Pretty Succulent Care

While we’re waiting for the warmer weather to settle, here are some tips on how to care for all those succulents that you’re going to have this summer:

Light – Although you would think that because succulents and cacti mainly originate in the desert they would be down with full high-beaming sun, I was told that for many species full midday sun can actually burn your plant. For many species brightly lit areas with lots of sunlight are perfect but not somewhere with full midday sun.

Water – This is the bit I was most surprised about. During the warmer part of the year most succulents and cacti go through a ‘growing’ phase where they are most active and need water and nutrients. When it cools down during the year they go into a dormant phase and need much less water (this is the point where you can neglect your plants a little). During the warmer months in their growing phase succulents should be watered once a week but rather than pour a cup of water now and then into the pot , wait until the dirt is completely dry and then soak the plant in water for a few minutes.

Soil – Succulents are usually found in gritty or sandy soils, and you should make sure this is what you use in the event that you replant them.

Pot – As with all plants, make sure the pot you use for your plant has a drainage hole in the bottom. This is where I think I went wrong in the past – planting cacti in tea cups unfortunately doesn’t allow for the right drainage (= dead succulent). If you can, plant your succulent in a terracotta pot, as apparently this improves drainage.

Re-potting – Although an annoying process to go through, if you’re a nice and caring succulent owner there will be a point at which you have to re-pot. My succulent guy says to do this every year or when the plant starts to look uncomfortable in the pot. Fingers crossed you get to that point!

Pay attention – Although these tips apply generally to most succulents and cacti, they are all different and the only way to make sure you are doing the right thing is to pay attention to how they are growing – apparently yellowing can mean too much sunlight (or over watering) whilst leaning towards the light source can mean not enough.

source: apairandasparediy.com

Have a look at these great examples of out-0f-the-garden-box ways to display succulents.

Succulents combined with hanging glass vases makes a spectacular display.

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uncovet.com adventures-in-cooking.com

High tea just got new meaning! I found this display of tea pots at the Yellow Aloe Nursery in Clanwilliam over the weekend. They are well worth a visit!

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The picture below left was also taken at the Yellow Aloe and the one on the right while visiting the Vlok family on their gorgeous farm just outside of Calvinia.

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Hope you found this post inspiring and just in case you’ve missed it, have a look at the gorgeous succulent wreath Germarie made last week!

Happy styling!

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5 Tips for Growing Succulents

Succulents are beautiful plants with a graphic element that I love.

Grouped together they become a showcase in any garden that even the worst gardener can maintain and brag about. The best thing about these tough cookies is that they can grow just about anywhere and in any container!

I have always wanted to propagate succulent leaves and have found a handy step by step guide on how to do this and also a care guide for those of us that need a little more guidance.

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remodelista.com sulia.com

How to propagate succulents from leaves:

Propagating succulents is a reasonably easy task that even the most inexperienced gardener can accomplish, whether you want to try this for fun or you want to produce a whole lot of new succulents from your favorite succulent plant.

1. Get the leaf off. Choose a leaf that is in good health, with a hearty shape and no rips or blemishes.

Pull the leaf off neatly. Use a razor blade or a craft knife to make a clean cut. The knife or blade should be sterilized in white spirit or similar before use; this prevents the transfer of any disease that could harm the succulent plant.

2. Let the leaf or leaves dry. Once you pulled off the leaves you wish to propagate, allow them to dry out a little bit. Let them dry for 1-3 days.

It’s important you don’t water the leaf before after 1-3 days as your leaf will turn brown and mushy and will start to rot.

The “wound” on the stem of the parent plant should also be allowed to air dry in a sheltered and well-lit spot for a few hours. During its healing process, the plant will seal the wound and prevent disease from getting in.

3.  Place the dried leaves on some soil ready to grow. It’s best to just place them on top of the soil without sticking it in – in that way you can see the propagation happen as well as it is almost guaranteed they won’t die. The roots will find their way into the soil on their own. As you’re going to look at it for a good few months, you may as well make it look nice in pretty pattern or just place them randomly – that’s all up to you.

The soil should be well drained. If you need to improvise good growing soil, mix equal amounts of well-rotted compost with fine pumice or grit.

While not necessary, dipping the leaves in rooting hormone powder can help stave off the growth of fungus, as well as giving the growth a boost.

4. Water the leaf. The leaves need water at some point but only a light sprinkling. While “grown-up” succulents only need to be watered every second week, or even once a month (depending on the season/heat), the leaves need to be watered constantly without being watered too much. Only water the soil after it is dry (stick your finger into the soil around the planted leaves; if it feels moist, watering is not needed but if it’s dry, then water).

5. Wait. All you have to do now is to wait for the leaves to grow roots or even new leaves. You’ll see some changes within just a month or so.

source: wikihow.com

Vertical gardens are still very much on trend and creating one with succulents might be an easier one than plants that needs more love and attention.

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goodhousekeeping.com buzzfeed.com

Just look at how beautiful this succulent is growing in a cracked pavement!

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pinterest.com

Succulents combined with hanging glass vases makes a spectacular display.

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uncovet.com adventures-in-cooking.com

High tea just got new meaning! I found this display of tea pots at the Yellow Aloe Nursery in Clanwilliam over the weekend. They are well worth a visit!

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The picture below left was also taken at the Yellow Aloe and the one on the right while visiting the Vlok family on their gorgeous farm just outside of Calvinia.

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Now, go on and populate your garden!

Happy styling!

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