Some might love the clean and barren look of their homes after taking down the Christmas decorations, but I find myself missing all the beautiful fresh greenery. Gardening is a passion of mine, but when it comes to house plants… my thumb is not so green. I don’t know why I can’t do the “indoor” thing as well as the outdoor, but I can’t, well, at least not as well as I’d like.
I mean hey, we are busy people with kids and homework, jobs, and responsibilities out the wazoo! The last thing on my list is remembering to water the plants. Right? Then when I do remember …
I guilt water.
C’mon. Tell me I’m not the only one… I feel bad that I’ve neglected the little living species and I drown the poor things in an over abundance of “wash-the-slate-clean” water. Time to try something new; something that is hard to kill, something that doesn’t need my attention, something that actually prefers to be neglected, something interesting and beautiful. I am finding a new passion in…
Succulents are really becoming quite popular once again. There are so many varieties to choose from. All of them do not like a lot of water, but they do love indirect, bright sunlight. They don’t even necessarily need a lot of soil to thrive in. You can easily find succulents at all nurseries and big box hardware stores. I like buying a few large ones and then some tiny dollar pots.
I was actually surprised at how expensive many of the succulents are. Really, it’s ridiculous. Go for the tiny pots. They will grow quickly and often self multiply. They are so easy to propagate it’s crazy. I’ll explain how to do that in another post. Succulents need a very loose soil that drains easily. Normal potting soil hold too much water. I like using Miracle Gro’s Cactus, Palm & Citrus Soil.
What is so fun about succulents is that they will grow in almost anything. Take for instance this whelk shell my kids found on the shore. I placed a few spoonful’s of soil in it and planted an Echeveria succulent in it. How cute is this?
I have a shallow dish which I added several different succulents too and placed on my piano. There are many Echeveria, an aloe, a Hawthoria, and a few that I don’t know the a names of, but that’s ok! I even stuffed one in another whelk shell that was partially broken on top. The key to keeping these beauties alive is…
BASK THEM IN BRIGHT LIGHT.
NO NOT OVER WATER.
THEY WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT!
Their roots must dry out for a few days. This is what triggers the plant into producing NEW roots. Then you may give them a nice watering. Never let them sit in water or even you will be guilty of plant murder, sad but true. Once a week to every other week watering (if that even) is more than ample for mature plants. And we are talking moist, not wet or soaked. Thicker fleshed plants need less frequent watering than thinner fleshed plants.
I found a blogger, Debra Lee Baldwin, who has been experimenting with succulents for quite some time and is an awesome resource for more specific “how-to’s” on succulents. Below is one of her photos of a succulent filled tabletop. How gorgeous is that?
Debra Lee Baldwin
Are you a green or brown thumb? Think succulents might be a smart choice for you? Try a few out and let me know what you think!
For more gardening tips & ideas, check out the GARDENING tab up top.