My succulent infatuation is strong. Last summer, most of my hanging baskets and deck plants contained succulents in some way, shape or form. My friends made fun of me but there is just something about tiny plants that are easy to care for. I LOVE the texture and I love the weirdness of them. If you walk around my house, you’ll find them everywhere. If you look at any Pottery Barn or Anthropologie magazine right now, you’ll see them. You’ll even find them at Target.
I rescued all of the outdoor succulents before the frost came last fall – a trick that I do with Mandavilla vines, geraniums, and begonias as well – and I brought them inside for the winter. I put all of the succulents in one big pot and set that sucker in a south-facing window. I try to water it every week but sometimes it’s longer than that. Succulents forgive me easily. Not only does the green in the house help me survive the long, dark winter but it saves me a lot of money when it comes time to hit up the greenhouses in the spring.
They are easy to care for and easy to propagate. Propagate just means that you can multiply them. You can grow tons of tiny little plants out of one main plant and it really isn’t all that difficult.
Before you know it, you’ll be giving away succulents to anyone and everyone that walks through your front door. Add a tiny pot, a little bit of moss and a few drops of essential oil and you’ve got the perfect little desktop diffuser to give away as gifts. Cute little plants that smell good? Sign me up for that.
A couple of secrets to succulents:
- Well-Draining Soil – Look for cactus soil at the store and start with pots that have a drainage hole. They do NOT like wet roots at all. It is essential to buy the right soil and you get bonus points if your container has a drainage hole in the bottom.
- Water on Roots (weekly) – Water them once a week and a very small amount of water on the roots. Do not spray them. They do not like being sprayed on the leaves. It makes them angry and they will start shooting off tiny, thin new roots that aren’t pretty.
Now, let’s talk about turning a couple of succulent plants into a hundred. Can you even stand the cuteness of this tiny succulent village? I can’t even. Look at those babies!
There are a couple of ways to propagate succulents – by Division and with Offsets. It depends on the type of succulent on which method is best. In my experience, as with most aspects of gardening, trial and error goes a long way. Do not let fear cripple you. What’s the worst that can happen? You kill a succulent leaf? Let’s just jump on in.
Propagating by Division should be used when plants have become too tall or leggy. In this case, you can carefully remove any leaves on the stem below the rosette and then snip the rosette off.
Propagating with Offsets is best for plants that produce small plants right at the base of the main plant. You can cut them off from the main stem and make a new plant.
Whether propagating with division or with offsets, the method is the same to grow new plants.
- Allow leaves and/or rosettes to dry for a few days on the counter.
- Place the cuttings on top of a small tray or bowl with well-draining cactus soil.
- Water sparingly weekly until roots have developed. Interestingly enough, do you know why the roots develop? Because that tiny thing is looking for water. I love plants.
- Pot in a cute pot and enjoy!
It took a couple of months to get a big plant that I can easy throw into my hanging baskets this year but it turned out to be a great, rewarding project for the winter. Get some real, living plants in your life – I promise it will be good for your mental health!