The heat of summer is upon us here at Parkview Nursery and we are all about the succulent trend. We have a vast assortment of succulents still available with a new shipment arriving any day now. Succulents are great because of their heat and drought tolerance and the versatility that they offer. They can be planted alone in a pot and gifted or packed together in an arrangement and kept as a center piece in your home. They are not hard to take care of but you may have to struggle through a little trial and error as you learn about your plants and how they like to be taken care of. They require plenty of sunlight and adequate amounts of water but there will be different care needed if they are outside vs. inside.
Succulents are so much fun to arrange! We have many customers stop in who are new to succulents and we love sharing our love for these plants. The first thing you need to decide when you are putting your arrangement together is what kind of planter you will be using. The options are endless; a few fun ideas could be an old toy from your childhood like a Tonka Truck, a Tea Party theme with cups and a kettle, a strawberry planter, or anything you happen to find along the way. When choosing your planter, pay attention to whether or not there is drainage, all plants do best with proper drainage. If there is no drain hole take note that it will not need to be watered as often and will most likely be a more temporary planter. If there is no drain hole you can also drill your own with the proper drill bit.
We found our planter of choice and gathered some different varieties of succulents including cactus soil and some colored moss. Once you have your items gathered, fill your planter with soil remembering to leave room for your succulents. Don’t worry if a lot of the soil falls off the plants when you take them out of their growing pots. They will root well in their new planter. Succulents can be planted very snug together so if you want a fuller look, go for it! However, the tighter you have them together, the more temporary your arrangement will be. They will do well planted like this for several months; just know that you will have to take it apart at some point in the future months to do a little reworking once they have grown too large for their space. Once you have your succulents placed the way you want, make sure that there is plenty of soil or moss around their root system, this helps them grow and it also helps to support the weight of them. They can get to be quite heavy if they are larger plants so make sure they are supported enough that they don’t break. If you do happen to break some leaves off, do not fear, you can propagate these and grow new plants all together.
Once you have your Succulents planted and soil in place, you are almost done. Top dress your soil with some decorative rocks or some colored moss to add the perfect finishing touch to your succulent arrangement. You may notice that some dirt has gotten into the little nooks and crannies of your succulents; clean them up by taking a small paintbrush and dusting that soil out of there. A few quick care tips for your new living piece of art: don’t over water your succulents since they will rot if there is too much water present. That is why it is important to have a planter with good drainage. Also, let the soil dry out between each watering. This may take about a week. When you water, try to get the water directly to the roots rather than on the plants. Using a small watering can or a large syringe is very helpful. They like a bright location close to a window if in the home or at least 6 hours of sun light if they are outside. Some succulents will get sunburnt if they are in the hot direct sunlight of the afternoon so they may do better with morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon (this is the trial and error part we mentioned before).
Now that you have a few succulents, you will quickly realize you can’t have enough of these cute little plants. If you are still feeling a little shy to tackle this on your own, we have a succulent make and take workshop coming up on July 22nd. You can bring your own container and purchase your plants and we will provide the soil, rock and advice for the cost of the workshop. Stay cool and happy planting!