Fun Ways To Build Your Succulent Garden

Building your succulent garden can be a bonding activity for the whole family. Once you collected all the materials, you can ask your partner and children (if you have) for some help.

How about everyone makes a pot of their own? The plant they choose and how they design the container will represent their personalities. You will have a garden that will be very, very personal to you.

1. Choose a container

Selecting a container is pretty easy. All you need to remember is to get a container with small draining holes at the bottom. However, you can turn this into a fun-filled activity by asking the rest of the family to choose the “best” one. Meaning, they can go crazy with their containers.

They can choose anything from a mason jar to terra cotta to a tin can. Then, they can decorate the containers with paints, glitters, and other decorative items. Make sure to allow the paint or glue to dry before putting the soil and the plants.

2. Fill it up

What kind of layering do you want your succulents to have? Here’s an idea: fill it up with pebbles, charcoal, moss, and soil. This is a good mix of the base for your plants.

You can be sure that the pebbles will allow the water to drain while the moss retains some of the nutrients from the water and any soil amendments you may add.

3. Start planting

Next, you need to choose the kind of succulent plant you want to take care of. Make it a point to ask your family members to maintain the plants that they choose. It will teach your kids to be more responsible while you’ll also get help for taking care of the garden.

Some nice succulents for beginners are cactus and Jade Plant. You can start with these before allowing your kids to grow more complicated succulents that need pruning or cutting or moving around under the sunlight and away from the intense cold.

4. Add decorations

What other decorations you can add to your plant? If the container’s big enough, you can actually make an arrangement of different varieties of succulents. You can create a mini garden with a gazebo by using miniature decorative items. These arrangements would look nice as table centerpieces, though, and not necessarily as part of the garden, wherein their beauty will just be overlooked.

If you are going to make a succulent arrangement, discuss with your family that this will be used as a decorative item in the house and not part of the actual garden.

5. Experiment

The possibilities are endless with succulents. Different varieties and sizes of plants can be thrown together in an arrangement. Do not be afraid to mix the ferns and any combination of plants. These succulent arrangements are magnificent and even calming to look at. They bring a natural touch to any place and converts any space into a more livable and welcome environment.

Build your succulent garden during the weekend so you don’t have to worry too much about the mess you’ll make. You can clean it up afterward and still have the next day to relax.

Arranging and planting succulents can be quite messy because of all the pruning, cutting, and painting that might happen, so better be ready for a weekend of fun and cleaning and organizing, too.

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.

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.

Where To Get Succulents And The Necessary Tools For Them

You may be wondering where to get succulents. You definitely don’t see them in local hardware or even around specialty shops in your area. So, where exactly are the succulent seedlings coming from and how do people cultivate them to look beautiful and gorgeous in their gardens? To start with, you have to tap resource persons both in real-life and online.

Forums and Online Communities

If you want to start this hobby, you have to know everything that you can about starting it and taking care of them so they maintain those lustrous leaves and flowers. There is one place you can look for all the information you need and that’s the online forums and communities.

You can join local Facebook groups and communities that share their knowledge about succulents and tips to take care of them. Most of these online communities are where you’re going to meet experts and bloggers who have been pruning and planting and growing their succulents for years. You can get expert advice from these people and you should know that they love sharing their knowledge with newcomers.

Pruning From Neighbors

Have you noticed a neighbor with such a good collection of succulents? You can ask that neighbor for succulent pruning. Don’t worry that they will have to damage their plants for that pruning you’re asking for.

The truth is that succulent owners need to prune their plants so that they don’t grow too high or wide. Succulent plants, after all, are meant to stay smaller than the regular plants. Maintaining their miniature sizes ensure that it would be easy to take care of them. If you still don’t know where to put the pruning you asked, you can plant it temporarily in a pot and then transfer it to a garden later on.

Gifts From Friends and Families

Is it your birthday? Is it Christmas? Are you expecting some of your friends or families to give you presents? If so, why don’t you make it easy for them and give a hint about what you want to receive? You could even give them a list to be more straightforward about it.

The list may include the varieties of succulents that you want, as well as the necessary tools you need such as pruning scissors, garden tape, disposable gloves, toolbox, and storage boxes. They can purchase most of these online and even from their local hardware stores, so it would be very easy for them to get you something.

Specialty Garden Stores

Of course, there are specialty stores like Cal Farms that focus on growing succulents. You can tap these stores and ask for the rarest succulents they have.

If you want to surprise and awe your neighbors, you would want to grow something more than just a simple rosette. These specialty stores also sell a lot of different containers, toppers, succulent varieties, and tools. Most of these are owned by succulent enthusiasts, too, so you can get more information about growing the plants and taking care of them.

