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Repurposed Succulents Decorations For Your Home

A couple of days ago, I attended a bridal shower that had succulents decorations. Cactuses and rosettes were arranged in a pot together with bright white roses. They made up most of the decors around the room, which made the area elegant and gorgeous. But above all, the succulents fitted the bride, a close friend of mine, who’s incredibly simple but has one of the classiest tastes I know in terms of home decorations.

After the bridal shower, which was a blast, by the way, I asked if I could take home one of the arrangements of succulents, and the bride agreed. I imagined it would look perfect as my table centerpiece, and I was right. Upon going home, I placed the pot filled with cactuses, roseum, burro’s tail, hens and chicks, and dudleya. There was a dozen of white roses thrown around the arrangement, and though I knew they wouldn’t last long, I opted for them since the combination of the succulents and white roses was too pretty to pass on.

So, upon arriving home, I immediately placed the arrangement on my table. They didn’t need any tinkering since they looked absolutely magnificent there on my big empty table. They stood out on their own, particularly against the colorful deco walls I have hanging around the dining area. They provided that lush of green that the dining room needed and I immediately thought of where else can I put such an arrangement.

Since I didn’t want to buy an arrangement of succulents for every room, I decided to repurpose the existing one on my dining table. A couple of days after, the white roses began to wilt while the succulents remained as beautiful and as gorgeous as ever.

While the roses needed water to thrive, the succulent plants, of course, had none of those requirements. I preferred to let the roses wilt and did not water the pot since I got it. The bride said the arrangement was watered before they arrived at the venue, so I deduced that the soil needs at least a week to completely dry out. As a result, the roses began to wilt and I had to take them out.

Although the succulents still looked beautiful sitting on top of my dining table, they lost their edge after the roses wilted. For me, they were just like any other succulents that I purposely arranged around the house. They don’t stand out anymore, and as much as I like to replant the roses, I was bored with them, truth to say. I wanted something more for this arrangement of roseum, burro’s tail, dudleya, and hens and chicks. I knew what I wanted to do and that is to propagate the succulents.

I replanted both the dudleya and hens and chicks outside where I knew they will likely thrive. They were outdoor succulents anyway, and they crave more sunlight and water than the roseum and the burro’s tail. Meanwhile, I put the burro’s tail in a hanging basket and arranged it in the foyer where it greets my guests. The roseum was the one I repurposed with the other succulents around the house. Since the roseum has such a versatile look, I mixed it with the other succulents arrangement and they immediately looked more gorgeous than ever.

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4 Common Varieties of Indoor Succulent Plants

Succulent plants are everywhere—from corsages to earrings to wedding bouquets to home decor. They are taking over gardens as more people choose succulents over other types of flowers and plants because the former is easy to maintain and requires little to no attention. Most succulents grew in Africa and Central America where there is little humidity. They thrive in these conditions because their fleshy leaves can store water and as such, they have no need for constant watering, re-plotting, and even sunlight (though they are not adverse to it).

Even though these drought-resistant plans are simple to maintain, they still have a preference when it comes to location. In this article, we’ll talk about indoor succulent plants and the top common varieties that you can choose.

Indoor succulent plants grow best in room temperature where it is dry and there is little humidity. While they also need direct sunlight, the can adapt to lower levels of light provided indoors. They make for an ideal home décor because they come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. They are exciting décor both for the living room and even a child’s bedroom.

1. Burro’s Tail (sedum morganianum)

Known also as the donkey tail plant, this is the easiest plant to propagate and have inside the house. The name comes from the plant’s ability to grow four inches tall with a shape that resembles a tail. This succulent grows well when put in a well-draining container, where its long stems can hang off the edges of the pot.

2. Crown of Thorns (euphorbia milii)

This is a great indoor plant because it adjusts well to the temperature indoors which is mostly dry and has little moisture in the air. To best care for the Crown of Thorns, place it near a window where it can get three to four hours of sunlight every day. Make sure to only water the plant when the soil has completely dried out. In Thailand, there is a legend that the number of flowers that bloom on this plant will predict the future of the plant-keeper.

