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Plant arrangement  created by a workshop participant in the comfort of her own home

Welcome to the crazy world of succulents!  

 

Forget everything you ever learned about gardening; it doesn’t work with these plants.  

But, hey, that’s what makes them strange, wonderful, and unique!

 

As a precaution, keep your succulent plants out of the reach of curious pets and children.

 

JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM:

  • There are hundreds of different succulent varieties.

  • They are slow-growing and can live forever if cared for properly.

  • Each variety has its own unique shape and within the variety; no two are exactly alike.

  • They must be planted in succulent soil.

  • They originate from all over the world.

  • They will all surprise you with annual flowering and will repeat it again exactly a year later, each variety has its own blooming season. The life span of the bloom and color varies.

WHAT LOCATIONS DO THEY PREFER?

  • They grow indoors and outdoors, but they need lots of light or a sunny location.

  • The sun gives them their color, they do not like cold or freezing temps.

  • Outdoors, plant in areas with good drainage or in pots where they will get at least 3 to 4 hours of sun daily.

  • Indoors, a sunny window works best. Natural light (versus lamps) produces the best results.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES (VARIETIES)?

Of the hundreds of varieties, these are some of the most popular:

  • Kalanchoe – Very strange shapes  - from Madagascar to Flapjack

  • Sedum – Ground covers, trailers – Coppertone, Burros Tail, Angelina, Pork & Beans

  • Echevaria – Rosette shape, ruffled edges – Black Prince 

  • Aeonium – Common in gardens, hardy – Kiwi, Sunburst, Zwartkop

  • Senecio – Blue Chalk, String of Pearls

  • Crassula – Stacked formation – Red Pagoda, Jades, Campfire  

  • Graptopetalum – Pink/Blue structured leaf

  • Cactus – Needles - Golden Barrel 

  • Aloe – hundreds of varieties, spikey, various colors – Vera

  • Agave – Primarily desert-like, sharp spikes

  • Lithops - Living Stones

WATERING, PROPAGATION, AND CARE

  • Your succulents will take water from their bottom leaves when thirsty. These leaves can be removed when they are totally dried out and paperlike. Never yank them off, it could leave a wound in the stem.

  • For pots without drainage holes drizzle about ½ cup water once a week, never soak it or pour water from the faucet into the pot. Without drainage holes, there is nowhere for the water to go other than down into the drain rocks, and there is very little space for the water to sit. Overwatering will cause the roots to rot and kill the plant.

  • For your new plant, check container soil in several places by putting your fingertip down at least an inch to 2" into the soil. Do this weekly. Do not water until the soil is bone dry.

  • All succulents self-propagate. Once the baby plants have grown out about 2” from the mother’s stem, it is okay to cleanly break or clip them off.

  • It is best to let the baby plants sit in the open air for a week or two to let new roots grow on the stems. Then they can be planted in succulent soil. You can put them right into the soil once removed from the mother plant, but they will have a better chance of survival if you let the roots grow out first.

  • Bugs do like succulents! Watch out for spiders, mites, and aphids. Snails too! Do not use commercial sprays on succulents. A solution of one part rubbing alcohol to two parts water works best. Spray affected areas lightly as often as it takes to get rid of the pests.