Care of Succulents – Blog Post 2

 

Last post, we talked about how to take care of roses which are a very demanding flower.

This week we will talk about succulents, the plants for the rest of us!  The brown thumbs, those that cause the death of all things green at every turn, those of us that cause vegetative destruction on a massive scale…  Well, perhaps I am getting carried away, but succulents do need minimal sun, minimal water and minimal care in general.  In short, if you can’t keep a succulent, then we at Blooms by May would highly recommend silk flowers and plastic plants.

Anyway, here is what you need to know to keep succulents happy and healthy:

Sunlight:  Believe it or not, succulents can be raised with or without sunlight. If you do not have a sunny spot for your succulent, no problem, it will remain healthy in most artificial light.  If you do have sunlight, then you are in luck, it will start to grow!  Succulent tend to grow toward the sun.  So, unless you really like the Leaning Tower of Pisa look, simple turn the container 180 degrees when it is leaning to far from one side.   The succulent will start to right itself naturally

Watering: Good news here!  Succulents are very similar to a cactus, in that they like to have just a bit of water. You can forget about them from time to time without them turning into a crispy brown mass.  That being said, they do have a weakness.  Overwatering to succulents is what Kryptonite is to Superman.  For the love of all things good, please don’t ever leave your succulents sitting in water!

Watering your succulent once or twice a week is all it takes to keep it in excellent shape! If you are chronically overgenerous with water, there are two good strategies for you:

1)    Make sure your container has a drainage hole if you are one to overwater things! If you don’t have a drainage hole in your container

2)    Go to your local pharmacy and buy a small syringe, one that would be used to suck up liquid medicines. You only need about 5 mL to water a 2″ succulent. If you are watering a larger one, 4″ or bigger, used 10-15 mL of water.

Everyday Care: Are the leaves at the bottom of your plant turning brown or drying out? Try tugging on the leaf a bit, if it comes easily, then just remove it and discard. If you have tugged a few times and it isn’t budging, then just leave it for a few more days until it seems it wants to come off. Your succulent having leaves like this does not mean it is dying, it is just like dead-heading (removing old leaves off of) any other plant. If your succulent starts to grow above the soil and the center stock of it is visible, you can transplant it! Put it into a deeper pot and let the stock be covered with dirt- it will start to grow roots!

Propagation: Everyone loves the pitter-patter of little feet…  or in this case roots, except they don’t pitter-patter…  Maybe I should have used a different metaphor…  either way, this is how you get cute little baby succulents!

If leaves or cuttings are accidently knocked off, or carefully removed, they can be restarted into a new plant.

1)    Leave the cutting of the plant somewhere where it will be undisturbed for the next 3-7 days, on a counter top of shelf for example. Don’t place it in water, just let it dry out.  After a few days it will start to wrinkle where it was severed.  Once it feels dry to the touch, go to step 2.

2)    Place the cutting place it on top of some potting soil, not covering it. Give it 5 mL of water using a syringe then leave it alone.  Yes, it is that easy!  Water again in five days and every 5 days after that.

3)    In about 3-4 weeks you will notice a tiny plant forming where it was originally severed from the plant. If your original piece looks like it is drying up, do not worry, the new plant growing at the end of the cutting is what is important.

4)    Keep watering every five days and leave it in the sunlight.  In a few months, the succulent should be large enough to transplant into a larger container of your choice.

Blooms by May always stocks a good supply of succulents for potting and dish gardens.  Come on in anytime and have a look!

If you would like to check out our website, please follow this link:Blooms by May.

 

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Blog Post 1 – Care of Roses

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Roses are a very delicate flower that love to be pampered!  If they are treated the way they want to be, you will get a lot more out of them and will be able to enjoy them longer!
Use the following steps to get the best life out of your roses:
1. Unwrap Roses
I know!  Anyone can unwrap roses, why are you telling me the obvious?  Well, there are some things you need to know!  First of all, remove the roses very carefully from the packaging, scissors are the best way to do this (with a knife you could nick one of the stems and cause your poor rose to die an early death). Be sure to save the small packet of flower food that should be wrapped in with the roses.
2. Fill vase with water
Ok, steady now!  You can do this!  Open the packet of flower food, pour the full packet into the vase. If your florist did not send a packet, don’t panic, use a teaspoon full of sugar instead.  Add cold water to the vase, stopping a few inches below the top to allow for displacement.
3. Clean leaves off
If there are leaves on the roses that will be submerged in water, remove them. If you leave them on they will get moldy, gunky and nasty which will cloud your water.  How do you remove the leaves?  Wait for it…  simply pull them off! Watch for thorns as you do this.  They are sometimes present on the small leaf stems, not just the main stem.  Like every other florist, I firmly believe that thorns suck and I have the puncture marks to prove it!
4. Cut roses with a sharp knife
The best tool for the job is a sharp knife.  Scissors are not recommended as they crush the stem.  Use a large kitchen knife to cut the roses at a 45 degree angle; one cut right through all the stems is best. Do not saw the poor roses!  A sawing motion will cause the stems to split, leave the sawing to magicians doing the old “cut the lady lady in half” bit… On the subject of sawing things in half, the safest way to cut your roses is to lay them out on a cutting board.
5. Put roses in water
Immediately after cutting your rose stems, put the roses into the vase you have set aside.  Adjust them so they look the way you want them.  If you have a bit of fern, leather leaf or babies breath go ahead and add it.    These will add a bit of color and interest to the bouquet.
6. Enjoy
Place your roses wherever you would like to enjoy them. Be careful to avoid sources of heat and extreme cold.
If you would like to order fresh roses, see us over at Blooms by May