How To Handle Cactus Without Pricking Your Fingers

Growing a succulents garden can be tough because there is always the danger of pricking your fingers with their thorns. Therefore, it is important that you know how to handle cactus properly so you will enjoy taking care of your succulents. In fact, we daresay your love for succulents will grow once you’ve practiced ways how to prevent injuring yourself when planting cacti.

Use Nitrile-Dipped Gloves

A lot of you may be using a pair of leather gloves to work with your cactus. That’s where you’re wrong. The leather is made of animal skin, which means that the spines of the cactus will cling to the leather much like it does to human skin. Although the leather provides some protection, this is not enough for the spines not to be able to pierce through the material.

Nitrile-coated gloves are basically fabric gloves with a nitrile coating around the fingers. Nitrile is a synthetic (kind of plasticky) material that works better at protecting your hands than leather. Of course, long spines still have a chance of cutting through the material but you will eliminate the need to tame those tiny, hair-like spines on the cactus.

To make this work better, you have to use two gloves on each hand. Put one on top of the other for better protection from cutting your fingers. You can handle the cacti even without tools when you use nitrile-dipped gloves.

Use Silicone Tongs

Do you know those silicone tongs we use when cooking? We can use that for gardening, too. If the cactus spines are too large and too sharp, no nitrile-coated gloves can protect our fingers. You would need to use a pair of silicone tongs. Why silicone? Silicone is a soft material that will handle delicate cacti right. Unlike metal and wooden tongs, silicone tongs have soft edges that will not damage the plant.

When you’re using tongs, make sure to handle the cactus lightly. Don’t squeeze on the tongs too hard because it will bruise the succulent. It may even cut a portion of the succulent and that isn’t good for the plant’s health.

This is a safe way to handle cactus because it keeps the plant away from your body and your hands. It prevents accidental cutting and pricking of your fingers, which usually happens when we’re moving succulents and placing them beside each other.

Use a Towel

If you don’t have access to nitrile-covered gloves or silicone tongs, your best bet would be a clean towel. All you need to do is to wrap the towel a couple of times on the cactus and handle it gently when moving or planting the succulent. Remember not to grip the plant too tightly because you can damage it or you can accidentally bruise or cut it. Also, it’s for your own protection. Gripping a cactus too hard will result in the spines cutting through the towel and piercing your fingers.

Planting cactus may be a little bit more difficult than other succulents but they are great to look at so hopefully, they can find a place in your home garden.

Understanding The Need For A Succulents Designer

There has been an explosion of interest around succulent plants like CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents and for good reason. This is the perfect plant for people who have no time for an actual garden. Succulents are easy to maintain and they almost survive on their own, except for the need for an occasional sunlight and watering.

It is very versatile, and survives in all kinds of weather conditions—may it be in the winter or in the middle of the scorching summer. It can grow in a small pot indoors or easily be converted into a succulent tree ideal for an outdoor garden, too. The colorful and unique shapes of the succulents are great to look at all-year-round, and there is no flower necessary for these to look gorgeous on a windowsill.

But if you don’t have the green thumb or if you are sorely lacking in time, you may have to tap the skills and talents of a succulents designer. What’s wrong with having someone else design your succulent garden? It’s not like it’s a personal thing or hobby that must be done solely by you. We have always welcomed the sight of a gardener in most houses, and this is no different, except succulent designers are working with smaller plants than the usual.

Combining plants of various sizes, colors, and shapes can be difficult for someone who’s not into the arts. It takes someone who’s passionate about creating wonderful succulent masterpieces to get it right. Although there is no right or wrong in succulents, a garden should bring about the natural flow and beauty of the place. If you are not sure how to go about that, it might be better to hire someone who does.

It’s not just in the arrangement where a succulents designer is needed. Succulents are easy to maintain, yes, and they survive even in the dead of winter or the hell-like temperatures during summer. To ensure that they remain healthy-looking (and healthy), the planter needs to use the right materials—the right container and the right soil. There’s also the application of your basic fertilizer that is needed for these plants to thrive. All in all, it’s still a lot of work for someone who has no time or an inclination to find time.

People who have worked with succulents know what soil to use for what type of succulent. They know that terra cotta containers are flimsy but plastic may not work, too. They know to put in draining holes in plastic, glass, and metal containers. And they know that metal containers should not be left too long under the sun because they get too hot, which may affect the health of the succulent plants.

Hiring a designer should not be something you will feel embarrassed about. Many believe that growing succulents is a personal thing, that it should be a “relationship” between the plant and the grower. That is completely false. Although there is an element of “friendship” between the succulent and its grower, what’s more important is for these plants to grow healthy and thrive. If you are not familiar on how to go about that, there’s nothing wrong with asking someone to do it for you.

