Common succulent specimens available at your local garden center year round.
In recent years succulents have become quite popular, and there is a huge variety available. Some of the most recognizable succulents include the paddle plant, aloe, agave, and cacti. From beautiful rosette shapes to star shapes to the trailing ones, I just can’t seem to get enough of them! They are seen in bridal bouquets, in floral arrangements, and can be easily incorporated into simple party favors, gifts, or used in outside container gardening. Succulents are virtually indestructible and can take root in almost any container. I find that they do well both inside and out, and my outdoor ones did fine outside all last winter! Creating miniature container gardens is one of my very favorite ways to use them! They thrive in the South’s summer climate, and, for the most part, are easy on the budget. Succulents are plentiful in garden centers, and sometimes can be found in the floral department of your local grocery store. Grouping a variety in a container or simply putting a single large succulent in a pot can make a big impact!
Succulents are about as low maintenance as you get, and are very forgiving. Some of them actually bloom! One of my favorite ways to arrange them is to get four to six varieties or so and pot them in a rustic wooden bowl or crate. Other container options are copper, stainless steel, or clay pots. Using glass fishbowl terrariums make fabulous table decorations that last after the party! First, line the container with heavy duty plastic, place a layer of pebbles, and then simply plant the individual plants in good quality potting soil on top. Another great option is to create one or more succulent gardens in glass fish bowls. Then, water just until the soil is moist. I sometimes use a liquid fertilizer. And last, place reindeer and/or Spanish moss around the plants. There are no strict rules for plant placement. However, in a circular container, I usually put a larger succulent in the center, and place the plants from the center out to the edge.
Successful growing tips:
* Do not over water! Keep on the dry side, watering the outdoor varieties no more than twice a week or so and inside plants once a month or so.
* Outdoor varieties prefer bright daylight
* Over-watering causes plant rotting and under-watered plants will shed their leaves
* Every 2-3 months, water with an all-purpose fertilizer.
Here are a few of my favorite succulent arrangements in our home right now.
Stay tuned for Part II –