Succulents are an ideal beginners plant. They will survive indoors as well as the garden. Succulents can also be easily propagated and will become a nice little gift for Christmas or wedding favours.
You Will Need:
Organic Rooting Compound – J. Arthur Bowers Organic Rooting Gel, 150 ml
Cactus compost, suitable for repotting succulents Growth Technology Ltd MDCAF2 Cactus Focus Repotting Mix 2 Litre
Succulent plants –
An old foil tin or suitable shallow dish that you can recycle.
You can find succulents at many different garden centres and there is something to be said for hand picking them. I like these
as there is a good mixture of varieties.
When it comes to succulents you are not really taking cuttings. Instead you will be gently rocking a leaf between thumb and finger. It will result in a clean cut without any force being applied. The more gentle the touch the better. If you take the leaf from the bottom section of the succulent you will not notice it has gone. Just put it to one side away from extreme heat or direct sunlight. It will harden off forming a callous edge.
Once the succulent cuttings have harden off, around a week after you have removed them from the mother plant. You will be able to set them all out ready to propagate. I use a rooting gel, it smells bad but I find I get better results than from a powder. The trick is to dip your newly dried edge into the gel, but don’t submerge it. You want the end you have dipped to be wet, but no further up. This is so as to avoid the possibility of mould developing during the rooting period.
I use up some plastic trays which would otherwise go to recycling. So a basic two-three inch deep tray is ideal. The soil I use is a
Succulent Soil Mix 2L which is also suitable as a soil for cactus propagation as well. Now you will fill with the soil and press it flat with the back of your hand. You don’t want it to be tightly packed, but also no air gaps to be present. I then spritz it thoroughly with warm water.
With the succulent cuttings you will find there is a natural bend. You want the end you detached from the main plant to be in the soil. By gently pushing the wet end into the soil you will be able to ensure a good connection. Sometimes the bend will mean that the other end is out of the soil. This is ok.
Your job now is to make sure it stays out of direct sunlight, with very little temperature variation. I do not cover them! This is because they seem to develop mould more easily when I cover them. But I will ensure that the soil is moist and warm.
The process can take around 45-60 days. You will be able to take the succulent cuttings out of the soil to see root growth.
I would recommend any absorbent material, like terracotta. That sort of material will allow the roots to be saturated and then soak it all up for the next few days. I use a garden centre like Suttons for this as it will be a matter of personal choice.
Succulents do well with a ‘thirst and flood’ sort of a routine. I tend to water ours every two weeks. The soil will be dry and it will almost feel as if I have left it too late. However, this is why they become so plump. A succulent will store the moisture in times of plenty and when it is under regular ‘droughts’ and ‘floods’ it will thrive. Once they are settled and happy they will grow quickly and you can start to feed them with
Cactus and Succulent Focus 300ml but we usually just repot them with new soil. This seems to be enough. We are propagating succulents all over the house at the moment as we plan on making a succulent wreath for a gift for a friend.
We intend on making up our own wreaths this year as presents. This means that we will get a wreath with a cost to us far lower than if we were to buy each succulent from new. I think we have put the entire cost to around £9 per wreath. So we will keep you all updated with how we use our succulents to make this gift! Subscribe to our site if you would like to follow our progress!
Why not have a go at a few other rustic crafts such as the below buttons?