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What to Do with Leggy Succulents

Succulents love the sun and thrive when grown in proper light conditions. But you’ve probably seen or grown a succulent that gets leggy and stretched out. These leggy – or etiolated – succulents aren’t getting the light they should in the space you have it.

 

This phenomenon happens with all indoor plants, not just succulents. You may notice how your plant bends toward the sunlight, stretching to get as close as it can. Succulents continue to grow taller as they stretch toward the sun, leaving more space between each leaf.

While etiolated succulents won’t go back to their prior compact shape, you can give them a haircut and propagate the cuttings to get even more succulents.

In this video, Laura from Garden Answer shows you how to deconstruct the plant and start propagating to try again.

  1. Remove leaves. Use pruners or snap off roots and healthy leaves from the bottom half of the succulent. Get as clean of a break as possible to encourage new growth. If your leaf tears, get rid of it. Remove leaves until you’re a little more than half way to the top. See step three to learn how you can snip and replant the stem and the remaining rosette at the top.
  2. Let leaves dry. Allow leaves to dry for a few days after removal, until the raw ends have calloused.
  3. Repot the stem. Planting the stem deeper, where the leaves were removed, will allow to grow new roots. If your stem is too long for your pot, simply trim it 1-2 inches from the base of the plant. If you have no stem at all, it’s ok. Just nest the rosette in the soil so it doesn’t fall out.
  4. Get ready to grow. Place dried leaves on top of a tray, saucer or container filled with Espoma’s Organic Cactus mix. Do not bury leaves in the soil. Place the container in a spot where it will be protected from full sun exposure.
  5. Spray soil until it’s moist, without being drenched. Water again when soil is dry to the touch.
  6. Wait. In about a month or so new baby roots will appear
  7. Replant. Once your propagated succulents have taken root, they can be replanted. Show them off in a repurposed planter.
  8. Lastly, be sure to check the roots every six months to see if you need to move your plants to a bigger pot. Feed your succulents regularly with Espoma’s Cactus! liquid plant food for best results.

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Dress up Your Desk with Succulents

Everyone likes to dress up their desks and it is fun to bring a little of the outdoors inside. Succulent arrangements can be chic or playful. Jurassic Park dish garden anyone? You may want to make one with a holiday theme by mixing in tiny holiday ornaments. Go hunting for unique containers.

Succulents are simple to grow with a little care and knowhow. They only need a small amount of water about every 10 days or so. . Good drainage is a must. Always use Cactus Mix, Cactus! soil.

A trick to find out if your plant needs water is stick a dry toothpick into the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. If it comes out dry, it’s time to water. If there are bits of soil stuck to it, wait a few more days. It’s exactly like testing to see if a cake is done.

Always put them in the sunniest place possible. That can be tough in an office situation, unless you have that spacious, corner office. Happily, they’ll respond to that florescent light above your desk. LED light is fine too.

Photo courtesy of Costa Fams

Aloe

Plant several is one container to create a contemporary design. They would also be easy to combine with other succulents in a dish garden. Fertilize a few times in spring and summer to keep them happy. They grow 6 to 12 inches tall and wide.

Albuca

Albuca has a unique growing habit. It produces a thick bulb above ground. Thin grassy foliage rises from the bulb and blooms with green and white flowers. Try growing them with small succulents like Echeveria elegans. They grow 8 inches tall and wide.

Perle von Nurnberg Echeveria

Echeveria is a small succulent, just a few inches high. The overlapping leaves of this echeveria species are beautiful in color. A greyish brown base with light pink and purple highlights creates contrast between the leaves.  In the summer, the flowers can become coral to red with a yellow interior.

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe is a beautiful succulent that can have colors of red, cream, and even yellow in its large, round leaves. No wonder they call them flapjack plants. One plant is all you’d need to create a show stopping display. It grows 1 to 2 feet tall.

 

Photo courtesy of Costa Farms

Haworthia

A big name for a small plant but the deep green leaves with white stripes really is a stand out. They look brilliant on small containers top dressed with a layer of five white gravel. They don’t like direct light so they work especially well in an office setting. They grow 2 to 8 inches tall and wide.

