave for 3 days until the end calluses over.  (If you plant them too quickly, they may rot due to too much water).  Take a look at this article from Organic Life with step by step instructions and pictures!

succulents-on-a-dish

After that, use a spray bottle to squirt water about 6 times until the soil is moist, not soaked.  Repeat when the soil is dry, about every 5 days.

In about 3 to 4 weeks tiny pink roots will start to sprout.  Be patient… I know, not my strong suit either!

succulents-tiny-pink-roots

Continue to water and observe.  In about 6 to 7 weeks you’ll notice baby pups, they’re adorable.  They’ll emerge from the “parent”, which may look shriveled.  They’re feeding the pups from their own water and nutrients.

succulents-tiny-pups

This is the time to cut the string, so to speak, and plant them in their own pot about 4 inches in diameter.  Cover the new roots with about ½ an inch of soil.  The easiest mix is one you buy for succulents.  It’s lighter and drains much more quickly than a regular potting soil.

Once the little fella is taking off, plant in a in a porous pot, terra cotta is great, in well draining soil.

Succulents love bright morning sun and shade for the rest of the day.  A south or east facing window is best, but don’t let them get scorched.

Put a saucer under the pot, soak the soil and then empty the saucer.  Let the soil dry out almost completely between waterings.  Moisture is held in their leaves, that’s why they’re thick.  The fleshier the leaves, the less water is necessary.

Some great succulents to propagate in no particular order:

  • Crassula
  • Sedum
  • Aeonium
  • Agave
  • Kalanchoe
  • Graptopetalum
Crassula rupestris subsp. marnieriana aka Baby's Necklace
Crassula rupestris subsp. marnieriana aka Baby’s Necklace

 

Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

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