Kelli Tries Succulents–AGAIN!

A post from Kelli–


So it’s no secreat that I have a black thumb.  Nothing about my thumb is green.  I have however managed to keep a poinsettia alive for almost 3 years….but I think my Grandma Kramer may have a bit of a hand in that one.  Last summer, mom called me after a visit with Connie and told me that Connie had left something for me.  I was super excited cause Connie always seems to know what I like–and this time was the same!  She had taken an old flour sifter and put a few succulents in it.  I took it home determined that I was going to keep these alive.  I watered them regularly and put them by a window to get lots of light.  As much as I tried, they didn’t last.  I was super sad!

All summer, I’ve been meaning to stop at a greenhouse to grab a few new ones, but nothing has seemed to work out.  Turns out, last week I had an insurance meeting at work and then a telemetry class to go to.  I ran through Walmart to grab a few things and I happened to see Grandma Lois in getting her hair permed.  I stopped by and chatted with her for a bit.  It turns out, she needed some groceries and a few things at the greenhouse in Decorah, but wasn’t sure she would be able to get into the greenhouse (she has bad knees and has a hard time with stairs or walking very long distances).  I told her that I didn’t have anything to do for the rest of the day, so I’d love to accompany her for a while and help her out.

As soon as her hair was done, we stopped my car off and I jumped in with her.  Once we got to the Greenhouse, I helped her in (no steps!!!  Wahoo!!!) and a wonderful guy working there helped us find all of the things that she was looking for.  On our way out, I saw a few pots with succulents in them.  I asked if they had individual plants and I was happy to find out that they did!  I picked out a few and was getting ready to check out.  I realized that I had no idea about what to do for soil and they kindly offered to mix some up for me, telling me that succulents do best with part sand and part dirt.  He also said that the most common reason for killing succulents is overwatering.  He recommended a spray bottle to spray them with periodically.

Succulents 1 (300x400)

On my way home, I grabbed a few coffee filters at my Mother in Law’s (she drinks coffee all day long–literally) because I knew she’s likely have a few I could have.  I got home and set to work getting my little beauties planted.

Succulents 2 (400x300)

Before I knew it, I had them all planted and ready to go!

Succulents 3 (300x400)

I’m hoping that with the right dirt and a better idea of proper watering, that I’ll be successful in growing succulents this time.  If anyone has any advice to share, please do–God knows I’ll need all the advice I can get.

9 thoughts on “Kelli Tries Succulents–AGAIN!”

  1. That arrangement is adorable! Hope it works out for you! Glad you mentioned how to care for them because my niece gave me an arrangement and I wondered how to water it.

  2. Kelli – I too LOVE succulents, and they’re especially “trendy” this year! But, I also have a black thumb when it comes to these little jewels. So this year, when our HyVee had big containers of them for $16.99 I grabbed one and just stuck it on our covered front porch on a little table. Then I added another succulent garden from Menard’s also on sale, and some hens and chicks that had been laying around for 2 years in a broken pot. I haven’t touched them except to take off a few cobwebs, but they’re doing great – guess it’s that overwatering that does it! Here’s to our success with succulents!

  3. Lynne Nicholson UK

    The best advice i can give you is to put care of succulents into a search engine. Certainly when i had a garden and wanted to know the best way to grow plants that is what i would do and i had quite good success growing flowers and vegetables. Learning planting nasturtiums (whose flowers and leaves you could eat and the flavour is a little peppery stronger in larger leaves) close by but not immediately next to lettuce and salad leaves meant the butterflies would lay their eggs on the nasturtium leaves and leave the salad alone. That the nasturtiums would spread up a fence given support or across the ground without support. Nipping out the dead flowers would keep them flowering. They did better in poorer soil and no added fertilizer and a bit of neglect.
    I learnt that the leaves tell you a lot about a plant. Houseleeks (which are a succulents)need good drainage and to be kept thirsty. Their name comes because they would grow by themselves on roofs and in any crevice they could root in on a house. So in my garden they needed pots of gritty soil and practically leaving alone as natural rain was all it needed. In the winter the pots went in a corner near the house that stayed almost dry even in the worst winter rain but still got too wet and died. I now don’t have a garden so no plants as i have two kitties who think their job is to chew plants and a lot of house plants are toxic to pets.

  4. DON’T water the succulents! I have a huge jade tree and I rarely water it. In the summer when it rains I put it outside, but pour out the water. I have a little succulent garden in an old Tonka truck. Sounds cooler than it looks right now. but it has potential

  5. So cool you’re trying to grow succulents again. I, too, do not have the greatest of green thumbs so have recently been considering trying succulents. The only thing I knew about succulents was that the watering is done by actually misting them. But I don’t know how frequently or infrequently that should be done, and I had no idea about the soil.

    One question, Kelli… how / why are you using coffee filters?

  6. DO NOT water.. I killed so many succulents before I was able to get it down. I literally water every 3 weeks. I put in enough water so that there is plenty of run off to help any salts or minerals wash out the soil. Water once every three weeks and you should be good.. you can even do once a month if you keep them in doors. The less you water the better.

  7. Living in So. California, succulents are a staple. One thing that I discovered is that some succulents are not made for indoors. With that said I water all my indoor plants about every week and a half. This includes my violets, orchids, Christmas cactus and the succulents They seem to be doing okay. If you’re not sure error on the side of underwatering. Hope they do well this time around. p.s. I mark my calendar when I water and keep track this way so I don’t overwater – so far, so good.

    Terry in So. Calif.

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