It seems like I always have a planting or painting project going on. My little terra cotta bowl, which I had painted and decorated, was in need of repotting. The lobelia and ageratum that were in it needed too much water so it was time for a switch over to my old standbys – succulents. I love sinking my paws into a new succulent repotting project because these water wise plants come in such interesting shapes, sizes and colors. It’s fun to play with them – I consider it “plant art”. And, it just makes ecological sense here in dry Southern California.
Here’s the bowl as I first planted it after the color was taken out. I left the echveria & the haworthia in but decided to nix the sedum.
Graptoveria “Bashful” was chosen as the winner. FYI: I love this mini trowel for small scale repotting jobs. I narrowed the decorative topdressing down to these 2 choices.
Here are a few of my best tips for planting or repotting succulents:
–> Succulents like being on the dry side and need excellent drainage. Use a very loose, well drained organic planting medium. My favorite is the one from California Cactus Center but you can probably find a good quality cactus and succulent mix at your local garden center.
–> Make sure the container has a drainage hole. If not, drill one in or fill the bottom of the pot with a good amount of gravel.
–> Succulents are very easy to transplant but don’t worry if you don’t see too many roots on the ones you’re planting. They don’t root deep and often times have a very small root ball. They’ll root more when planted in.
–> Use organic worm compost when planting succulents – it’s a great soil conditioner.
–> Handle with a bit of care when repotting – as I said, they don’t have extensive root systems. Also, the leaves can be a bit fragile and break off.
–> Leave the crown of the plant a 1/2″ to 1″ above the soil line. The weight of the plant will pull it down into the loose mix.
–> If you want more color, add it in with decorative rock or glass chips. They work beautifully with succulent plantings.
–> I wait a few days, 3-7 depending on the weather, to water succulents in. And, have patience with the initial watering. The mix is so light that it will take a while to absorb in.
All done and ready for a close up.
I have so many succulents already but am always on the look out for new ones to bring home. I love finding new ways to combine them. Get creative with your succulent plantings – it’s easy to do and the combos are endless.
A video showing how I planted this bowl:
A video I did for eHow.com showing how I painted this terra cotta bowl & other pots:
Other Succulent Posts You’ll Enjoy