Succulents: Free houseplants that even I can’t kill.
About three years ago, I planted a tiny succulent plant in a pot outside my back door. Since that time, it has multiplied like crazy. When I recently undertook my zero-cost bathroom makeover, I decided that the room needed plants, preferably on the south-facing window ledge.
But this was a no-cost renovation so there was no budget available to buy plants and anyway, I’m no indoor gardener. Then I remembered the succulents outside. They are SO easy to propagate.
What happens with these plants is that they send out shoots (probably better described as ‘roots’) and this means that they are incredibly easy to reproduce. Of course, you may not have succulents in your garden as I do, but if you can beg, borrow or steal a small cutting – or even just a leaf – you can have a constant supply of gorgeous plants for your home.
Any cutting or even a leaf will do. Arrange them on soil in a pot or tray – no need to plant them, just lay them on top of the soil. After a week or so, you’ll see that things begin to happen.
You’ll notice that small cuttings send out roots — like this:
The great thing about succulents is that you can plant them in any container. A cute teacup, a vase, a glass jar — anything you like. There’s no need for a drainage hole. Just put a layer of pebbles into your container first, then the soil.
Succulents rarely need watering, especially if they are in a bathroom for example, they get their moisture from the steam. (Although I spray mine with a fine mist of water sometimes — when I remember).
When you add the rooting cutting to a new container, you can encourage the roots towards the soil. Prod them into the soil with a small stick or build up a little mound of soil around the root. That helps but it will find it’s own way if you forget — succulents are the ultimate plant you can ignore.
If you take a leaf from a succulent and simply lay it on the soil miraculous things happen. It starts to have babies 🙂
That’s not a very good photograph but hopefully you can see that the single leaf is growing new ones AND putting down roots. This should happen within three weeks – sometimes less. Give the new plant time to establish itself, then you can transfer it to its own container. Be gentle.I use a teaspoon.
Containers for succulents
One of the great things about these plants is that they need next to no water, they don’t mind poor soil and best of all, just about any container can be used. I’ve seen succulents growing in many different types of containers as well as traditional pots. Try glasses, cans, shells, wooden boxes,baskets — and see below for an idea I’m definitely going to try.
All you have to do for this is hollow out a section of the cork using a craft knife. You only need to go about halfway down. Then all you need to do is add your soil and a cutting. A great idea is to attach magnets to the back so that you can put them on your fridge and move them around whenever you want.
They would also look great lined up on a magnetic knife holder. But I intend to glue these to a strip of wood and attach that to the wall.
Succulents make great, FREE gifts
And that’s especially the case if you are creative with the containers you use. The plants look terrific in terracotta pots but you can get seriously funky with the containers you use. At the moment, I have cuttings growing in a ceramic fruit bowl, cut down plastic cartons, a stainless steel spice jar plus I’m saving more weird and wonderful containers.
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