For years I’ve accepted the fact that keeping plants alive was just not my thing. Even the hardiest of plants couldn’t escape their inescapable death with me. I even killed a cactus! Now c’mon is that even possible…. Well yes, here I am the world’s ONLY cactus killer…. A title I’m not proud of until recently where I thought let’s give this plant thing another go. I can keep dogs, children and a husband alive so why not delve back into the world of plants. I’ve been told they have a lot of great benefits including improving your emotional state, health and well they generally look amazing and fit in with my “Coastal/ Tropical” theme that I’m really eager to embrace.
I started the journey with succulents making sure my planting method was right this time. I found a nice warm spot in the front yard, mainly to beautify the entry to our front door. Make sure this area is well drained otherwise you’ll start a floating farm. I used the right soil (a hardy mulch) and laid them all out with room to grow. I watered them once, then left them. They love sun and thrive by the saying “treat them mean, keep them keen”. This really did work this time.
My advice when selecting succulents is to select different sizes to add depth and texture. Also look for a variety of colours for street appeal. I even found out that succulents with different textures certainly attract the eye of toddlers…. So much that mine has now made it a thing to feel all the leaves of the succulents when he’s out the front. Toddlers aren’t so gentle so beware that this also results in losing some leaves. I couldn’t get upset because he’s just embracing the “plant life” in which I’m now really obsessed with.
Next step when your succulents have started to thrive start to take the leaves (gently) off the bottom of the stems. This gives you the ability to grow even more succulents without having to go back to the shops and spend more money on these wonderful sturdy plants. Trust me I learnt the hard way – Mrs Cactus Killer!
With the leaves lay them out flat fully exposed in a pot outdoors leaving about 3cm between each. This allows them dry out and within 3-5 days you should start to see a stem or two appear out the end. Not all leaves will survive so make sure you have a handful. You really only need to water them once at this stage – try using a spray bottle as you want minimal water otherwise you will drown the poor things.
Once a week (unless you’ve had rain) give them a spray with the water bottle. Within a month you’ll have small clusters of succulents – they will be quite small but with the same treatment as your matured succulents they will thrive! Make sure you gently pull off the wilted leaf that you began with as this will now be dead. Walah! You can now grow succulents and you have one killer new garden to impress your guests with.
These also become great gifts for family and friends and guess what you’ve just saved a whole heap of money doing it. I’m no pro (yet) but I certainly love my new-found interest/ talent…. Whatever you wish to call it.
By the way I’m no Cactus Killer now….. instead of the cat lady I’m the plant lady…. Well almost on that level. My poor family!
Stay tuned for more…