Succulent plants have become popular in recent years. Learn how to plant and propagate succulents, which varieties are popular, when to water and create your succulent garden!
Succulents have almost become the gateway into one’s plant obsessions. Succulent plants are super easy to grow and propagate, while being cost effective and very hard to kill. They work as fantastic presents for friends and family, especially for those self-proclaimed accidental plant-killers. Luckily you don’t need a green thumb to plant succulents in your garden and there are many varieties popping up at garden centres that will easily turn one purchase into multiple buys.
How to create a succulent garden
Succulent plants love a warm, dry climate and will not do well with frost! They can be propagated in pots or in open ground, and it’s best to choose somewhere they can get a lot of sunshine. If you choose to grow your succulents in pots, make sure they have free draining aerated potting soil – try four parts potting mix to one part sand (gravel/pumice/perlite also works), and add gravel around the top to prevent stem rotting. You might be wondering how often to water succulents as they’re generally low-maintenance, you will still need to water outdoor succulents well when it’s hot out.
Ideas for propagating succulent plants
Whatever your style or preference, there are so many shapes, sizes and colours of succulent plants to choose from that will help you create your perfect succulent garden. You can even grab a large shallow pot and grow a handful of varieties together in the same area and use the tallest growing variety for the centre – enjoy watching them grow and form a beautiful succulent patch. They’ll grow faster than you think, plus they’re even better when they flower; you’ll enjoy the perks of a mini succulent garden with plenty of texture and colour variety.
These succulent plants are easy to propagate and offer plenty of opportunities to keep growing them; break off a leaf and lay it onto the potting mix, occasionally sprinkling it. With rosette plants, be sure to pull off the ‘chicks’ and add these to a new pot to watch them grow. This is a great way for kids to start getting involved in gardening and learning about growing from the soil and giving them invaluable outdoor skills.
Types of succulents for your garden
With so many succulents to choose from, it can be hard to know what you envision for your garden; low growing sedums are always a good place to start as they have many sizes and colours with some flowering in pink or white, and break them up into other pots when they grow. Varieties like Echeveria and Kalanchoe are popular due to their sculpture-like shape with lovely rosettes forming and even producing ‘chicks’ to plant on their own.
If you’re looking for smaller succulents, Zebra plants often look good in mini pots and remain small with low maintenance. These are often suitable as indoor succulents where they can get a good amount of sunlight and let them go outside to breathe every few weeks; watering these succulents only when the soil is dry, and flood them with water instead of constant light watering.
Succulent plant types like Sempervivum tectorum or houseleeks are known as rubbery roses which you’ve probably seen around the garden centre; their hardy surface means they enjoy cooler climates and require low maintenance. Aeoniums are similar but grow tall when outdoors, producing green or black leaves creating a striking look, adding depth to your garden space; you can tie these to a post and watch them get taller.
Succulents are generally thought to be small plants, but those like Agave are beautiful and grow as tall as small trees, while Senecio (blue chalk sticks) can grow to 30 centimetres tall and require little maintenance, with their vibrant blue colour a great contrast to your garden. Aloes can also grow quite large and keep their structural integrity well – plant these in the ground or smaller ones in pots to keep as indoor succulents and admire their red, orange and yellow flowering spikes.
Whatever succulent plant you decide to go with, it can be a fun way to get yourself interested in planting and growing, keep the kids entertained or create your own succulent to give as a gift for a friend!