I recently took a good look at the plants that have gained permanent residence inside our home. Other than two violets which belonged to a dear friend, the rest belong to the family referred to as succulents.
Succulents have a supernatural ability to survive in nearly any climate from growing across a rugged terrain to sprouting up inside a dainty teacup on a windowsill. These plants prove their toughness by storing water in fleshy leaves, fighting long periods of drought and producing new roots and rosettes. Today, the popularity of the desert dwellers arise from their resiliency, ease of propagation and exquisite formations.
Succulents grow well together in larger pots, but they are equally admirable in smaller individual vessels. Adding to their secret superpowers they won’t outgrow small containers, making them thoughtful accents for a home or office windowsill.
Succulents, which include cacti, grow both in non draining and draining containers. For pots with no holes you might be tempted to add a layer of rocks to the bottom to create a drainage layer. While this sounds good in theory expert Debra Lee Baldwin , writer of “Succulents Simplified” and “Succulent Container Gardens” advises against this practice saying that a layer of rocks provides an area for bacteria to grow. Under watering is actually a better solution. She says to use well aerated soil designed for succulents and cacti and top the soil with pebbles or gravel for a finished look.
For indoor growing select a bright location, preferably near a south or east window. Windowsills make a lovely perch, but check to make sure the plants aren’t getting too much sun, especially if they are young and newly planted. The concern is that UV rays, magnified by window glass, may sunburn the leaves.
The number 1 secret for succulents is to not over water them. Give them a good soak and wait for them to dry out. And keep in mind non draining containers such as mason jars, stone mugs and tea cups require lighter showers.
Once you start experimenting with the endless style combinations that succulents have to offer don’t be surprised if you start rummaging through garage sales or thrift shops for interesting vessels. It is nothing more than a sign that you, like me have become smitten with succulents.