3. Flaming Katy (kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

This is a common houseplant and is native to Madagascar. It is best suited indoors because it is sensitive to the cold, and likes temperatures ranging between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to take care of the Flaming Katy, make sure to put it in a clay pot with draining holes at the bottom. They will produce more buds and flowers if they can get eight to 10 hours of sun every day. During late autumn and early winter, it can produce petals that are dark red, gold, and white in color.

4. Jade Plant (crassula ovata)

Jade Plant is one of the most popular indoor succulent plants. It is similar to a bonsai plant wherein the trunk grows thick with branches that jut out like a miniature tree. This plant has thick, shiny, dark green leaves that grow into an oval shape. Some varieties of Jade Plant have a red color at the tip of the leaf. Many believe that the Jade Plant brings luck which is why they can be found in most homes.

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5 Healthy And Edible Succulents That You Can Easily Prepare

Salads and sautes are not the first things you will think about when you hear the word succulents. In fact, food will be the farthest from your mind. All you’ll probably think about is draining soil, terra cotta pots, pebbles, fertilizers, and propagation. Food is not synonymous with succulents, unfortunately, in this side of the world. But in farther south, where President Donald Trump plans to build his wall, succulent are delicious additions to their dinner fare.

Ever wonder how succulents taste like? Want to try how edible and healthy these are? Here are the top five edible succulents that you can turn into delicious salads, soups, and main courses:

1. Saguaro

If you have ever looked at an old Western movie and wondered what those ubiquitous plants in the background are called, that’s the Saguaro. But this is more than just a desert decoration. The night-blooming white flowers, which are the state flower of Arizona, produce greenish-pink fruits whose bright red pulp and black seeds have a sweet and nutty flavor. Tribes from Arizona and the Mexican people have used the Saguaro to make sweet jams, syrups, and ceremonial wines.

Rich in fiber, vitamin C, and B12, Saguaro can be chopped and turned into salads or biscuits.

2. Opuntia

Also called the “nopales” in Mexico and the many Mexican restaurants scattered all over the country, the Opuntia has a flavor similar to green beans though with a slightly chewy texture. It produces a fruit called tuna in Mexico but known as the prickly pear stateside, tastes like a mix of bubblegum and watermelon. The flat oval leaves of the Opuntia can be chopped and made into salads, soups, salsa, and tacos while the fruit can be peeled and sliced and eaten raw or juiced.

The leaves are rich in fiber and calcium, and it’s just 23 calories per cup. The fruit is high in vitamin C.

3. Stonecrops

Also known as sedums, Stonecrops have up to 600 species of plants. The leaves have a peppery and mildly bitter flavor that’s perfect for salads and stir-fry. If you want to eat these, make sure to take them in moderation because large quantities can upset the stomach. They are best used for stir-fry. The red-flowering sedum leaves, stems, and tubers are safe to eat raw while the yellow-flowering sedums need to be cooked because of a mild toxicity.

Stonecrops can relieve coughs and can lower blood pressure. It is also known for being applied to burns, cuts, hemorrhoids, and eczema.

4. Sea Beans

Scientifically called the Salicornia, Sea Beans grow on salt marshes and sandy beaches. Over the last years, they have grown popular among gourmet chefs. The flavor is similar to asparagus, so you can either eat it raw or pan-fry it. If you want to mellow out the intense sea salt flavor, you can blanch it in hot water.

Sea Beans are high in protein, iron, calcium, and iodine.

5. Dragon Fruit

Who knew Dragon Fruit came from a cactus? These fruits come from a night-blooming cactus known as the queen of the night. Their appearance may be striking but the flavor is very mild, almost like a bland melon. To eat it, you can scoop out the pulp and turn it into a smoothie or shake.

The Dragon Fruit is low in calories and packs protein, fiber, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.

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Unique Ways of Using Succulent Plants In Your Events

Have you ever thought about how unique and interesting succulent plants are? How versatile they are compared to our regular garden plants? How great their textures are and how much range of colors and shapes they have? It’s truly amazing when you consider the many ways we can use succulents to make our homes more gorgeous and to make an ordinary office space homey.

