A Succulent Guide for The Home Gardener
Recently we sat down with our in-house succulent experts and self-proclaimed “plant nerds”, Susan and Jodi. They were kind enough to take time out of their busy greenhouse schedule to tell us a little about their experience and share a few tips that may come in handy for the home succulent gardener.
For Susan and Jodi, growing and creating succulent displays is about pushing the boundaries with colours and textures, “like any work of art, it’s about finding the right combinations to evoke a reaction in people,” says Jodi. These two experts find inspiration in everyday life and encourage anyone to give it a try, “you don’t need to have a green thumb, succulents are very forgiving. Especially if you live in our West Coast climate, the plants do well with home heating and can survive through the winter.” Below are some at-home tips to help keep your succulents healthy so you too can experiment with creating succulent displays.
- Do not over water. Succulents do not like being cold and wet. Soil can often feel dry to the touch when in fact the roots are still moist.
- If you have outdoor succulents, have them situated in an area that is protected from rain but still allows them full light. Alongside a house is typically a good option if there is good drainage.
- Choose slow release fertilizers.
- Regularly clean windows where you have succulents on windowsills. It may not be visible to the human eye but dust particles block light from plants.
- Do not be afraid to cut the plant back if it is growing bigger than you would like. Like most plants, they are okay with a hair cut and will continue to grow.
- Use the right soil. Cactus soil is available at most home improvement stores and garden centres.
- Ensure containers/pots have drainage holes. Many ornamental containers have closed bottoms. In this case, we recommend using a pot with holes within the decorative container (see photo below).
With these tips in mind, we encourage you to experiment at home. There are so many varieties available, allowing you ample selection to customize your displays with a variety of textures and colours.
Jodi and Susan’s Top Picks
- Aloe. You will be surprised at just how many varieties there are!
- Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Firesticks’
- Senecio rowleyanus (String-of-pearls)
- Hatiora salicornioides (Dancing Bones)
- Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi
- Bryophyllum delagoense