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Bringing Plants Indoors for the Winter

How to Overwinter Your Plants

Laura with Garden Answer is answering some commonly asked questions on how to get your plants and containers prepared to bring inside for the winter. She lays out her step-by-step instructions on how to keep your plants happy and healthy, even when they are inside.

Step 1 – Figure Out What You Want to Bring Inside

Walk around your garden and gather what you want to save. Think about your succulents, perennials and herbs out in the garden. Even, window boxes, displays and smaller containers can survive indoors with a little bit of help.

Once you have gathered everything you want to bring inside, think about the containers they are currently in. Will they work for inside your home? Will you dig something out of your garden that needs a new container? These questions will lead you to gather the right supplies.

Step 2 – Gather All Your Supplies in One Place

It’s easier to have one designated area to work. It will keep you from moving your supplies all over your garden and keep the mess contained.

Tools you might need are a trowel, a shovel, snips, pruners, gloves and containers. If the containers were previously used, be sure to sanitize them with 1-part bleach to 10-parts water to rid of any insects or diseases that may be hiding. The last thing you will need is the right kind of soil.  Succulents and cactus, African violet and orchids and regular everyday plants all have different soil needs to thrive.

Step 3 – Groom and Trim Plants

Trim off any leggy branches or make any aesthetic cuts. Also, trim dead leaves and spent blooms as those are what diseases and insects use to find their way indoors.

Step 4 – Check for Insects

It’s best not to bring insects inside your home. Be sure to check the top of the soil, the top of leaves and the underside of leaves. Anything that is crawling around in there should stay outside. This will guarantee other houseplants will not be infected later on.

Step 5 – Refresh Your Soil

If you aren’t repotting, evenly scrape off the top inch or two, whatever will come up easily, and replace it with fresh soil. This will help ensure all insect eggs are out of the soil.

Step 6 – Repot If Necessary

Now is the time to repot any containers if they need to go up a size or you want to match your interiors. This is also when you should pot anything that you have dug up from the garden. Remember, use the right kind of soil for your plants. Espoma has soil for every kind of plant.

Step 7 – Water with a Deep Soak

While this isn’t required to do before moving your plants into the house, it is highly recommended. While they can still drain outdoors, give your plants a big drink of water. It will help get them established in their new containers and release the nutrients in the fresh top soil.

Step 8 – Bring Your Plants Inside

Think about how much light each of these plants need and find the appropriate place to put them. If they like full light, find a window with bright light they will enjoy living in for a few months. It’s best to place a saucer underneath each of the pots to catch anything that may find its way out.

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Espoma Organic Orchid Mix

 

 

 

 

 

Succulents with Flowers – Beauty Meets Simplicity

Succulents can be the most intricate houseplants out there. They are available in a variety of colors, styles, shapes and sizes, perfect to match any houseplant lover’s wants and needs.

It is a common misconception that only cacti can flower. But that’s not true! There are succulents with beautiful flowers. We have picked out some amazing and unusual flowering succulents to showcase for  your collection.

If you are just getting started with succulents, check out our tips for beginners. An important tip to remember is succulents need well-draining, dry soil to thrive. Espoma’s Cactus Mix will help keep your plants healthy and happy.

4 Flowering Succulents You Need for Your Home:

Kalanchoes

This stunning succulent comes in a variety of vibrant and cheerful colors that will brighten up any home. The blooms on this succulent last almost all year long. Kalanchoes prefer bright indirect light, with only being in direct light about 2 hours a day. Water every two weeks when the top inch has dried out. Trim off the dead flowers where it meets the foliage to keep it looking its best.

Jade

Also known as the luckiest houseplant, this succulent will bloom tiny white flowers, though it doesn’t happen very often. Jade needs to be in an environment similar to its native growing habits in order to bloom – cool nights, bright days, and lack of water. Don’t give up on this plant so quickly, as it needs to be fully matured before it will flower.

Euphorbia Milii

Commonly known as Crown of Thorns for the thick base and long thorns, the Euphorbia Milii’s flowers come in small clusters. The blooms are usually a light red, but can be found in vibrant yellows and deep reds as well. It is a common houseplant, preferring bright light and dry soil.