But beyond our homes and our offices, we also see succulents being used to liven up a blank canvas of an event place. Have you seen a birthday party or an anniversary celebration with succulents as the main design? Don’t these plants look gorgeous and fun? Every event stylist is looking to design an event place that’s both beautiful and fun. You may think that’s a pretty ordinary combination but come to think of it. Roses are only beautiful. They are not fun. Peonies are pretty. They are not fun. Daises and sunflowers are fun, but they are not drop-dead gorgeous.

On the other hand, succulents are always beautiful when they are in full bloom. And also, they are fun once you consider all the different colors, shapes, and textures they bring to a room. People can gather around a succulent décor and talk about how unique the setting was and how the color matches the overall motif of the event. It’s a conversation-starter, and it’s also one of the most interesting decorative pieces an event can have.

Centerpieces and Bouquets

Do not think that you can only design with succulents alone. The best thing about these plants is that they are so versatile and flexible they can be mixed with other garden plants such as roses and tulips and they will still stand out. Or better yet, they can bring a touch of elegance to the already gorgeous bunch of red roses you have in your hand. You can use a succulent arrangement as table centerpieces or as bouquets for weddings. All you need to do is use different shapes and sizes of succulents to bring height and weight to the arrangement.

Ceiling Treatments

A popular trend these days is to hang flowers, balloons, lanterns, and other ornaments from the ceiling. This will create such a gorgeous backdrop in an indoor event place. How about hanging succulents instead? Succulents are great because they last long so even if you hang them as decorations during the day, they will still look as gorgeous as ever when the party extends to evening time. Roses and other flowers can easily wilt because of lack of water but succulents will still look plump and lively even after a day has passed.

Backdrops

How about a succulent garden as the background for the stage? We’re so used to using plastic ornaments and decors that we never stop to think about how gorgeous real flowers and plants would look like when they are used as a stage backdrop. Trust us, your photos will look priceless and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

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4 Things To Consider When Choosing Containers For Succulents

After planning which succulents to plant in your garden, you will have to decide the size, material, and drainage capacity of the containers or pots. It is important to consider the quality of your containers for succulents before beginning to plant them because the healthy growth of the plants will also depend on the right material used for the container.

1. The Size of the Container for Succulents

Keep in mind that it is easier to grow plants in large containers because it allows their roots to grow without any hindrance. A large container holds more soil, which stays moist longer and does not dry out easily as the soil in small pots. The rapid temperature outside can cause fluctuations in the moisture content of the soil, so more soil and more moisture mean a better chance for these plants to thrive.

Small hanging baskets are prone to drying out quickly, especially during hot and humid summer days. Though succulent plants generally like the idea of being dried out and not being watered regularly, this routine might change if the soil will use its moisture.

It is also important to consider what plant to grow in each container. You have to consider the size of the plants’ root systems, though succulents don’t grow that much in terms of root size. If you are going into mixed planting and plans to combine different succulent variants, you may have to buy a large container to accommodate all the roots that would take place.

2. The Drainage Capability of the Container

Whatever container you choose, drainage holes are important. Without drainage holes, water will pool and plants may die because of “drowning.” The holes don’t need to be large, though they have to be sizeable enough to squeeze the remaining water out of the roots. If you managed to buy a container with no holes in them, you have to drill ones yourself. Or, you can use this as a cachepot, which is functional for managing large plants and heavy pots. Simply grow your plants in an ordinary nursery pot that fits inside a decorative cachepot. You can then move them separately when the weather requires.

3. The Material of the Container

Each material used to make containers has its own benefits and drawbacks. Terracotta containers are attractive, but they easily break. Concrete containers last long and they come in a range of sizes and styles, but they are heavy and could not be moved from one area to another. Fiberglass, plastic, and planters are lightweight, inexpensive, and are available in different sizes and styles. However, they can become brittle over time and may even break and cause your plants to die. Wood is natural-looking and they are attractive and protects roots from the temperature swings. But you need to be careful in choosing the type of wood. Don’t use creosote, which is toxic to plants.

