Simply Mad About the Succulents

small succulent pots

Certain plants. Hostas. Daylilies. They inspire the collecting FEVAH. I never thought I would get as potty about hostas as my sister Helen; but now, inexorably, I am. I never thought I would get as potty as my father was about succulents. But now I am. Is there something about certain plants that invade your molecules and get stuck there, making you want more and more? Careful, Sarah, you might turn into a succulent, I can hear my mother saying when I was a kid. (Except she was talking about Fruitellas) I’m fairly certain this plant fever is somewhat harmless. And I know it’s shared by many! Have you been gripped by a specific Plant Fevah, like succulents? Of course you have. Let us know all the gory details in the comments.

succulents in pots
My succulent table. One of them, I mean.

Propagating succulents
Propagating succulents in bonsai tray. I kind of like how all these look together, after being randomly plunked.

In the tray above: ‘Crinkle Leaf Plant’ (Andromiscus cristatus, they look like little paddle-hands to me), Echeveria, (the pinkish one, possibly ‘Perle Von Nürnberg’) and assorted sedums, including ‘Burro’s Tail’ (Sedum morganianum, a fun one to say).

The good thing about succulents is how easy they are to propagate.
  • Look for second-hand bonsai trays at thrift stores as they are the perfect thing to grow them in. A cracked (leaky) clay saucer works too: You want shallow, with lots of surface area.
  • Add a thin layer of potting mix (I use Pro Mix, and don’t bother using special cactus soil, although that might be a good idea).
  • Lay the succulent leaves on top, with leaf end touching soil.
  • It’s best to let them dry for 24 hours or so before watering the soil. Keep them somewhere in a bright, but not full sun. Summer, outdoors is a great time to propagate.
  • Keep watering and new roots, and eventually plants will grow from the stem ends.

I love seeing the tiny new plants appear, while tiny roots form and grow downwards. The roots often form in mid air before they find the soil. The new plant eventually takes over, and the original leaf withers and dies. Leave them all together in a mixed pot or prick them out carefully and pot on its own.

succulent pot
In big pot, Euphorbia tirucallli ‘Pencil Cactus’ with brown Kalanchoe orygalis ‘Copper Spoons’ really grew like gangbusters this summer.

I was green with envy when I saw a ‘Burro’s Tail’ sedum on a Buffalo garden tour that was several feet long. I hope mine will get there one day, and this summer it went a long way. One thing I did this year was take it out of full, hot sun all day and it seems to prefer it. It still gets quite a few hours of sun.

'Burro's Tail' Sedum morganianum.
‘Burro’s Tail’ Sedum morganianum.

This is just a few of my succulent pots. I’ll share more in a later post. And more. And more, and more and more!

1 comment

  1. Your succulents really went vroom! this summer, Sarah. Actually, if it’s possible, they look even better in real life!

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