You all remember my blog post about an easy way to plant up your pots by using sedum sod tiles. If not, see it here. But those little trays seemed nice and useful, but I just didn’t know what I could use them for. So I put them back on the shelves of My Garden Shop waiting for something to inspire me. And finally, something popped into my head.
What about tiny baby succulent farms? Don’t I wish I had an iddy biddy tractor to park in the middle of it just for the cutest of it. But let me show you in photos here and in a video. Sorry, it’s a long one. ( Of course, you know I had to make a video, right?)
It’s Easy to Grow Baby Succulents
Easier than ever, this method of using succulent cuttings is my preferred method of succulent propagation. There are other ways to get more succulents such as seeds, offsets, and stem cuttings. But my simple way works for me and I am sticking with it.
If you plant succulents often, you may have some cuttings already which are just the broken pieces lying around after you have tackled the job of planting a succulent. Don’t throw those away because those discards can be new plants. The preferred methods say to leave the succulent trimmings to callous over ( meaning to let the boo-boo dry) before you plant them. Sources say 24hrs or others for up to 4 days.
Sorry, but I have left mine on a shelf in a box for a month or more and they still will grow when placed in some soil. I have had them do just fine. In fact, a lot of the time, those little cuttings just carry on with succulent reproduction when your back is turned. I have gone back to a potting shelf on the deck and found tiny leaves and dangling roots sprouting from an old discarded leaf. Can it be any easier than that?
Well, maybe your Large Jade Plant starts forming roots right on the stems! I don’t know if it is telling me it needs more water. Or it just wants to be cut and transferred to its own pot. Like a child leaving home, I can slice it off and put it in its own pot. Baby succulents are just that easy.
Irrigation for my Mini-Farm of Baby Succulents?
I have started out by watering down my soil since it was very dry from being in my old Utility Sink that I use for my potting soil. So I have spread my soil mix in the flat containers ( my acres) and have let that drain overnight and try to get is slightly damp-ish, but not wet or moist, just out-of-the-bag moist. ( My soil was The Grapes of Wrath dry.) The calloused baby succulents will have the best chance to survive if they just naturally create a root searching for water.
Some gardeners have had success rooting cuttings in water, but I don’t do that. I think the best roots are formed the natural way. I explained my reasons here in a prior post.
It may take several weeks for roots to form, but when they are reaching into the soil, it is easy to gently lift the whole section, soil, and cutting, and place it into its own container. Depending on your type of succulent, it may grow really fast, or take some time to reach a large enough size to go into a grouping. Or make tiny groupings. The cupcake hypertufa comes in handy here!
Meanwhile, slightly misting the soil seems to work best for me. The soil doesn’t need to be “watered” since we like to keep succulents on the dry side. So a bit of misting every 5 days or so might work for you depending on how dry your soil gets in the environment where you are growing.
When I water, most times I use my “mist mode” on the nozzle outside and tell myself I am simulating a quick desert shower or even condensation in the desert, which in their natural environment, maybe all the succulents get. Use your own judgment.
I am planning to have my Baby Succulents farm outside in the heat and rain. For the first few weeks, I will keep it out of the direct sun, placing it in the overhang area on my deck. But after a few weeks, out in the sun they go. In my garden, the strong survive. Besides, they will need to be well-hardened to spend the winter out there, right?
Thinking of gifts for Christmas? Oh yes, I hear the groans. It is now less than 5 months til then, so you may want to plan a hypertufa container and a group of cuttings all ready to pot up and wrap just before Christmas. It can be done!
Better get started!