Friday, December 16, 2011

Baby it's Cold Out There! Succulent Hibernation!

First of all I want to say hello it's great to be back.  Lots of crazy stuff been happening at Sweetstuff's house.  But I'm not going to bore you with all that stuff.  Suffice it to say I have not been up to blogging and put it on the back burner.  It has a bit chilly here in Roseville and my husband and I have been busy putting all my succulents either in the garage, under frost paper or in my Gazebo Greenhouse. Yes you heard me right. We are experimenting with turning our gazebo into a greenhouse. My collection got so big this summer that I didn't have enough room in my garage to overwinter my sweet succulents.

The big wrap up!

First thing we did was put up the mosquito net that fits around this gazebo. Then we went to Home Depot and bought 3.5 mil plastic.  About 10' tall and as long as possible.  It took about three rolls to go all the way around.  We used duck tape and wrapped the plastic around the metal frame work as best as we could. This shot is just at the beginning of our project and we don't have all the plants in there so we could work.

Succulents in gazebo greenhouse

This is the back left side of the greenhouse inside.  Looks kind of weird doesn't it.  I have electricity that runs to this gazebo.  The extension cord goes to some lights that I have in a planter that's behind this gazebo.  I put frost paper over the planter and a set of blanket lights over it.  I am hoping a tiny bit of heat will help them.

Back right

In this shot you can see the plastic being held down by bricks on the right.  We used anything heavy we could think of, rocks, bricks and pots filled with dirt.  I also put a small heater on a table inside.  It is definitely helping.  But I may have to get another when the weather dips a bit lower like it will do a time or two in the winter.

Bricks and rocks

This is the front right corner.  Rock and bricks being used to hold down the plastic.  During that big wind storm we had that rock kept falling down so I will have to come up with some heavier objects.


I bought some three string Christmas lights and wrapped them around the inside of the gazebo.  It is really bright with them on.  I will be keeping them attached.  They will be great for entertaining in the summer.  Here you can see the top and see how we attached the plastic.  Not very scientific but so far had some pretty big winds and not one has come off.


Imagine no plastic in the summer.  Sitting outside on a warm evening. The glow from these lights, surrounded by my succulents, friends and drinking an iced tea.  Sounds like a heavenly evening.

My glowing gazebo greenhouse at night

Now I have a big night light in my back yard!  The glow looks so pretty!


We put a thermometer outside the gazebo greenhouse and inside.  Great idea of my husbands.  We wanted to compare outside temps to inside to see if it works or not.  It's at an angle but the temp show's to be about 39 degrees.


So this is the inside thermometer.  As you can see it is about a 5 degree difference.  As you can see I tucked it in with my ripsalis.  So it works pretty good for now.  I am worried about the big wind storms we get though.

Part of Garage hibernation

Check out my old card table piled with pots of succulents.  They are hiding underneath also.  We had to leave space to the right so I could get into my pantry and to the left is my hubby's Jeep.  Have to be able to walk by that.  But actually now we do have some smaller plants on the left hand side.  Had to have a place to put my succulent BBQ!.  Behind this table is another one covered with a Xmas plastic tablecloth.  This table is also covered with potted plants and as many as I can stuff underneath as possible.  We open the garage whenever we are home and the sun is out.  I roll some of the pots out from underneath there hiding spots to get some sun.

Hibernating Succulents

This is the left side of our garage if you are facing the opening.  This table is pretty big and really sturdy.  Lot's of room underneath also.  You can't see in this shot but continuing down into the garage I have potted plants hanging out on rolling chairs, old trunks, whatever has an empty space to place something.

Madagascar Palm

This last year I repotted this Madagascar Palm plant.  And by the looks of it's continued growth I will be repotting it again soon.  As you have probably noticed most of my larger potted plants are on rolling platforms.  I think this next year I may try to make my own.  The ones you buy in the stores don't last long.  The plastic wheels collapse under the weight of the pot.


Underneath the frost cloth is my opuntia cresting microdasys.  It always takes a hit this time of year.  I am hoping this time will be better.


This is the long skinny planter behind my gazebo.  Boy was it tough covering this up.  But well worth the effort.  I don't usually get it this covered and I lose a lot of succulents.  Hopefully this year I will be luckier.


This is my front porch.  It has this little protected corner.  I put a bunch of my smaller pots of succulents next to the house in this corner.  I am crossing my fingers on this one cause some of these potted plants look really great.


This is my front planter.  First thing I did was take all of the neighbors leaves and pile them on top of my plants.  I did the same thing last year.  It worked out great.  I then covered them with the largest frost cloth I could find.  It's hard to tell but it is anchored down with rocks.


