Anonymous said: I am starting a small indoor succulent garden and need some beginners tips. Anything will help! Ps. Love love love your blog!
Indoor gardens can be tricky, with a lot of variables… you’ll want to include more perlite in your soil mix, about 2/5 perlite to 3/5 soil, as evaporation should occur more slowly. Adding a layer of gravel to the bottom of your garden, then some layers of newspaper, under the soil would also be a good idea. This will give any extra water a place to go, rather than soaking the roots. Water lightly, you don’t want water sitting in the bottom of the container.
The plant selection is important, as most succulents will not like the lower light conditions, but this depends on your particular garden. What may seem like a lot of sunlight may actually be just a few hours of bright direct sunlight, followed by moderate to low indirect sunlight the majority of the day. I would start with the shadier succulents, like the various Haworthia. Shade succulents still need direct sunlight, they just like it to be more filtered. They tend to be a little more structurally interesting, while the color tends to be just various shades of green. A little extra sunlight though, can give some an amber, orange or slightly reddish tone.
If your plant starts to look like it’s stretching out with more space between the leaves, longer leaves, and possibly some fading to the color, then it wants more sunlight. It is essentially trying to maximize surface area for more sunlight. If you decide to move a plant into more light, do it gradually as it just grew itself to be best suited for lower light conditions and could burn.
The most import part… have fun!
Anonymous said: How do you recommend planting a succulent in a glass bowl with no drainage?
I’ve worked with a lot of glass, so I recommend starting with some gravel in the bottom, then layer your soil mix on top. You can even put a couple of layers of newspaper between the gravel and soil, allowing water to pass through, but keeping the soil out of the gravel. The soil mix should include more perlite than the average mix. I would use about 2/5 perlite to 3/5 potting soil, avoiding the more woody soils.
As for water, you can’t soak it the same way you do a pot that drains. Water enough to soak into the soil, but watch the water on the bottom of the container, you don’t want the water to pool on the bottom. Succulent roots can’t be left soaking in water for days, they will rot.