4. The Preparation for the Container

When the soil is out inside the containers, they will naturally become heavy and you have to decide strategically where to place them in your garden. Metal and plastic containers are lighter compared to wood and terracotta containers, so you can hang metal and plastic containers even with the soil and plant in them. But remember that metal containers can get very hot, too, so make sure they are not directly under the sun. These are just some of the considerations you need to make when preparing the container for your garden.

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3 Key Benefits of Container Gardens For Succulents

Pots, old fishbowls, metal tubs, half barrels, and an old crate overflowing with succulents, flowers, and plants add appeal to any garden, but they have practical purposes, too. Aside from making your gardens look incredibly gorgeous, container gardens are also flexible and versatile when it comes to the maintenance. Container gardening is ideal for people with small patches of lands to turn into a garden. They can also be employed by people who have no space to start even a tiny garden, which makes this strategy workable for those living in apartment buildings and condominiums.

In addition to growing flowers, those who can only plant on a little space in their balcony or their driveway can grow a wide variety of vegetable crops in containers. The most important spices and herbs—basil, thyme, chives, rosemary, spring onion, and even chili—in our pantry can grow in pots and containers. In fact, you can put these potted herbs on your windowsill by the kitchen and just nip their buds when you need them for cooking. How much fresher can that be, right?

1. Adds Versatility to Gardens

We are so used to seeing gardens with roses or tulips up front and a bunch of other plants and flowers below the front windows. But these plants don’t stand out primarily because we have come to expect to see the same plants and flowers house after house. Putting succulent plants in a container and putting two containers of the same style on either side of the front walk could serve as a welcoming decoration to your guests. Container gardening on the deck or the patio also adds a burst of color to an otherwise dreary garden space. Succulent plants lend instant color and texture, and it provides a focal point in the garden that ties the architecture of the house to the garden. In other words, it balances the overall look of the whole property.

2. Flexible Depending on Weather Conditions

Depending on weather conditions, you may need to transfer your succulent plants from outdoors to indoors, or vice versa. This is extremely hard to do, of course, if the plants have taken root in the actual garden soil. You would need to prepare well ahead of time and dig the plants’ roots to transfer them to specific containers. Do you really want to go through all that trouble every time the weather pushes you to put the plants inside? If they are in containers, you could easily put them carefully in a basket and transfer them to a safer place.

3. Provides Accents to the Garden

A single large container with an over-the-top succulent plant could serve as an accent to your garden. This could be the first thing that your guests will notice when they arrive at your property. Simply buy a container that’s big enough to embrace all the plants and flowers you want to combine. The possibilities are endless, of course, as you can combine succulents with ordinary houseplants. A guideline to follow is the “thriller, spiller, and filler” formula. The thriller is the focal point of the arrangement while the spiller will crawl over the edge of the containers. Finally, the filler will fill in the “gaps” in the arrangement.

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Best Sources To Learn About Succulents

If you want to become good at growing succulents or any kinds of cacti plants, you need accurate information about its physical structure, its propagation, the right maintenance schedule, and the materials used to take care of these plants. The skill of taking care and growing succulents is not something you can just “wing.” You need the right information if you are to grow these plants in your own garden or even turn this passion into a profitable business.

Do you want to know how to take care of succulents, the proper way of propagating it, and choosing the right varieties for your garden? Have you ever considered going back to school or taking an online course that will teach you everything you need to know about these plants?

Before enrolling in an actual university or for an online course, you need first to know what you’re going into. The study of plants and the practice of garden cultivation and management is called horticulture. This is an actual job for many people and they make a profit by growing and managing gardens and plants. It is not to be taken lightly. You cannot say that someone is a horticulturist just because he has a “green thumb.” Before beginning to learn about succulents, you need to first learn to respect the science that defines it.

University Courses

Find out if the local university or college in your area has a department or institute of horticulture. This department will cover the course about succulents and cacti. The courses are usually just around 100 hours to finish, so you should be done easily and armed with enough knowledge to get your succulent garden going. Taking the course isn’t expensive as well. Some universities will offer the course for only $500. You get to spend that little money and learn everything you need about growing succulent plants and managing a garden.

