So you got some cuttings....
Hey Plant Peeps!
You got some cuttings in the mail and now you are staring at them wondering what the fucculent to do next. Fear not my beloveds, you got this!!!
Here's a few tips and tricks to have success with your new plant additions.
Let's talk dirt! Soil, actually. You need a soil medium that will drain quickly and not stay soggy. Can you just buy a bag of succulent soil mix - yes! Is it always the best choice - NO! Some mixes simply don't drain fast enough and you may need to add additional grit to help with drainage. For the purists out there, mixing one's own soil may be the best option for your plants - a good base is 60% of your preferred potting soil and 40% inorganic matter such as girt, perlite, pumice or a coarse sand. Those ratios should be adjusted to compliment your climate. For example, in very hot and dry regions you may want more organic matter so that your plants have enough time to absorb the water they need. Conversely, in humid and wet regions you may want more grit so your pots dry out quicker. The faster the draining, the more you may need to water, the slower the draining, the longer between watering but you have to be careful that slower drying mediums may be the death of your plant from root rot. Now, recently I started using coconut coir to root my plants, and let me tell you it is by far the best stuff I have come across to produce robust and plentiful roots. While coir is not a great option for the long term, for rooting alone it would be my number one pick. Once my plants show an ample root system I just transplant them.
We briefly touched on watering, let’s explore that a little further. Hold on to something for a minute because YOU DO NOT NEED TO WATER YOUR PLANTS IMMEDIATELY. I know we usually plant things and water them in, but this is not the case with succulent cuttings. I typically don't worry about watering them until there are signs of root growth. I then water deeply so water runs out of the drainage hole. Did I mention your pot needs to drain because if I didn't, they do. Rocks in the bottom of containers with no drainage access do NOT “help with drainage”, it simply doesn’t work that way. Some granny said it a long time ago and that myth has perpetuated for decades, don’t do it. Honestly, terra cotta pots are by far the best containers for your succulents due to the wicking nature of the clay and the ability for airflow to get the roots. And for goodness sakes, fill your pot with soil to within 1-1/2 inch from the top of the pot. Again, for airflow reasons. If your plant is low in the pot, it has more chance to rot.
You should place your cuttings in filtered bright light for 6-8 hours. What the heck does that even MEAN?!?! I mean no actual sunshine on your plants until they are established. I mean, unless you want them to fry up like crispy bits of bacon.
Once your plants have roots, you can SLOWLY introduce them to more sun. Start with morning sun but afternoon shade. Why? Again, with the bacon thing, they will burn up if you do it too quickly.
Are there some loose leaves that came in the box? You can plant those, too. Just lay them on top of the soil. Some will be divas and die and others may show signs of new plant growth. Just leave them be. They are ready when the host leaf completely dries up, they dont need any water until that happens, put that misting bottle away!
Can you plant your cuttings in one pot? Yes, they actually do well when they have root competition.
Can you plant them individually? Also, yes! It's really a personal preference.
Some plants root a lot faster than others, so don't be discouraged!
Now, go find a fun pot and plant something! Me? With all that talk about bacon I think I’ll make myself as BLT. It actually sounds really good right about now!