Succulents Are Drought Resistant
I have been gardening for years, mainly sticking with roses, perennials, herbs and a few vegetables.
My favorites have always been colorful flowers. I usually tend to purchase plants that I can take cuttings to use in floral arranging or drying..
However, the last few years we have had drought here in Southern California, that being said we have been on a strict schedule as far as watering goes. Needless to say my garden has suffered tremendously. The lack of water has caused so many of the plants in my garden to wither and die or just look sickly and also contributes to pest invasion.
That is just about everything except the succulents, they require so little water that they are beautiful and flourishing...
For The Love Of Succulents
And...So it goes...
I have decided to try my hand at a few succulents, due to the fact that they require very little watering and are easy to grow.
After purchasing a few, I realized just how pretty they are and my love for them has grown and become an addiction. Succulents are more than just cacti and Ice Plants...
The colors can be spectacular...And many will give off pretty blooms.
Some succulents will tend to stay green when in the shade. However when given a little sun, they will tend to give off other hues, such as: purple, reds, orange, yellow and pink. Depending on the variety
As with any other addiction, purchasing them can become quite expensive. I now know there are ways to get around that..
This can be done by propagation, using the leaves, stems and collecting seeds of your own plants, or trading and sharing with others as well..
Sun Loving Succulents
Basking In The Sun While Bringing Color To The Garden
How To Propagate Succulents Like A Boss
Growing And Propagating Succulents
As it turns out succulents are not only easy to grow but to propagate as well.
Most succulents will put out new plants which are called pups..But a new plant can also be grown by simply propagating one of its leaves.
This can be done by snapping off a leaf from the stem of the mother plant. The leaf must be whole and healthy. The leaf will need to have the part that connected to the stem. This is the area where roots an a new baby plant will grow.
Once you have acquired the leaf for propagation, simply lay the leaf on top of soil...The soil need not be wet, just a little spritz from a spay bottle every other daqy or so. It may take some time but it will then begin to grow roots and then a small baby will grow as well.
When the mother leaf has shriveled up and falls away, you would then plant the little baby in a pot of its own or into the ground.
When the mother plant has pups you can cut it away from the mother..Allow the stem to callous over for a couple of days and put the stem in the soil and let it grow...Succulents are slow growers so it may take some time , but well worth the little bit of effort involved.
I have found that succulents tend to grow faster and larger when planted directly in the ground...Of course that would depend on where you live, soil conditions, weather etc.. I live in a very mild climate.
In cold areas where there is frost or icy cold conditions they would need to be brought indoors during the winter.
Re-purposing Items Around The House
Getting Creative With Succulents
Wow! Succulents are fun to play with ..So many things you can do with them...
I took this old water fountain that was just sitting in the yard, it was ready for the trash as the pump had gone out on it years ago and I hadn't replaced it...
Instead of throwing it out I decided to try and re-purpose it by turning it into a succulent planter (pictured below)...I am pretty happy with how it turned out...I go out and look at it everyday, watching it grow and fill in...
There are so many things I want to create now...I see a succulent wall in my future..
The bonus is I am saving a lot of money by using items that I already own instead of buying new pots and planters
Water Fountain Turned into Succulent Planter
The Old Mail Box Has A New Life
The following Photo is our old mail box.
We had used this mailbox for over thirty years, when we replaced it with a new one I couldn't bear to throw it out.
Now it has a new purpose and I love it.
A New Life
A Work In Progress In The Form Of An Old Lamp Stand
Nothing is going to waste.
Watch Out !
I am having so much fun with succulents, everything is getting planted..
This next photo is a work in progress..Given time it will fill in and she will come into her glory and be the beauty she is meant to be.
She began her journey as a lamp stand...Her light fixture has been removed, replaced with an iron basket..Sitting in the iron basket is an old colander , filled with succulent soil and new plants.
In the beginning, I lined the iron basket with a Coco Mat Basket Liner ..But the birds would not leave it alone...They were stealing pieces to build their nest..leaving holes which caused the soil to fall out...So it had to be replanted , I chose the colander instead.
She will always shine...
As she grows and fills in , I will add Twinkle lights..
Succulent Wreath Tutorial
Succulent Planter With Antique Frame
Full Shade Succulent Arrangement
So Much Fun To Be Had
So many projects..So little time...
I have so many projects that I want to make...
But I will need a whole lot of succulents to do so..
I can and probably will buy some new plants..But I need a lot , that being the case I am leaf propagating like crazy.
I love getting Free and new to me Succulents..
The best way to do so is by trading clippings an leaves with a neighbor or friend.
I have even exchanged clippings with others who live in different areas by mailing packages of clippings to each other.
Some plants may be hard to find in your area as it is in mine...When that is the case I will order them from an online dealer or even thru Facebook and Etsy.
Caring For Succulents
Succulents require very little water actually, they store up water in their leaves.
It is only necessary to Water when the soil is dry to the touch, And of course you would water even less frequently during winter months, as this is the natural dormancy period of many plants. Although there are some exceptions., as with Aeoniums, which tend to be dormant in the summer and flourish in the winter.
Most succulents prefer a morning sun and then afternoon shade .When you purchase succulents, most often the little tag that comes with it , will say Full Sun..
I can say for certain, if you live in an area where temperatures reach 100 degrees. it is probably not a good idea to have them in full sun all day long..Also if your plants have been living in shade or indoors and you want to move them to sun, you should probably bring them out for a short amount of time until they become acclimated.
SOIL So far all of my succulents are in containers, I am working on an area in my garden where I will be planting succulents directly in the ground. In the mean time as I mentioned , they are in containers. Probably the most important part of growing succulent is the soil. They prefer a well draining soil. Succulents do not require much water, if they are over watered or sitting in water they tend to rot.
Soil that is intended for succulents and cacti are easily found at most local Nurseries or Garden Centers..
Or you can make your own by mixing potting soil, sand and perlite or pumice. All of these items can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes.
© 2018 Faythe Payne
Camille Harris from SF Bay Area on July 19, 2018:
"I can say for certain, if you live in an area where temperatures reach 100 degrees. it is probably not a good idea to have them in full sun all day long..Also if your plants have been living in shade or indoors and you want to move them to sun, you should probably bring them out for a short amount of time until they become acclimated."
Oh my, this is probably what's happening with my poor succulents! I planted them a few weeks ago, and the temp routinely gets to 100 degrees. Any tips for keeping them alive through this heat? I've changed their soil to peat moss and that seems to have made a difference, but I hope I can do more.
Faythe Payne (author) from USA on March 27, 2018:
Thank You Rachel
Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on March 27, 2018:
Hi Faythe, What a fun article. I love succulents also and yours are so pretty. I love all the projects and special containers you put them in. Thank you for sharing. I will be pinning this.
Blessings to you.
Faythe Payne (author) from USA on March 27, 2018:
FlourishAnyway from USA on March 26, 2018:
I love what you’ve done with the seashell, mailbox and other items that would normally get tossed out. So creative!