Incorporating Succulent Plants In Your Garden Design

It is easy to see why plant decorations like CAL Farms Beautiful Assorted Variety Succulents have somehow made a name for themselves in the past decades, making them a must-have in gardening. Succulent plants are easy to grow, maintain, and they thrive in weathers other plants would not. Contrary to popular belief, succulents are not just perfect for warm climates and humid temperatures. Some succulents can also survive in the cold—the 4-7 zones.

If these are not enough reasons for you to start planting succulents, maybe telling you that succulents can easily be incorporated into your actual garden would. Yes, you can have a combination of garden—mixing succulents with other plants and flowers is not only possible, the end-product looks stunningly beautiful as well.

1. Thrillers

Create a focal point. Meaning, when you look at the plant, your eyes should immediately be attracted to it. Thanks to the different shapes and sizes of succulents, this is easier to do now. If you want a thriller, what you can do is to emphasize the size and the color of the focal point by creating space around it. Simply plant the succulent as it is, without surrounding foliage or pebbles or what-not.

2. Groundcovers

If you are planning to cover your “ground” with pebbles, you may want to rethink that strategy. Instead of using other decorative materials, you can opt for low-growing varieties of succulents that will make for a great groundcover. They spread rapidly and they offer interesting colors and textures. They also add dimension to the whole styling of the succulent plant. If you don’t want it to spill onto the pavement, you can simply prune them from time to time. Some of the varieties you can choose from are Cape Blanco Stonecrop, Blue Chalksticks, Coral Carpet Stonecrop, and Sunsparkler.

3. Cloaks and Daggers

Trailing varieties are a personal favorite. They can cover up, disguise, and dress up an otherwise blank vertical wall. These varieties are mostly used for a vertical garden, which means allowing these to grow into the cracks of an old concrete wall, or between stones in a rock wall, or planted above, so that they can spill over. These are very easy to maintain because once they start to spill over, all you have to do is to occasionally trim and tidy them up. The most popular choices for trailing varieties are Chinese Sedum, Corsican Stonecrop, Krebs Desert Rose Hens and Chicks, and Voodoo Stonecrop.

4. Vignette

You can create some sort of a “painting” by using different varieties of succulents with varying colors and textures in one container. It should follow one shade of color to make it seem like a vignette. Mostly, designer combine two low-growing varieties to make this illusion possible. This is usually done on a vertical garden for accent or into a pot. You can choose from these: Easter Lily Cactus, Angelina Stonecrop, Red Cobweb Hens and Chicks, and Color Guard Adam’s Needle.

5. Wildlife

This is the coolest design you can follow for your succulent plant. Many succulents produce the most beautiful flowers. They are exotic and wild in nature. They vary in colors—from white to pink to red to bright orange. Choose these kinds of succulents for the most beautiful and colorful succulent garden. Popular options are Brakelights Red Yucca, Jewel of the Desert, and Blue Elf Aloe.

5 Tips For Planting Succulents In Small Containers

If you are living in a small place, like in a dormitory or a condominium unit, but you want to have a little bit of nature to surround you, your best bet is to make an indoor succulent garden. Planting succulents like the CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents are not only great because they provide the fresh air that we need indoors, but they are also easy to maintain and such a breeze to look at.

Most people simply put the succulents in mini containers (that they either bought from a hardware or gardening store or a container they have at home). However, transferring the succulents from the pots that they came from and to a container of your own choosing takes a little bit of practice and know-how.

1. Plant Above the Rim of the Container

The succulent needs to be above the rim of the container. If the soil is way below the rim, the chance is that the water will pool and will not flow out from the sides (just in case you put too much). This can cause the succulent to wither and die. The leaves inside the container will rot and that can cause problem to the whole plant in the long run. When putting soil into the container, don’t just put the roots and then the soil into it. Give the roots a shallow base of soil.

2. Pack Them Tight

One of the most usual questions about planting succulents is if they need to be packed tightly when they are planted. You can pack them tight, meaning there is minimal space in between the succulents, but they grow slower this way. On the other hand, they will look better and they will maintain the original form of the arrangement. You can pack them farther apart as well if you want them to grow faster. But in this arrangement, they won’t look as nice as the plants tightly packed together.

3. Let the Succulents Hang Over the Rim

This is not really something you need to do for the health of the succulents. It’s more for aesthetic reasons. To make your arrangement a little more interesting, let the succulents hang over the rim of the container. To achieve the right look, you can use trailing succulents like String of Pearls. They actually hang over the side of the pot, or you can simply let the rosettes cover the edges.

4. Add Some Height

Add tall succulents that will give more dimension to your arrangement. That doesn’t mean you only need to buy succulents that will grow tall though. You need the smaller ones, too, to accentuate the height of the tall succulents. Though succulents of the same height look neat inside a pot, they don’t add any interesting style to the room. When you’ve got dimensions in your succulent container, that could boost the overall look of the garden.