Online Courses

Of course, if you don’t have the time to attend an actual university course, you can take it online. Meaning, your professor or instructor will send the manuals and the reading materials to you. After which, you will be given an assignment and you will be graded accordingly. The instructor is tasked to guide you as you complete the assignment and if necessary, provide comments, suggestions, and inputs to turn you into a better succulent gardener.

YouTube Videos

Don’t have the money to spend on an actual course about succulent? Want to do this sparingly? No worries because you can still learn plenty of things via free YouTube videos made by experts and vloggers. Just browse through the internet to find well-known succulent experts and see if they have made tutorial videos about succulents. You can find these videos on YouTube and you can digest as many information as you can.

Books

You can always check out the local library or the bookstore and find many books about horticulture and succulents. It’s not the same as seeing an actual gardener nip and water and propagate the succulents but if you are a good reader (meaning, you digest more information when you read than when you watch), this might be a good source of information for you.

Blogs

Blogs like the one found here at Cal Farms provide more personal narrative and comprehensive information about succulent plants. We touch succulent-related topics including growing, buying, choosing, maintaining and a lot more. We give a more general take on the things you find in schools, online courses, YouTube videos, and books.

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What Are Aerial Roots In Succulents And What Can We Do About Them?

If you have had your succulents for a while, you may eventually notice aerial roots or air roots forming along the stem and obscuring the beauty of the plants. While this isn’t a major problem and would not cause the plant to die, this is a sign that your succulents are not as healthy as they should be. It’s time to take notice of them, water them and put them under the sunlight.

When you see aerial roots along the stem of a succulent plant, it only means it needs extra attention from you. After all, you’re the only one this plant depends on, so you have to know as many information as you can about what aerial roots are and how they can be addressed.

Aerial roots are just roots that grow on the stem of the succulent rather than the soil. They are usually pink or white in color. They form on succulents that are either not getting enough water or not getting enough sun. When the plant is in a humid environment, this could cause the aerial roots to grow from their stems, too. Remember that succulents absorb water through their roots from their surrounding environment.

When growing succulents, make sure to use a soil with large particles because this is essential for the health of the plants. If the succulent plants are not getting enough water, they will start to search for more and would eventually branch out through the stems. This is when aerial roots start to form. The message is: “Hey, I’m thirsty and I need more water to grow and thrive.”

Lack of sunlight would also cause a succulent to form aerial roots. You will notice that a plant is lacking sunlight when it looks stretched out. Just like in water, the plant itself is telling you that it needs more sun. One of the first signs of an unhealthy succulent plant is the dried up leaves at the bottom. If you notice that the leaves are starting to dry, then you could probably expect the aerial roots to form in a day or two.

Not all succulents grow aerial roots even when they are dehydrated. Aerial roots tend to grow from succulents with a stem such as Echeverias or tender Sedums. You won’t see aerial roots on Haworthias or Aloes. And of course, remember that if you are watering correctly, aerial roots won’t start to appear.

In terms of plants, you are likely to see aerial roots on succulents that grow quickly and are in their active growing seasons. The Graptoveria Fred Ives and Graptopetalum paraguayense grow quickly and stretch out when they don’t get enough sunlight.

Don’t worry because your problems with aerial roots can be solved easily. You don’t have to cut them off, though you can remove them if they are getting too unpleasant. Simply plucking them out carefully would do the trick. More than that, what you need to do is water the plants correctly and make sure they are getting plenty of light. That should do the trick of preventing these aerial roots from growing.

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7 Tools For Propagating Succulents Correctly

If you have been planting different varieties of succulents whether as a personal hobby or for business, you may be wondering when it’s time to propagate them and grow new plants from your existing ones. The process of propagating succulents is actually a fairly simple one.

As long as you have the proper knowledge (which you can learn on the internet) and these seven tools, you will be propagating succulents well.

Sharp Shears

Anyone who wants to propagate succulent plants should have two kinds of sharp shears in his or her toolbox. You will need pruning shears and trimming snips in order to get into tight places such as the lowest stem of the plant.

