Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Sucker for Succulents

Succulents are some of my favorite house plants. Their thick rubber-like leaves have such personality and look like they belong in a bog, or a Troll house, or another planet. They have a sort of other-worldy whimsical way that I find simply charming.

The thing I love best about succulents is how easy it is to make more!

First some basic care for these easy-to-grow plants.

Everyone cautions "don't over water succulents" which is true, but they might need more water than you think. I water mine every week. I notice the ones that are planted in water-wicking Terracotta sometimes need to be watered more often than the ones in plastic or glass pots.

To determine when it's time to water there are a few clues that can help.

Check the soil. If the top of the soil dries out and pulls away from the planting container, it's time to water.

If you press your finger down into the soil and it's dry to the first knuckle, it's time to water.

If the plump leaves of the plant look as though their sucking in a bit, it's time to water.

Right now, with the conditions of our dry winter home, that's about once a week for me. They might need less water once summer comes and we're not using the furnace.

I also fertilize every other watering with an 8-7-6 houseplant fertilizer. This encourages bushiness and blooming.

They enjoy a sunny, south facing window. Or, a grow light. I have several tucked in with our garden seedlings under the grow lights and their flourishing!
These are recent cuttings I'm waiting to sprout roots.

These are teenage plants that I've started, some from a single lobe.

A baby plant just starting to sprout from the original lobe.

This is my favorite succulent.

Strand of Pearls an interesting variety that resembles peas on a string.

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