A bit of success-ulent (with succulents)

Over the course of recent weeks I've come across a number of blogs, articles and pictures of succulents. You know them, the cactus-like chappies without the pain!

Anyway, when I see them I think of my time as a horti student in the Botanic Gardens, many moons ago, lifting the carpet bedding of succulents in the Autumn time, bedding them down for the Winter, and being very grateful I was scheduled to be working on herbaceous when the time comes to plant them in the Spring!

I have to say, once the carpet bedding was planted, it looked AMAZING, and even 20 years ago was something you would not regularly see.

In fact, come to think of it, I have rarely seen it in real life since then, only smaller examples in the same botanic gardens.

The reason? There was soooo much labour intensive work in setting (planting) them, maintaining them (in public spaces this was mainly about stopping little feet charging over them), lifting them and then overwintering them.

Perhaps this has changed now? Anybody know?

Well back to this millennium, I have been meaning to do something in this space for quite some time (years in fact!), but have not prioritised it. One idea I wanted to pursue, and might still at some point, is to do a small display on a purpose made table top, which can simply be lifted into the glasshouse for the Winter.

For now though, I am happy to show you my Echeveria 'Elegans' I popped into a nice terracotta over the weekend. The secret to growing these is great drainage. how dow we get this? Grit and plenty of it.
As you can see from the pictures, there is plenty of stones in the bottom.


I used a good loam based compost and mixed this with equal portions of grit. Planted the Echeveria into the mix and topped off with more grit, finishing off with a little watering, around the base of each.

As for aftercare, well please forward your tips and hints on this. I will water infrequently during the warmer Summer months and not at all during the Winter or cooler periods (no temperatures below 7c) Plenty of brightness, although don't leave them to cook on a sun-baked windowsill. Propagation is easy, remove the little ones on the side and into free draining compost. Have I missed anything?

As Walter (the expert in all things succulent from way back when) would say, when your finished potting up, always finish with a nice clean edge.

Happy gardening.