If cold weather hasn’t reached your region of the country, it should be there soon. No doubt when winter finally takes a hold, passionate gardeners may decide to take the time off. If you’re looking for a vacation from your favorite hobby, then taking time off in winter is a great thing to do. The time allows you to stoke the fire so that you’re ready to go in the spring.
However, for many gardeners the time off is not an option. What’s a gardener to do if he or she can’t get dirty because of the weather?
Bring your gardening passion indoors. You may discover some things.
For example, I discovered a story of one woman who was caring for succulents that were growing from pots on a ledge next to a south-facing window of her home. She noticed that a leaf had fallen off one of the plants and landed on the ledge up against the window frame. To her surprise, the leaf had actually begun to grow roots.
No, it wasn’t a miracle. The spot where it fell against the window was cold, but it also was sunny. The leaf was receiving moisture from condensation on the window. The result was that it was spring roots.
Making sure that this was not a fluke, the woman took other leaves that had fallen from her succulent plants and placed them against the window frame. Sure enough, they too sprouted roots.
So she put a leaf with its roots in a pot of soil that was specifically made for succulent cuttings. She laid the leaf over the soil and gently covered only the roots with just a thin layer of soil. If the roots are not yet long enough, and then just lay the leaf over the soil. Roots will develop and burrow into the soil. You can buy the proper soil online including from Amazon or you can mix the soil yourself.
The Proper Potting Soil Mix
The best potting soil for succulents must be a mix that drains well. Porous soil has been proven to be ideal because it prevents overwatering. The items you need to make a proper mixture can be found at any local garden center or online.
Other things you need include:
• Coarse sand
• Perlite or Pumice
It is suggested that you use a light, porous soil as the base. Make certain that the soil does not contain vermiculite or any other moisture control potting mix that states that it retains water longer than other mixes. Succulents need a well-draining potting soil, not one that holds moisture. It is also suggested that you purchase the same sand you would for a sandbox. It is available at Home Depot or Lowes.
Perlite is a very lightweight organic soil amendment that includes white pieces that resemble Styrofoam. It retains very little moisture and prevents soil compaction. It helps soil drain faster.
Now that you have the ingredients, you will need supplies to perform the mixing.
The supplies include:
• Measuring Container
• Container For Mixing
Mixing The Soil
Mix 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts coarse sand, and one part perlite or pumice.
At this point, you may be asking what is a part? It is a generic unit of measure describing the ratio of the different segments of the mix. Go ahead and use anything you want to actually measure the ingredients. However, you must be sure to use the same measure for each part.
For example, if you use a scoop measure for 1 part, then use the same scoop twice for 2 parts and three times for 3 parts. Or if you use a one-cup measure, then the recipe would be 3 cups potting soil, 2 cups sand, and 1-cup perlite.
Dump the proper measure of each ingredient into the mixing container and then use the trowel or your hand to mix it.
Caring For The Succulent
Once planted, you maintain the succulent just like any succulent plant. The plant should be located by a sunny window where it will get a lot of light. Mist the cutting until it develops into a plant, and then water regularly. Use a soil moisture gauge to ascertain the proper amount of water.