Using the proper shears is important when cutting succulents because you may damage the sensitive plant tissues with a blunt pair of scissors. You should invest in a high-quality shear because this could damage your plants with even your trained hands.

Knife

A knife is needed if you are propagating tough agaves, cacti, or other plants with a dense core. You have to try different kinds of knives before deciding on which suits your needs. Just remember to have a sheath for this tool because accidents do happen in the garden.

When choosing a knife, pick one that isn’t heavy and that has a firm but easy grip. There are really expensive options out there, but we’re sure you can find the one that fits your budget and your needs.

Rubbing Alcohol

Clean tools are essential to propagating succulents. Use an alcohol to clean the tools before and after using them. A clean blade will ensure that no infection or disease will be passed between the plants.

Simply apply rubbing alcohol to a piece of cloth or paper towel and wipe the blades clean with it. Use the alcohol to clean your hands before and after removing your gloves too.

Gloves

Spiny agaves and cacti might cut or prick your skin. Some succulents also have poisonous saps that should not come in contact with your skin. Protect your hands and yourself by wearing leather gloves or gloves with a rubber layer.

Tool Sharpener

There’s nothing more annoying than working with blunted shears. Keeping your tools sharp is as important as keeping them clean and dirt-free. A dull blade can damage the leaves and the tissues of the plants. If you have to cut a succulent plant, you have to do it in one swift motion.

Soil

You need a light, well-aerated, and well-draining soil to make sure that the succulent plants will thrive. The roots must easily penetrate the soil, and this can only be accomplished when the soil has large particles that can move around once the roots begin spreading.

Cell Trays or Flats

Cell trays are incredibly important when propagating succulents because you can start the plants small there and transfer them to bigger succulent pots or containers once they have thrived. Flats are useful for leaf and seed propagation and they make everything look organized.

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5 Easy Steps to Prepare Your Yard For A Succulent Garden

If you are planning to turn your front lawn into your very own succulent garden, you first need to prepare the yard for what’s about to come. Though succulents are very easy to maintain, they nonetheless require certain concessions such as well-draining soil and enough space to grow in height and width. Prepping up the site of the garden is an important step in ensuring that your succulent plants will grow healthily and that the garden will be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

1. Mow and Uproot Existing Plants and Vegetation

If you have existing plants or vegetation on the area where you plan to have your succulent garden, you should think about mowing the grass down and uprooting the plants that can be salvaged or transferred. There are two things you can do to the existing plants: you can transfer them to a pot that you can place in the backyard or in another part of the property or you can give them away to a neighbor who wants it. You can always throw them away, of course, but that would be a waste as these plants can still grow even if they are not under your care.

2. Install and Adjust the Irrigation System

How are you planning to water the garden? Succulents are known for their minimal need for water so this should not cause you big trouble. Certainly, since you don’t need to water the plants every day, you can just make sure that there is a nearby faucet where you can plug your hose and sprinkler. You also need to ensure that pipes running under the yard are leak-proof because leaky pipes could cause water to damage the succulents.

3. Plan for a Temporary Roof

If you are living in an area where it could get cold, frosty, and wet, you need to put contingencies in the plan. What are you going to do with the succulents when the bad weather comes? You can plan ahead and buy a makeshift tent that would cover and protect the plants from rain and snow. Sure, this would have to be a big makeshift cover but you’ll only need to take them out when the weather gets really cold and bad. If you’re living in an area where the climate is usually cold, you may want to only invest in cold-weather succulents so you don’t have to go through the whole process of installing a tent or cover over the garden.

4. Evaluate the Runoff

You need to edge the lawn to avoid a run-off and keep your plants from spilling onto the pavement. You can use a shovel to cut the lawn eight to 12 inches from the edge of the pavement or concrete. You can also place a nice garden boulder to keep the plants within your lawn. A nice pruning of the succulents regularly would also keep them from getting too big and reaching out to the pavement.

5. Upgrade the Hardscape

Your succulent garden would look much better if the hardscape—the walkways and paths—could complement the overall design of the garden. You can use pebbles, bricks, woodchips, and flagstones for your hardscape.