This is the new planter I show'd you in a previous post.  I have covered it just like the other's but no leaves.  It's pretty funny but this one is anchored with some old ski racks.  You can see one in the front by the lights.  I am glad they are still coming to some use.  LOL

Echeveria Gibbiflora hybrid

Echeveria gibbiflora
Here is one of my garage hibernator's.  This giant is the echeveria I deadheaded just before the cool weather started.  It's called echeveria gibbiflora.  It was so crooked I just had to.  It is already starting to turn toward the sun but the leaves are getting a bit floppy.  I don't know if it's the cold or if it needs water.  It is in the garage now in semi-hibernation.  What do you think?  By the way I did give it some water and think it is a bit better.  Don't want to give it to much this time of year.

Sedum nussbaumerianum

Sedum nussbaumerianum
I'm going to end this post with the above gorgeous copper colored sedum.  It is also hibernating in the the garage.  All my succulents and myself are waiting....just waiting for the warmer weather.  In the meantime I am hunkering down in front of my heater we put in the living room and drinking hot cocoa.  Dreaming of sugar plums shaped like........succulents.  LOL

Hope everyone is keeping warm and is happy and healthy.  Have a wonderful holiday season and hope everyone is spending time with their friends and family at this time of year.

Until later:

It's Another Beautiful Day! 


Rohrerbot said...

Happy Holidays to you as well. I think this should work. Watch the reports for wind because that can topple stands if they aren't weighed down properly. In Tucson, we can get super strong wind tonight....that will pick up a gazebo and throw it on its side. The lights are great. You've taken great steps to cover the cactus and succulents up. Just monitor the weather reports and hopefully your babies will make it through the cold temps. This is a busy time of year. I'll be taking your advice and relaxing a bit on the blogging after the new year to spend some quality time with the family. Have a good weekend! Chris

Debra Lee Baldwin said...

So many good ideas here! Like using fallen leaves, and putting a thermometer inside as well as outside the shelter. The plants will soon go dormant if they aren't already. Spring will be here before you know it! In the meantime, may their sleep be toasty and uninterrupted. (Yours too!) Happy holidays.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Thank you so much Robert I will definitely be keeping watch and look out for those winds. That is what I am afraid of.

And thank you Debra! I was hoping you liked my ideas. The thermometer was my husbands idea. The leaves I have done for a couple of years. It's a pain in the butt to remove them in the spring but well worth it. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to you too!

Becc said...

great post thanks Candy, what are the temperatures you are gearing up for?

Gerhard Bock said...

Candy, your gazebo looks fantastic! I think the 5° degree difference between inside and outside will make all the difference. If I had the space, I'd set up something very similar.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

:: Bamboo and More ::

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Well Becc we have quite a few nites that are 32 degrees. And a couple of times we get them in the 20's. The last couple of years anyway. We don't get any snow. Yea!

Thanks Gerhard I hope it all does the trick. I hope you and your family have a wonderful happy and safe holiday season.

Matt and Bobbie said...

your greenhouse-gazebo looks fantastic! great idea. I hope it holds up for the winter. All your succulents look beautiful--I wish mine look that good this time of year.

I am wondering about the frost cloth you put over many of your do they get sunlight, and do you leave it on all winter?

Have a great holiday!

Mandy said...

What a great idea. You're going to be so happy with your gazebo greenhouse, as will your succulents! After seeing how well a light worked for my friend, I'm also trying out one of those halogen work lamps from Home Depot on the nights that really aren't cold enough for the heater, but could use a little extra warmth. They put out just enough heat to keep the chill off and I love the giant ball of light in the backyard! I use the frost paper too, do you take yours off? I think I did, but then here it can freeze one day and be in the 60's the next.

Your collection is fabulous!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Hi Matt and Bobbie! When they are under the green frost paper they don't get much light. But I do try to take them off if we are going to have some sunny days in a row and evenings that won't freeze. I have to keep watching the weather.

Thank you! And Mandy I know what you mean by the temperature fluctuations. It can be crazy. Like I said above I try to take the cloth off when I can. And your light sounds like it would give off way more heat than mine. They don't make any difference at all I am pretty sure.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening! said...

If the duct tape doesn't hold up (for instance if it gets humid in there), try those jumbo binder clips you can find at any office supply store. They work great!

You may want to consider a heatsink of some sort -- like a dark plastic garbage can full of water. It will absorb heat in the daytime and slowly release it at night.

(I'm glad I'm not the only one who runs out of garage space over the winter!)

Megan said...

Wholly smokes! That's true succulent love. It did get a little frosty here a couple days ago :)

romance-of-roses said...

Hello, great to have you back. Guess what on the card table you have a blue pot, think my son made it. He used to own a pottery company and they made this particular style, so his company most likely made it and then of course they would sell to everyone else.I have one in blue also but larger. Hugs...Lu

Diane AZ said...

So sweet how you tucked in your succulents so they'll be snug and comfy for the winter. I love the glowing gazebo nightlight effect!

Evelyn said...

Hi Candy
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

What a beautiful succulent garden you have! :) xo

JH said...

Can you tell me where you got those three string Christmas lights or what brand they are? I'm desperately trying to find some without any luck! Thanks!

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Hi JH! Sorry to be late. I got them a few years ago at Walmart! I looked this year and I didn't see any. Some of mine have burned out and have to be removed.