5. Use Top Dressing

Don’t simply plant the succulent in the soil and leave it be. Add some dressing to the soil. You can use stones and pebbles to do this. The plant will look better with the top dressing. You need to make sure the container has proper drainage, too, so that your plant will stay healthy.

Are Succulent Plants Poisonous And Dangerous For Human Health?

The short answer to the question is “No.” In general, succulent plants like CAL Farms 36 of 2″ Beautiful Rosettes Succulents are safe and do not pose danger to humans and even their pets. However, it is a good idea to know that there are actually a few succulent plants that pose a threat to humans and animals.

When people start welcoming the idea of growing succulents at home, they would not even think that some of these may be harmful to them. After all, some succulents are actually edible. We’re talking about the Aloe Vera and the Opuntia ficus-indica (Prickly Pear), both of which could be eaten.

Of course, we all know that the spines on cacti can be quite painful. That is based on personal experience while taking care of the cacti garden. But aside from the thorns of the cacti, not much has been talked about regarding the dangers of succulent plants.

Growing a succulent garden indoors or even outdoors, however, will make you question whether it is safe for you and the rest of the family. This was a conscious topic that has been discussed at home when the children started growing up and they have become quite curious with all the things they see, succulent plants included. Generally, succulents do not pose threat to human health, but there are a few that could potentially cause illness or pain to people who come across them.

If you are not aware of the kind of succulent plants you have at home, you can either do your own research or call poison control if in case your children or your pets ingest any succulent. While it may not cause any serious harm, it’s still better to be on charge of things as it can make them sick.

If you have children and animals roaming around your house, it’s a good idea to check out if your garden contains any succulent plants that are harmful to them. While most animals will not go near plants that could make them sick, not everyone will understand the dangers it could pose.

Euphorbias

The most commonly known poisonous succulent is called the Euphorbia family. These contain a white sap in their leaves that can cause irritation on the skin. Not all people will react negatively when they get into contact with a Euphorbia, but it can still cause rashes to people who touch them.

When handling Euphorbia, make sure you use gloves to avoid skin contact with them. You also shouldn’t ingest the sap or a Euphorbia plant in general.

Kalanchoes

Kalanchoes are not dangerous for humans, but they can cause animals to get sick if they eat the leaves. It is rarely fatal, though, so there is no need to worry. A simple visit to the veterinarian will solve the issue.

Euphorbias and Kalanchoes are the only two succulent plants that are considered poisonous. However, it is important to keep sharp succulents out of reach of children and animals. When you place them indoors, you should place these succulents far away from their reach.

Things to Remember When Propagating Succulent Plants For Your Garden

Do you know how to propagate succulent plants for your garden? It’s fairly simple and you don’t have to be a green thumb for it to work. All you need are the leaves or the cuttings, a sharp pair of pruning shears, a pot, and the right soil and amount of water for your succulents.

While most people are afraid to start growing their own succulent plants, we like to experiment a little bit with them and start our own succulent garden by propagating the likes of CAL Farms 36 of 2″ Beautiful Rosettes Succulents. You shouldn’t be afraid to try your hands at this. Fact is, it’s really very easy as long as you follow or be guided by these excellent tips:

1. Don’t let the cut ends of the leaves touch the soil.

If you’re working with leaves for propagation, we found that the best way to do it is to simply set them on top of the soil without their cut ends touching the actual soil. You have to water the soil every time it dries out, so that it will continue to nourish the leaves. You can also use a spray bottle to get the top of the soil wet but not overly wet as it can drown.

Although some experts recommend putting the cut end of the leaf in the soil, this is now how it works for some people. The method mentioned above, however, has proven itself to be the best way to grow a succulent from leaf cuttings.

2. Put the cuttings in the soil.

While you simply set the leaves on top of the soil, the same cannot be said for succulent cuttings. When it comes to cuttings, you have to actually put them in the soil because these are almost full-grown succulent plants. All cuttings need is to be watered and to be put in soil, and of course, a little sunlight won’t hurt at all. Once you do this, you’ll notice that the plants will start to grow roots.

Just like leaves, you have to water the soil every time you notice that it started to dry out. Once you have a pattern in watering the cuttings, it will start to grow roots and in no time, there will be leaves, too.

Even if some of your cuttings die, you don’t have to feel discouraged about propagating succulents for your garden. The first time is always the hardest, but you’ll get the drift of it and eventually, you can start your very own succulent garden.

Remember, the key about having a thriving succulent plant is to have a schedule on when to water it and when to put it under sunlight. Succulents are not like regular plants that you have to drown in water. They only need a specific amount of water and they’ll be fine for a few days. Don’t think that you constantly have to shower them with water or put them under the sun. there is a very good chance that they will die if they are cared for too much.

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