Succulents are becoming popular for residential gardens not only because of their beauty, but also because they are low maintenance and many varieties are easy to re-pot. Succulents are a plant species that have thick, fleshy leaves or stems that store water. They have adapted to survive in arid areas around the world and offer a variety of interesting leaf forms and shapes, from rosettes to trailing columns of pearl drops.
ABOVE: Succulents can be planted in almost any sunny position. With their shallow root system these plants are ideal for adding colour and interest to pots and features.
Succulents need to be watered generously during the growing season, but not too regularly. These plants don’t like their roots to be kept wet, so allow the soil to dry out between watering. It’s also essential to use a soil that is fast-draining – a blend of potting soil and sand is ideal.
ABOVE: Use groupings of succulents to soften hard edges. They can be planted up around paths and walkways and require very little soil for growth if given a regular dosing of fertiliser during the growing season.
Succulents that are well cared for will soon start to reproduce, but you can increase the quantity of plants by snapping off a leaf from the bottom of the plant and potting this up. You will also see that any leaves that fall off the plant will start to sprout new growth. These can be potted up to propagate new plants.
ABOVE: Most succulents can be propogated by breaking off a single leaf or piece of stem.
Clusters of Echeveria create an attractive display of rosettes in varied colours, from grey to palest blue, and some varieties with a hint of pink. Echeveria varieties are probably the easiest succulents to transplant provided you follow a few basic steps.
- Clay pots are perfect for transplanting succulents. These types of pots allow for excellent drainage and promote healthy growth. Alternatively, place stones or pot shards in the bottom of pots to improve drainage.
- Combine a mixture of potting soil and river sand and lay the removed leaf gently on top of the soil. These plants generally have a shallow root system and don’t need to be pushed into the soil for growth. If there are already hair-like roots starting to appear, cover these with a light layer of soil.
- Don’t water this new plant for a week or so, and then only give a light watering to ensure the roots stay dry.
- Top the soil mix with polished stones, river rock, or sand for a decorative touch.
- Place transplanted plants in a sunny spot – they need plenty of light. But if you are putting them indoors look out for signs of scorching and move them around.
ABOVE: Create a wonderful display using different Echeveria species. A colourful ribbon of Echeveria flows through a garden border.