Feast your eyes on these absolutely Stunning Succulents. These are year round plants and make stunning house and garden plants,and can be grown either indoors or out. Succulents are great even if you don't have a green thumb, because they are so easy to take care of, waterwise, trendy and both their flowers and foliage range in beautiful shapes and sizes. I simply love bringing these pots in during the colder seasons, they really add such beauty to my home. But first what is a succulent and how do you take care of them?
Succulents and how to care for them
- These are plants which store water in their leaves or stems.
- The leaves are usually are thick and fleshy.
- Succulents are adapted to more drier climates.
- They are extremely hardy and waterwise and although they need water to survive they can still withstand drought conditions.
- These plants prefer warmer temperatures but can also tolerate colder weather. However some of them can die in snowy and freezing conditions. The solution to that is one of two things :1. Keep plants in containers that are light enough to move indoors and keep them on a warm sunny area in your home or on a sheltered patio or 2.Cover the plants when freezing temperatures are forecasted. There are many types of fabric covers, bushel baskets, or frost covers which you can use. , Avoid these covers touching the leaves and remove the cloth occasionally on warmer days to let in sunlight and air.
- I have found that the best method to water succulents is to just set them in a small tray of water so the soil inside can wick up the water through the drainage holes. When you see that all the water has been pulled up by the plant, then remove the pot from the tray and let the excess water drain out. This is a great method which moistens all the soil evenly in the pot. Never let the plant in a muddy pot of soil, make sure that it has sufficient drainage holes. Even when it is planted outdoors in the garden, ensure that it is placed in well draining soil not clay type of soil.
So you see it is really simple to take care of these wonderful plants. Just follow the above guidelines and you will have beautiful indoor and outdoor succulents throughout the year.
Now for the fun part ....showing off my favourite succulents
This is an amazingly beautiful plant which has a place in my home both indoors and outdoors year-long. I absolutely love the clusters of beautiful flowers it produces which really brightens up my home and garden. These plants have a variety of different colour flowers and when placed together in one pot, really make an impressive display. They are really simple to propagate by leaf or stem cuttings as well so you can have as many plants as you like.
LIGHT: If you have these as potted plants indoors, then keep them on a south-facing sunny windowsill or outdoors in a warm slightly shady spot in the garden. You will know that your plant is not receiving sufficient sunlight if it the stem becomes tall and leggy.
WATER: Always allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering and preferably water from the bottom( see the guidelines above on care of succulents) Overwatering causes root rot and kills the plant. I usually water my kalanchoe plants about every 10 days.
FERTILIZER: I fertilise my houseplants including kalanchoe once a month with a diluted organic nitrogen rich plant food. Just remember to moisten the soil a bit before using the water containing the fertilizer to feed. This will prevent the roots from burning.
SOIL TYPE: Use a good quality potting soil if you are keeping indoors. Potting soil has good drainage properties.
PROPAGATION: These are easily propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. You can cut a piece of the stem and place in a jar of water and within a few days this stem will develop roots. Place the stem with the roots in a pot with potting soil and keep in a warm place. I however propagate this plant by taking the stem cutting, then allowing it to dry for 24 hours before sticking it directly in the soil. Allowing the stem to dry is important as this prevents the stem from developing root rot.
Jade or money plant
Oh, how I wish that money would grow from this plant...but since that is not going to happen I will settle for enjoying its graceful beauty. I really love how it resembles a small tree. Right now I have it growing in a window box outside my dining room. It is so beautiful and I admire its glossy leaves. This is a perfect plant to use as a miniature tree if you are trying to make a little potted fairy garden.
LIGHT: These plants usually require the full sun to grow well. If you are keeping it indoors then make sure it is in a very well-lit area.
WATER: Allow to dry between watering. Test whether it needs watering by touching the soil, and if it is moist, then it can do without watering.Always use a well draining potting soil to keep your plant in. Make sure that the container has sufficient drainage holes.
FERTILIZER A good fertiliser to use is the ones used for cacti or succulents. And remember to water the plant before adding the fertiliser. When you add the water containing fertiliser to dry soil , you can damage and kill the root system.
PROPAGATION: These are also propagated by cuttings and are the same as for kalanchoe.
Absolutely stunning plants which flower in Winter. Its unusually shaped leaves and gorgeous flowers are always admired by everyone. This plant is really one of the reasons I look forward to Winter. Its beautiful pink flowers really take the grey out a cold season. To be really honest with you I have neglected to water this plant on so many occasions, but it is really forgiving. Just a watering after forgetting picks my beautiful plant up again to shine in all its glory. I absolutely love it.
LIGHT: Requires bright but indirect light. It blooms well in bright light, but please not direct light as this will burn its leaves.
WATER: When it is kept indoors, I usually water this plant once a week. The environment you live in plays an important part of how often to water this plant.
- If you keep it outdoors then water every 4 days especially when warm.
- Water once weekly if the plant is kept indoors
- Cut down the amount of time you water your Christmas cactus during autumn and winter. Less watering during these seasons encourage the plant to produce beautiful flowers.
SOIL TYPE: Use a good quality potting soil and plant in a pot with sufficient drainage.
FERTILIZER: I prefer to fertilise my Christmas cactus with teaspoon of epsom salts dissolved in 4 litres of water( which is about a gallon of water). Epsom salts is built up of magnesium sulfate and this is an important mineral to help keep the plant heathy so that it can produce beautiful blooms. Remember however to only fertilise this plant every four weeks and only during spring and early summer. Stop fertilising during late summer. This promotes the growth of buds during autumn. And then DO NOT fertilise during winter while the plant is flowering.
PROPAGATION: This is an extremely easy plant to propagate: Just cut of about 4 leaf segments from the plant, allow to dry for 24 hours and then stick half of the end of one of the segments into a pot filled with moistened potting soil. Keep the pot on a bright windowsill. DO NOT water, just mist the soil regularly, using a spray bottle. Do not worry if you see that your cutting appears as if it is drying and wilting because it will plump up again as it starts developing its own roots.
And that is it ....you see how easy it is to care for these plants, they are so rewarding and also forgiving when you do forget to water them. These make amazing housewarming gifts. Or even just a gift as a friendly gesture. Here I have included a few links to purchase some of these beautiful plants at really affordable prices
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These plants are really stunning and you are really going to love the brightness and joy they bring into your home.
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