This past week, I was “gifted” a plant arrangement in desperate need of some TLC by some coworkers who found this in the office of someone who recently took a new job.
As you can see, it was in rough shape. There were actually three different plant varieties in the basket, but my coworkers took one of the varieties out.
I did some research and figured out that the vining plant with pretty yellow blooms is actually a succulent! It’s a calandiva. It clearly was reaching for sunlight for a very long time.
The most difficult part of this plant rescue was not figuring out what to do with the Calandiva – It was a succulent and I knew if I just snipped them and made cuttings, it would survive and be much healthier. The difficult part came when trying to free the other plant from the mess of roots in the pot!
I split the plants between three new homes. Most of the calandiva is in a plastic pot with the right kind of soil and lots of rocks for draining. One cutting is now in a vintage animal cracker tin, with two other succulents and lots of rocks. The other plant (I didn’t really investigate what it is), is now in another plastic pot and enjoying having its own space for roots to grow.
Next week, I’ll be answering some of the questions I am often asked about caring for succulents. If you have a question for me, post a comment below!
Oh, and in case you missed it… head over to our Facebook page! I now have some succulent arrangements/terrariums available for sale in the Milwaukee area! Sorry to those who aren’t in SE Wisconsin – I haven’t figured out how to ship these safely! Here’s a sneak peek:
Almost 5 weeks since I began my first major succulent propagation effort. We are making a lot of progress. Lots of pink roots and li’l baby plants sprouting. I’ve added some more leaves to the big ceramic container and hope to see some growth from them soon.
My second propagation experiment started two weeks ago. We’re making good progress here, too! This pot is mostly sedum rubrotinctum and graptosedum.
Some of my leaves are showing signs of over-watering so I’m hoping if I wait an extra day or two between waterings, the wrinkly leaves will get better.
On a sad note, one of the leaves from my big, fat pachyphytum bracteosum was coming loose so I popped it off today. I’m hoping it will propagate. I has a sad. I love these big leaves!
Finally, I am so excited that my pleiospilos nelii rubra (split rock succulent) is splitting! New growth is starting to appear!
I was excited that one of my favorites, Tiger Lily Garden Market, was there again! They are one of my favorite places to find healthy, well cared for succulents in the Milwaukee area. Of course, I am always “rescuing” succulents from other places. But, Tiger Lilly just has a great selection. I mean, look at these beauties!
I got a bunch of new succulents, because, obviously, I have a problem.
I got a pot of sedum rubrotinctum aka “Aurora,” crassula radicans aka “large red stonecrop,” pachyphytum bracteosum, Aloe variegata aka “Gator” and crassula perforata. Oh and I finally have a living stone!
Isn’t it funny looking? I’ve been wanting one of these for awhile, and I’m glad I finally have one! I’m excited to watch it bloom and then grow new leaves this fall/winter when it goes dormant.
After seeing all my succulent posts on Instagram, my mom asked me if I would arrange a succulent planter for her.
I combined sempervivum, aeonium aka “kiwi,” kalanchoe thyrsiflora aka “flap jacks,” senecio talinoids mandralis aka “blue” and echeveria aka “perle von numberg.” I used a large, shallow terra cotta pot and finished it off with river stones.
Because of my succulent addiction, I of course had to make one of my own with my new succulents.
As I was planting my new friends, I found that the aloe plant had started a li’l pup!
At first, I also included some sempervivum, but then today I moved them and added crassula capitella aka “campfire plant” and kalanchoe luciae aka “flapjacks.”
I planted the large red stonecrop in an antique teapot.
Yes, I have a problem. You see, today, I put together this pot with three varieties of sempervivum aka “hen and chicks.”
Before I leave you and put the kabosh on purchasing any new succulents for awhile, I’ll share an update on my propagation efforts. Finally, after 2+ weeks, we have itty bitty pink roots beginning to emerge!
So far, the Graptosedum (Vera Higgins) succulents are doing great!
These are the baby succulents I inherited when I purchased a larger graptosedum earlier this month.
Unfortunately, the bulk of my leaves I started propagating haven’t sprouted roots or babies yet.
That is… except for the gratosedum!
This past week I rescued a pot of succulents from a local greenhouse.
When I came across this pot of mixed succulents, I knew it needed rescuing. In fact, when I took it to the checkout, I told the cashier to be careful with them. I told her, “They’re struggling. But don’t worry, I’m going to bring them back to life.”
