HOME GARDENING: SENSATIONAL SUCCULENTS

 

I am starting to fancy succulents. You may know them best as cacti and aloe vera plants, but there are hundreds of varieties from A-Z. Succulents originated in dry areas like the tropics and grow all over the world. What makes them unique is their ability to collect and store water for long periods of time. That’s why this species of plants makes my list of favorites for those of us who are not as diligent about watering regularly as we should be.
If you tend to neglect your plants these are for you, as they are practically indestructible! That said, they do have needs, albeit minimal. Succulents need light. Based on my own experience, indirect light doesn’t do the trick if you have succulents indoors.
While the beautiful centerpiece I have on my kitchen table with four different fancifully shaped plants looks great, I have had to replace a couple because they have wilted. Word to the wise, keep indoor succulents in a window where they can soak in the sun. The ones I have outdoors are a different story. I started a pot with a few transplants that were given to me late last summer. Not only did they thrive in the sun, they also fared well during the winter. So much so, the pot filled up and became overcrowded. I pulled some of the hens and chicks, as this variety is called, and repotted them.
Typically the hot weather loving succulents are cold tolerant down to forty degrees, but mine survived below freezing temperatures. Water succulents generously during the summer. It pays off. I did not water mine once last winter, although it is recommended to water every other month when they are dormant. Allow the potting mix to dry completely between drinks. Overwatering can cause plant rot, I experienced this and it was not pretty. One of the things I enjoy the most about succulents is all the wonderful shapes, sizes, textures, and colors they come in. The textures are smooth, spiky, curly, and rounded. Practically every shade on the color palette can be found. They are stylish and diverse, easy to care for, and look great alone or as companion plants.


Posted on 2014-10-01 by Michelle Rauch
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