Succulent Gardening… SO Easy!

Kalanchoe “Black Tie”, middle right

Succulents…it seems like they are everywhere these days, but I wondered how easy they would be to plant and grow. Don’t get me wrong, I like plants. I even own a few patio plants and usually remember to water them. Like many working, single moms parenting teenagers, my days are jam- packed!

However, there was something about these seemingly indestructible plants that called to me…besides the fact that it doesn’t matter too much if you forget to water them. Should I really add one more thing to my “To Do” list?

First toe in the water, I bought a succulent for my brother as a Christmas gift. Spied it at the checkout in a local organic food store, already planted in a cute Asian-inspired planter. Bingo! He really likes plants and NEVER forgets to water them.

One step closer to inspiration, a few weeks later I found this really cool planter at a local Home Décor store.

The next and final straw was a trip to the home improvement store for light bulbs when instead, I found myself in the garden center. In front of the succulent section.

Needless to say, I did not leave the store empty-handed!

Ruby Ball Cactus

 

Thimble Cactus

Clockwise: Ruby Ball Cactus, Serum Firestorm, and Aloe Vera

Would all these incredibly cute, unique succulents fit in my new “cool” planter? Let’s find out.

Here are my supplies: succulents, special Cactus, Palm & Citrus potting mix, gloves, and gardening tools.

My design idea was to place a larger plant off center. The two flowering cacti were so pretty I wanted to make sure they were included.

Each plant has special features, making it hard to choose but finally I came up with a winning layout.

Time to roll up my sleeves and plant! I was concerned the single bag of soil would be insufficient, but it was just the right amount.

Planting didn’t take long but I struggled with my gardening gloves. They were like cardboard. Granted I hadn’t used them in, um, well, several years.

 Helpful Tips

  • Choose gloves with flexibility to prevent manhandling the plants.
  • Succulents are not as hardy as they appear!
  • Before starting, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the planter with a special masonry drill to allow for good drainage.

Once the plants were in place, I sprinkled sand over the top of potting mix and lightly watered the entire mini garden, rinsing some of the stray sand off the leaves.

And here is my succulent mini garden!

I am quite proud of the end result and truly enjoyed the process. It took about an hour and a half, start to finish. Being outdoors and unleashing my inner gardener was just what I needed!

 

Lori Rodgers – Lori’s passion for food and fine dining began at an early age. She started reading Gourmet at 8, and was fortunate to have a father who included her in his travels to cites across the US, often frequenting restaurants she had read about in the magazine. After studying hotel and restaurant management at FSU for two years and thoroughly enjoying the summer program in Switzerland, she graduated with a degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish. Lori owned and operated the family business, Bert Rodgers Schools of Real Estate for 25 years, indulging her cooking hobby by whipping up meals for family and friends on the weekends. She has two teenagers who have adopted a vegan lifestyle, adding a new challenge to Lori’s cooking repertoire. Lori recently sold the business and is embarking on a new chapter and new career, returning to her true calling, cooking and exploring the multifaceted world of food!