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DIY: Growing Succulents

GRN Reports: Growing succulents can be a rewarding way to beautify the indoor environment. Here we’ve taken excerpts from “Simply Succulents”, a presentation developed by master gardener Paula Spletter, with...

GRN Reports:

Growing succulents can be a rewarding way to beautify the indoor environment.

Here we’ve taken excerpts from “Simply Succulents”, a presentation developed by master gardener Paula Spletter, with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, to show how people can employ and manage this diverse and easy-growing family of plants.

Succulent 2Succulents can create interesting, architectural and low-maintenance indoor displays because they need only filtered sun and modest watering.

Succulents also are good communicators, letting their growers know how much water they need and when they’re getting too much light, as Spletter explains in this video excerpt.

Succulents are easy to propagate, as well, creating “pups” in their planter that can be gently pulled away and replanted. New growths that have already put down roots can be directly placed in soil to take hold and form a new “mother” plant.

Pups that drop off the plant or cuttings that are pulled or snipped off should be left out on a tray for a few days to form a callus, Spletter said. After that, they can be planted in an appropriate soil mix, which should be light and well draining. Succulents These new plantings should be watered at first to help them get established, but then the pot should be left to dry (not totally) for a few days, which helps the roots spread and take hold more strongly in the soil, she explained in a recent presentation to the Addison (TX) Arbor Foundation.

Here are some other tips for growing succulents from Ms. Spletter:

  • Regular potting mixes are OK, but should be amended with some compost, coarse sand and pea gravel, for better draining.
  • Specialized potting mixes for succulents work best for starting cuttings.
  • Don’t place succulents in overly large pots. They like being “snuggled.”
  • Top dress with fine sand or pebbles to avoid splashing when watering, and for a more decorative look.
  • Water sparingly (see video for more on this topic) and use a water meter to avoid overwatering.
  • Succulents with thicker leaves need less watering; those with thinner leaves need more. (Thick-leaved plants store water.)
  • Use chopsticks and tongs as tools for cleaning up and repotting plants.


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