I’ll show you some more results of my rescued succulents project next week!
I’ll admit it. I have a problem. I am addicted to succulents. You may remember a few weeks ago, when I shared a tutorial on how to make a succulent container garden. In that post, I mentioned that I was going to attempt to propagate a leaf from one of the new succulents.
I decided to take a look around my ever-growing succulent collection to see if any of my plants would benefit from propagation. And then I found these babies at work.
Can you say “leggy succulent”?! While I’m happy that these succulents survived the Sconnie winter, it’s obvious they had a serious lack of sunshine. Succulents thrive on sunlight and those gray, gloomy days of winter did not provide the needed sunlight. That said, the sedum succulent needed a little TLC.
I started by gently removing the leaves from the bottom of the plant. One of the best ways to do this is to gently move it left to right until the leaf pops off easily. If you damage the end of the leaf, it won’t propagate.
Once you get to the head of the succulent, take a clean set of scissors and snip it off.
Lay the leaves and heads of the succulents out for 1-3 days or until the ends callous over. You’ll want them to get some sunlight but not be in direct sunlight or they will burn. Indirect sunlight is best.
I checked on the leaves every day.
Once the leaves callous over, it’s time to move them! Since I had so many leaves, I prepped a large ceramic dish I made in college for propagating baby succulents.
I put a layer of small stones for drainage and then covered them with cactus soil. Then, I placed all the leaves in rows in the dish.
You might have noticed that I also included the stems of the succulents I am propagating. I have done some reading and it’s possible to propagate from the stems, so I figured it was worth a shot! I’m checking the soil daily and if it’s dry, I am spraying lightly with water from a water bottle.
The top cuttings from the succulents I’m propagating were placed into a small pot so they can begin rooting.
I’ve done a lot of research on best practices for propagating succulents with leaves and cuttings. I’ve had success with cuttings in the past and am looking forward to trying out leaf propagation!
Luckily, I already know what to look for since I received some bonus baby succulents in one of the succulent pots I bought last weekend for new terrariums. I immediately put them in their own “pots” (mason jars – one of my other obsessions) and hope they survive!
I’ve learned that succulent cuttings and leaves need lots of water in order to propagate, but once they get to be about the size of the photo below, you can start to withhold water and the new baby succulent will pull its moisture from the original leaf. Once it shrivels and falls off, you can treat the new plant as you would any other succulent.
I have found some great resources for succulent propagation and care. One of my favorite resources is Succulents and Sunshine. Cassidy Tuttle has even written two eBooks (both of which I purchased and reference often). Click the images at the bottom of this post to check them out!
Succulents are such hardy houseplants. I love the different varieties! I have a number of different plantings – both at work and at home. They’re easy to care for and come in so many different kinds of textures, shapes and sizes.
Succulents are very cost-effective, too! I purchased everything for less than $30! It would have been cheaper if I had an available container at home for them, but I’ve propagated so many plants this winter, I’ve run out of extra containers!
For this planter, I chose four different succulents:
Portulacaria afra variegata, aka “Elephant Plant” and not Crassula Perforata, aka “Necklace Vine” – as the plant info flag said
Plus, what I believe is part of the Sempervivum family
Container at least three-four inches deep (unless you are propagating)
Variety of succulents or cacti
Cactus soil mix*
Stones of varying sizes
* You can make your own mix by taking 1 part sand and 3 parts soil.
See that dog cable in the photo? My dog, Beep, desperately wanted to be part of this blog post. She would not get out of the way and demanded I take her photo, too.
Yes, she’s a diva.
To get started, add some small stones into your container. This is very important, as succulents require an environment that provides excellent draining.
Add your succulents one by one, making sure to break up the roots as you go. When you have all the succulents in the pot, fill in the open spots with the cactus soil or sand/soil mix.
Whomp whomp. Whilst planting the succulents and adding the extra soil, I accidentally snapped off one of the leaves. I’m hoping to propagate it, but we will see what happens.
Once you have good soil cover, you can add decorative stones and moss. Give your succulents a couple days before you water them for the first time. This will help the plants establish their roots.
I’m pretty happy with how my succulent garden planter turned out!
Caring for succulents
Most succulents require very little water. It’s okay to let the soil dry out completely between watering. I’ve found that watering them every 10 days or so works best. Succulents love sunlight, warmth and well-drained soil. Read more about caring for succulents at Go Garden Go.
Do you have succulents? What are your favorite varieties?