Donkey Tail Plant

These trailing succulents cascade over their containers. With their grey-green tear-drop shaped leaves, the “donkey tails” can grow up to two feet long. Flowers with small blossoms in red, yellow or white will emerge in late summer. Place these sun-loving succulents near a sunny window and water weekly during spring and summer.

Watch as Laura gives a few tips to get you started on succulent care.

 

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Plants Only a Mother Would Love

From crayon stick figures to loud burps, Moms are notorious for thinking anything their kids do is cute.

This Mother’s Day, brighten mom’s day by giving her a plant that’s just as unique as you. And if you choose the right plant, it will last for years to come. From succulents and cacti to brilliant foliage plants, there is a plant that will bring some extra sunshine to her life every day. She knows you better than anyone else, so remind mom just how awkward and quirky you were as a child.

Baseball Plant

The low-maintenance, euphorbia obesa, comes in a baseball-like shape. Perhaps it’ll remind mom of your little league days. This is a cactus, so it simply needs a warm climate, light and a well-draining soil such as Espoma’s Cactus and Succulent mix.

‘Wine Cup’

Crassula umbella is perfect for the mom who loves taking trips to the vineyard, with her children of course. When it flowers, this plant can grow up to six inches tall. This succulent likes well-drained soil and dry roots, so don’t overwater.

Donkey tails

Remind mom of your playful nature with a donkey tail plant. These succulents drape over containers in a trailing way. With their grey-green tear-drop shaped leaves, the “donkey tails” can grow up to two feet long. Flowers with small blossoms in red, yellow or white will emerge in late summer. Place these sun-loving succulents near a sunny window and water weekly during spring and summer.

Nerve Plant

If mom’s always saying you’re getting on her nerves, try getting her an actual nerve plant! Also known as Fittonia, the name ‘nerve plant’ comes from the attractive pink, red or white veins that run throughout the plant’s rich green leaves. Their bright coloring and great patterns will surely ease mom’s nerves every time she looks at it. This plant also makes a great addition to a terrarium. Place it in a space where it’ll receive medium to low light. Too much sun can cause leaves to crisp. Water the plant weekly, when the soil starts to dry. Nerve plants need regular fertilizing, use Espoma’s Indoor! Liquid fertilizer to encourage new growth.

Yes, more traditional moms might prefer something like an exotic orchid or a lovely pink succulent, but the above are sure to make her smile. Visit your local garden center to find the right plant.

Want to do something different from mom? Try this hand print planter from Garden Answer.

Romantic Reds Houseplants

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift, we made it simple.

Give something that will live long past the special day – Red Houseplants!

The best part yet? These are perfect gifts for your special guy or girl. Visit your local garden center to surprise your love with a beautiful new plant today.

5 Red Houseplants to Spark the Romance

  1. Anthurium
    This lovely houseplant has heart-shaped blooms called spades. Be sure to buy one in bloom to ensure your significant other sees the heart on your sleeve plant. Anthuriums love light, so be sure to place them in a bright area, but not directly in the sunshine.
  1. Bromeliad
    This easy-to-grow houseplant is the perfect gift. It provides an exotic touch of red to any home. Even with the thick foliage and wide leaves, it gives off a radiance that anyone will fall in love with. Be sure to use Espoma’s Orchid Potting Mix to allow proper drainage and vitality.

    Feed regularly with Indoor! liquid fertilizer to keep your plants happy and healthy.

  1. Kalanchoe
    Succulent love! This succulent produces clusters of tiny red flowers which will last for several seasons. The scalloped greenery is just as gorgeous as the flowers, so you will have a showstopper year round. Use Espoma’s Cactus Potting Mix and Cactus! liquid fertilizer to be sure your Kalanchoe is happy and hearty.
  1. Croton
    Red can be too much for some lovers, so crotons offer the perfect balance of greenery with a subtlety of red. But don’t let it fool you, this houseplant is a bold contender. It offers texture and design to any household that needs extra energy. Crotons also help purify the air, which in turn keeps you calm and relaxed.
  1. Red Aglaonema
    Another more subtle red houseplant, the Red Aglaonema is a standout in home décor. The bold foliage adds height and eye-drawing texture. Your significant other will love this easy-care plant.

