March 3, 2012

Dishing Up Some Left-Over Succulents

Left, clockwise: The golden tinted Sedum nussbaumeerianum, The pickle-like leaves of Senecio rubrotinctum, in two color forms, and a teal-colored unknown below. All are cuttings that will root quickly in sand.

Every greenhouse has a tray of left-over succulents laying around - most often, a tray of rooted cuts that may have ended up on an upper bench, and forgotten, such as the tray below, or a pot or two of mixed succulents from the previous summer, which ended up in a corner somewhere.  Sturdy, even when abused, succulents can easily be rescued. Just look at this clay pan, above, which is composed of cuttings from the nasty tray below. A tray that I almost threw away into the bin.

If you are new to gardening, it might be important to note that there is no plant named "succulent", the term is a broader descriptive tern for plant that have succulent leaves, that can hold water, withstand dry and hot temperatures. There are many types of plants that can be called succulents, both tender, and hardy, but when gardeners refer to succulents, generally speaking, they are talking about the Echeveria hybrids and species, the Sedum species and selections, and a whole host of names far too scientific for most people - Graptoveria, Graptopetalim petandrum ssp. superbum, Aeonium sedifolium, and more. Check out the Highland Succulents site for more info, and if you want to order some cuttings or plants - they have a terrific selection, and they will start shipping as soon as the weather warms up.

A tray of over-grown succulent cuttings. A quick trim with some snips, will turn this over-grown mess into a neat pan of mixed cuttings.

A mixture of sharp sand and potting mix is combined in a terra cotta pan. Cutting will require no rooting hormone, but are simply cut and placed in the damp sand.

Cuttings can be placed close to each other, since this container will be purely ornamental, placed on the steps of the deck for the summer once the weather warms up.

The finished pad has four types of succulents in it, planted shoulder to shoulder. In time, they will need repotting or  have cuttings taken again, since most of these types look messy once their stems become long. Individual leaves can be rooted too, but once you have any of these species, you will have them for a long time, as the brittle leaves often break off and root everywhere in neighboring pots.

1 comment :

  1. I didn't realize that there were no plants named 'succulent.' I've started playing around with them over the past couple of years and they really are the gift that keeps on giving.


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