We all love the idea of keeping little pot plants around the house and on the porch, especially this time of year. Many folks have trouble keeping their little green beauties alive and become discouraged. Succulents are truly the easiest little plants to grow, whether or not you have a green thumb! Find a spot where they get enough light, don't over water, and you'll have happy little campers! They basically like to be ignored, which is perfect for me. My Dad and I have had pretty good luck over the last year with our succulent collections so I thought I would have him share some tips with you on keeping your succulents happy and rooting all the babies you will grow!
This is my Dad, affectionately known around town as Mr. Crain. He taught elementary school for 27 years, is super creative, and happens to have a very green thumb. He can grow anything! I have tried to pick up tips from him over the years and, even though my little yard is looking pretty good, I am nowhere near his master gardener status! He's also a pretty funny guy, so funny that he has his own hashtag you can follow on Instagram!
Your first step in starting a succulent collection is, of course, purchasing your first succulent! Once your little succulent is home and happy, it will hopefully start to grow! If it is not growing, it is probably not getting enough light. I haven't had much luck with inside plants so my succulents live on my side porch where they get a good amount of afternoon sun. Tara's succulents are thriving in a bright laundry room window. You may have to try them in a couple different spots but you will know when they are happy because they will grow fast! Remember, it is very important to not over water your succulents so let them dry out before watering them. You will really only need to water them once a week and when you do, don't drown them!
When your succulents start growing it will be time to start trimming them. Your mother plant will start growing little babies around it or start shooting them off of its stem. Don't worry that you will be hurting your plant. Trimming your succulents from time to time makes them grow even more!
You'll want to save all of your cuttings because you can root anything you trim off of a succulent, even just one petal. When you cut your succulents it is good to let them sit out a few days before putting them in dirt. The ends will dry out a little and they might even go ahead and sprout roots!
Dad likes to start our cuttings out in little peat pots. This just makes it easier to keep all of your little babies together so you can tend to them like a little nursery before potting them in larger containers. You can even plant your cuttings in larger pots, leaving them in the peat pots, as they will disintegrate, but we like to re-use ours. If you don't have peat pots you can just go ahead and plant your cuttings in a regular pot. The potting soil you use is also an important element. Dad uses a mixture of Black Kow, potting soil, and garden humus (compost).
After filling your peat pots with your soil mixture, just stick your cuttings or petals in the dirt. Water them and leave them. You will want to water them a few times a week as they are getting started. Let them sit in the peat pots several weeks before transplanting them to other pots, to give them time to root.
When it's time to move your little jewels to larger containers, you will need: more of your soil mixture, small rocks and pebbles, and your favorite interesting containers. In addition to your favorite ceramic pots, get creative and repurpose vintage containers, cups and dishes into vessels for your succulents. We think they look super cute planted in anything! If you choose a container that does not drain, you will need to put small rocks in the bottom so that the water can drain inside the pot. (If your container has a drain hole, you can skip this step.)
Next you will cover your rocks with your potting soil mixture. The size of your container will determine how much soil you need to add. If your container is small you won't need much. The soil you transfer from the peat pot will help to fill it up. Lastly you remove your cuttings from the peat pots, making sure you bring new roots and growth with you, and place them in your chosen container.
Don't be afraid to mix different varieties all in one container. This will add interest and each variety will show different characteristics as they grow. When they start to get too big you can always re-pot again!
We like to top our little pots off with small pebbles. This helps keep your soil packed down and makes it look a little more finished and special.
Dad and I hope these tips have been helpful and that you feel empowered to start your own succulent family! Once you have them going you can have them growing all over the house! If you want to use them in a room that doesn't get great light, just leave them in there for a week or two and then put them back outside. They also make beautiful and thoughtful gifts for special friends and relatives.
If you need a cute new pot we've got your covered! Check out these new items in our store. Happy potting y'all!