Trust us, gifting any of these romantically red houseplants will show your love for years to come. Feeding plants with Espoma’s Indoor! liquid fertilizer helps keep their red vibrant.

What else can you give for Valentine’s Day? Try a cute and creative gnome garden!

How To Make An Easy Terrarium

Terrariums make great additions to any room. There are endless options for variety, decorations and plants. They can be assembled in minutes and will continue to be enjoyed for months.

They can even match this season, like these adorable winter snow globes!

Whether you’re a terrarium expert or just making your first one, here are six easy steps to follow again and again.

Six Steps to Create a Terrarium

Step 1: Assemble materials

First, envision the terrarium you want. Where will you place it? What kind of plants are in it? What type of container will you use? Does it have a lid? Once you’ve got an idea, visit your local garden center to find many of the materials needed to make a terrarium.

You will need:

  • Glass jar or bowl
  • Sand
  • Activated charcoal
  • Espoma’s organic potting soil or cactus mix, depending on plants
  • Ornamental moss
  • Decorative elements such as fairies, rocks, shells, or stones
  • Small plants or succulents
  • Watering can
  • Espoma’s Indoor! or Cactus! liquid fertilizer depending on plant needs
  • Optional: Tweezers
  • Optional: Small sticks or bark

Step 2: Sand Layer

The first layer in your terrarium will be for drainage. Add about a 1-inch layer of sand, rocks or pebbles at the bottom. This ensures that water will not linger in the soil and will help to prevent root rot.

Step 3: Activated Charcoal Layer

Add about ¼ cup of activated charcoal to the terrarium to help keep it healthy. The charcoal helps the water stay clear of buildup and microorganisms that can grow on any living thing.

Step 4: Add Soil and plants

Add an adequate amount of soil for your plants. Dig a small hole to place the plant in. Choose a few standout succulents or add as many plants as you’d like. Make sure each plant has room to grow. Remember to leave some space to add in creative elements.

Step 5: Get Creative

Once your terrarium has plants, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Layer different types of ornamental mosses or decorative stones to enhance the look. If you’ve got fairy garden elements, add them in now. If you’re adding any pieces that you may have brought in from outside, make sure to rinse them off well first. You might find it’s easier to use a set of tweezers to place these pieces in smaller terrariums.

Step 6: Fertilize

Help your terrarium plants stay healthy and strong by feeding with the proper Espoma liquid fertilizer.

Enjoy! Switch up your terrarium whenever you feel like you need a change or new plants!

Christmas Cactus Care

Laura from Garden Answer gives her best tips for caring for everyone’s favorite holiday plant – the Christmas cactus. These plants can live for year’s with the right care. Learn how to keep your Christmas Cactus blooming!

 

Succulent Snow Globe DIY (Full Version)

Laura from Garden Answer shows you how to bring the outdoors in for the winter months. Make this easy potted plant snow globe using succulents and Espoma’s organic cactus mix. Ask kids to help make these tiny globes or make them yourself. They’re perfect for holiday decor or to give as gifts to the plant lover in your life.

 

Here are the basics:

  1. Gather your winter crafting materials, paint, potting soil, globe ornament, fairies, ribbons and succulents. Choose a small container such as a terracotta pot to serve as your base.
  2. Paint container and let dry.
  3. Fill with Espoma’s Cactus Mix
  4. Cut a large opening in clear ornament
  5. Drill a small hole in the ornament for air flow and to water succulents with an eye dropper
  6. Add a miniature toy, fairy and/or succulents
  7. Make it feel like the holidays by adding faux snow
  8. Tie a ribbon or string around the container and finish with a bow.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our YouTube page!

 

Fall Succulent DIY

Get ready for fall by creating this seasonal planter filled with low light succulents, pumpkins and owls. Laura from Garden Answer explains how to create and care for a stunning low light succulent container! Be sure to use Espoma’s Cactus Mix and Cactus! liquid fertilizer.

Want to see the full tutorial? Check out our YouTube Channel!