Is your social media loaded with posts and photos of succulents? Do you call your succulent plants “babies”? Do the peeking succulent buds kick-start your day? Then it is confirmed, you love, love, love succulents!
If you are a newbie it is possible that you have already started collecting them and are planning to make a garden. You may be the succulent’s biggest fan, however, purchasing them from the corner garden store without much knowledge on growing or caring for them may not be good for your “babies” and your pocket. Start with these seven simple, and easy tips for beginners to create your own succulent garden without much fuss:
1. Choose A Pot
Basically anything which has a hole in the bottom can stand as a pot. It can be an old jar, a tin can or a basket from your kitchen! Pick your choice of color, size and style that matches your décor.
Pots must also have the right drainage. Check if the hole is of correct size where water will have a way out. This will avoid the water to pool and succulent roots to rot. Get the size right! More often than not beginners tend to get over-excited when buying pots. They get a big one for arranged varieties of succulents just like the ones on TV or online garden shows.
But the excess soil placed in the pot becomes a problem. The water retained in the soil may be too much for small-rooted succulents. If kept this way, flower roots eventually rot. The rule of thumb is to get a pot larger than a thumb’s width from the plant.
2. The Good Soil
Did you know that regular potting soil can be too heavy and can hold too much moisture for succulents? So, for these low-water feeding plants, specifically mixed soil is much suitable for succulents and cactus. Succulents want soil that is fast draining and has aeration.
3. Watering Succulents
Like in their native habitat, succulents keep water in their leaves. Since they have available water you can delay watering until the soil is dry. Do it thoroughly though as they need to store water again.
For your indoor garden, soak the soil totally then let it completely dry, then water it again. Do not over-water though. To sum it up, under-watered succulent and cactus plants will take weeks or even months to die but over-watered plants can kill them in just a few days.
4. Fertilize It
Even if many believe that succulents like cactus do not need fertilizers, gardeners attest that succulents are able to multiply faster and adapt better in their environment if fertilized well. They even look healthier and even present brighter colors. That is why a correct and safe fertilizer is vital to any gardener. Look for this guide to succulent care when picking out safe fertilizers:
· Compost Manure
This well-composted manure came from grazing and grass eating animals like chickens, cows and sheep that is packed with nutrients and minerals good for the plants.
This is organic manure in a tea bag. It comes from pasture-fed cows free from hormones and antibiotics placed in tea bags that can be soaked in gallons of water that becomes a drink for your succulents.
· Worm Castings
This fertilizer is basically the manure or droppings from earthworms. The great thing about this is that it balances the pH level of the soil and kills insects that are constantly preying on succulents.
5. Some Sunlight
Some succulents could stand basking under the sun while others do better when placed under shadier areas.This debunks the idea that all succulents would be happy having sunlight all the time.
The truth is that it really depends upon the kind of succulent. If you are in doubt, try this trick. Place your plants outdoors under bright but indirect sunlight and see how your succulents will respond.
If the leaves are starting to close, they may be getting more sunlight than they can handle. The tendency is to make an upward position to cover other leaves from too much sunlight. However, if the leaves are opening up to get better sun exposure then they need more sunlight. Make adjustments through these responses.
6. Be Bold with Succulents
For the finishing touches of your garden, be bold with your succulent arrangement. Use terra-cotta or clay pot or any container with the right height and width and good drainage.
To get an idea, use the “thriller, filler, spiller technique”. Begin in the center of the pot with one narrow, tall thriller plant. Then pick a smaller succulent plant, one filler growing plant. Choose one that doesn’t grow more than the thriller. Place smaller succulents in front while taller ones unto the back. Plant spiller plants on the edge to create a whimsical trailing, spilling look.
Go bold with colors and designs. Experiment with the color of your pots and pebbles and twigs could go easy on the color or add pebbles or twigs. Plant them in close quarters to slow down their growth to avoid frequent repotting.
7. Popular Picks
In an in array of color, texture and form, you can combine in your plant arrangement different variety of succulents like the Spring of Pearls, , Jelly Bean Plant, , Zebra Cactus, Gollum Jade, Christmas Carol Aloe, Ghost Plant, Mammilaria Casti, and Baby Necklace. You can also pick from a number of available succulents.
Creating your own succulent garden is not impossible but it is not that easy as well. For a beginner, you can start small then collect to grow into a bigger one. The key is understanding succulents and showing them some love. For now, enjoy the succulents and the experience of gardening!