The ladies have shed their livingwear to be watered naturally by the steady warm rain storm coming through today…. aka a ‘Pineapple Express’.
Their ensembles are laid out in the courtyard with the other tillandsias (aka air plants).
We’re excited that Nest Egg Gardens did so well at the fair this year! Participating is a fun way to showcase special projects and living art as well as a good way to meet other plant collectors. We brought home the special award for Excellence in Horticulture (aka grand prize). Two entries won both first place and Best of Show for their category: 1) our big staghorn fern that looks like a moose and 2) the double brain cactus in the head vase pot. The succulent frame won 2nd place. The frame is one of the many works of art being donated by Aromas Artisans to the Art Raffle drawing November 22nd at the AHA Holiday Art Fair in Aromas.
I got a few frames for free and thought I would try using them for succulents…. here’s how I did it: First I sprayed the inside edge with sealer to help it repel water and hopefully last longer. I built a box to fit using a composite decking board (it’s made with plastic and won’t rot).
Sprayed one side of a piece of hardware cloth black (the dark color blends in better than shiny metal until the plants cover it up) and stapled inside.
Lined the hardware cloth with a layer of moss and filled with potting soil (packed tightly).
Stapled some shade cloth and plastic fence over the potting soil into the back and added wires for hanging (either vertical or horizontal). Inserted succulent cuttings by poking roots into the moss with a skewer or stick. Lie flat and water regularly until the cuttings are rooted well before hanging.
Combining fresh flowers with succulent cuttings looks great in baskets. These were perfect for Easter. After the flowers fade, the succulents will last for months, growing into the floral foam. Or they can be potted up or planted in the yard.
When I found this camping kit at a yard sale, I thought it would make a cute succulent display. Since it’s aluminum, it won’t rust and drilling holes in the bottom was easy. I really like how the cups hang off the side just like a punch bowl.
Sempervivum arachnoideum (aka cobweb house leek) is one of the hardiest of succulents. They stay compact which makes them perfect for shoes and other small containers.
Love the view from the patio of the new garden wall in back. It provides a nice shady spot to hang Staghorn Ferns and Epiphyllum, and hides the view of the neighbor’s garage. The evening sun shines through for a short time before setting, lighting it all up nicely.
When you cut back succulents that have grown tall and leggy, leave the stem long and you can use them just like flowers in a table arrangement. To extend the stems, you can use florist picks (green wooden sticks w/wire on one end) like the jade cutting on the left. It helps to use florist foam with water in a container to weigh it down and hold the stems securely, but a vase would work. Think out of the box because the cuttings really don’t even need water. The bouquet will last for weeks, sprouting roots and eventually growing into the florist foam. The cuttings can be planted in the ground or a pot at any time… or you can take more cuttings from the new growth and start again.
Tillandsias (aka Air Plants) are epiphytes. They grow without soil, attached to other plants and all kinds of things… including this outfit. Wearing living plants, now that’s green!
Succulents bloom at different times of the year… all year it seems. The small form of Crassula radicans starts blooming in January. Dainty white clover type flowers look even better when planted in full sun, because the leaves will be more red in color. Mature Jade plants and Aloe have been blooming since the end of November.
Tillandsias with seashells
The tillandsias (aka air plants) look great with seashells in these glass globe hangers.
It’s easy to refurbish succulent containers when they get overgrown and leggy. Almost as easy as arranging flowers in a vase.
Take cuttings of the succulents that you want to replant and set aside. They can be stored face up, in a shady spot, for up to a month.
Trim up any succulents that are left or start fresh with new potting soil.Â Poke holes in the soil and stick in the cuttings where desired.Water once a week and provide at least half sun. It only takes about a month for the succulents to fill back in nicely. This method also works for succulents in the ground. Take cuttings and stick them right back down in the soil. Dig out or trim the old stem… it will often come back with new growth.
For two to four weeks, the wreaths have laid flat where they get 2-3 hours morning sun, and dunked into rain water when dried out (about once a week). Stuck a few more cuttings into the bare spots and they are ready to go.Â They sold that day – at a bargain price of $60 = 14″ $45 = 10″ to a returning customer. See How to Part 1 & Part 2.
Putting together some tiny pots (and other containers) of succulents. Party favors maybe?
The first step to making good succulent wreaths is growing the succulents that you intend to take cuttings from. When I prepare a wreath or other container, I start thinking about what kind of succulents to use, keeping in mind the plant’s needs (water/sun) and growth habit (tall/short). Pay attention to how your plants grow in different conditions to see what I mean. When working on wreaths, I stick with plants that will stay compact. Aeoniums are perfect with their rosette shapes and straight, sturdy stems. The cuttings should have a day or two to scar over and can sit for weeks.
Cover the area, laying on your favorite type of sedum and using a dowel, skewer or other pokey tool, make a hole and insert the cuttings around the frame. Starting with dry wreath forms helps keep the holes you poke open for the cuttings.The succulent cuttings secures the sedum in place where it can take root and fill in nicely.
Continue inserting succulent cuttings close together until the wreath form is full. Dunk into or drench with water. This plumps up the moss/soil and hold the cuttings tightly. Lay flat where it will get at least 2 or 3 hours sun (preferably morning or afternoon) and dunk/drench again when it’s dried out and feels light. We’ll check it again in two weeks…See How to Part 1 & Part 3
Gardeners share plants… that’s what they do. I recently made up some flower arrangements and a picnic basket for a house warming party. Who doesn’t love succulent cuttings? So pretty and versatile, it’s such an easy way to share plants. No need to keep them in water. They can sit around for weeks (roots start growing after 10 days). Easy to take care of… stick them in the ground and water once a week until they can get established. Mulch helps to conserve moisture. Share the wealth!
This huge genus of flowering plants (Crassulaceae family) has over 600 species in the Northern Hemishere. Commonly aka stonecrops, they vary from tiny, to low and creeping, to shrub-sized plants. Drought tolerant, they store water in their leaves. They grow well with other succulents and I use them in almost all of my plantingsâ€¦ to fill in, plump up, and spill over the sides of containers.
Start with two wire box wreath frames (10″ to 16″D work best). Buy a few at your crafts store or larger quantities online. Soak some green moss (available at home/garden stores) in water. Squeeze out excess water (being wet helps hold to the shape of the frame). Line each wire frame a thin layer of damp green moss, pressing down the center all the way around.
Add water to some of your favorite potting soil, stirring until it sticks together. Squeeze a handful at a time between your palms and make a continuous mound of soil around the circle.
Quickly flip the empty moss lined wreath frame on top of the soil ring, Squeeze it together and tuck in the moss on the sides. Fasten together by tightly wrapping with three pieces of heavy gauge wire (2-10″ and 1-14″ long). After fastening the 2 short pieces, flip it over so that the 2 twisted ends are on the front of the wreath (soon to be hidden by growing succulents). Wrap around the longest wire, bending the excess unto a loop for hanging. Twist wires and bend and stick the points into the wreath (this hides the sharp wires and secures the hanger in place).
Let dry for a day or two before planting with succulent cuttings. See Succulent wreath How To Part 2 and Part 3.