Friday, November 22, 2013

Growing Succulents in Glass

I made the coolest discovery recently.   I had heard that succulents could grow without dirt but had never tried it.  I have set cutting's out for an extended period of time and seen roots growing.  I know that many of you have found cuttings with babies laying on cement like I have.  Succulents are so cool aren't they!  And I have seen succulents growing in driftwood at different nurseries.  The roots burrowing into the soft wood.  But I have never tried to grow in a non organic material.  

A couple of months ago I was asked to speak at a woman's group.  I brought some succulent potting's and as just a pretty addition I put a cutting of Graptosedum 'Ghosty' in some purple glass that filled a shallow glass like vase.  It really looked pretty so when I brought it home I kept it.  Since the glass container didn't have a hole in it I didn't water it very often.

Graptosedum Ghosty

This is what it looked like right after I brought it home.  So I have kept it under the gazebo in my backyard all this time and just watched it.  It only got filtered light all day but the plant I cut it from gets more light and gave off tons of babies.  But before I knew it this cutting started to grow!  Since I am starting to put succulents away for the winter I needed to pop out this cutting and put it in the ground.

Empty vase

Here is the shallow vase after I removed the cutting.  I can still use the glass but there is some missing because I had filled it almost to the edge.

Craptosedum Ghosty

So here is the extra glass.  Look how much the cutting has grown!  It is a little elongated because it wasn't getting as much light.  But it is very healthy!

Roots entangled in glass

So wow!  Look at how the roots just grabbed a hold of the glass.  Simply amazing to me and now I think I will take the experiment a bit farther.  I am going to plant a few succulents in a bunch of glass and see what happens.  I would like to know if they will act the same.  Would this keep mealy bugs at bay?  Will they give off pups?  And just think, it makes the drainage excellent.  Pretty interesting don't you think?  I will let you know what happens.  But may have to wait till spring to start this experiment.

Have a great weekend!  Remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day! 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Revamp your Outdoor Planters

Have you ever done something and when you finished you weren't really sure if you liked it or not?  In October of 2011 my husband removed huge bushes of iris from a side planter in the front of our home.  We dug out all the roots and old soil and replaced it with new.  I added a lot of dry stall since it was going to be a succulent bed.  I added a bunch of plants just in time for winter to set in.  Here is what it looked like and the post from back then.  The next year I added more plants and changed things a little!

March 2012 New planter

This was in March of 2012.  I don't know what I was thinking when I planted the cactus in a circle.  I guess I should have added a bunch of rocks and placed them more naturally.  So to me they stood out.  And I didn't like plants in the pouring pot . So I yanked up all the plants I used and put just Echeveria imbricata.  I knew that would do really well there.

Nov 2012 looking pretty good

This was November of 2012.  We used the lava rocks to weigh down the frost cloth when we put it over the planter.  Still not sure what to change except that I like the pouring pot better.

3/15/13 front planter

March of 2013 and the aloe is blooming and things are getting big.  But the cactus aren't really doing very well.  The rest of the succulents want more water and these are just not compatible with the rest.  Should have mounded the dirt here or something so the water would drain.

3/15/13 planter

Another view at this time.  I love the Sedum Adolphii in this bed.  It still looks glorious and I take many cuttings from it.

3/15/13 flowing pot

The pouring pot had filled in and I liked the look.  The Sempervivums I planted in this bed did not do good at all.  I believe it got too much sun.
3/15/13 part of planter and flowing pot

Not long after this photo was taken the two barrel cactus died.  I should have seen they were in distress and pulled them out.  I did pull the other ones out and planted them elsewhere.  And as you can see the sedums to the left of the pouring pot are starting to invade the stream.

Yanking it all out Nov 13

So last weekend I decided that before the cold set in I would redo a big part of this planter.  My back is doing so much better so I have been in the garden a lot.  I have decided to put a lot of plants in the ground so they will be safe from the cold.  So far my planters do really well covered with the frost cloth.  Better than in the garage.  So I started yanking out and thinning plants!

What a mess Nov 13

What a mess I am making!  I laid some plastic on the grass beyond the planter so I could put plants on it that I dug up.  As you can see I removed the Agave stricta.  This succulent will multiply like crazy so I wanted to get it out before this happened.  And once I was able to get into this planter more I found out that the Aloe saponaria had multiplied like crazy.  So I pulled out five babies and put them in separate pots to sell.

What a mess working on planter Nov 13

I worked on this project for two days!

Front view almost done Nov 13

I yanked a bunch of sedum from the left of the pouring pot and put cuttings of Echeveria imbricata in there to make it larger.  I filled in some spots in the back with Echeverias, a large clump of Faucaria tigrina and a beautiful Crassula falcata 'Propeller Plant'.  Then I started to add rock to form my 'river'.

Flowing pot expanded Nov 13

Here is a view of the pouring pot with the extended left side.  Hopefully the newly planted side will catch up with the right pretty quick.

Finished revamped front side planter Nov 2013

Here is the planter completed.  The river is made up of white rocks with alternating Echeverias Elegans and Morning light.  I used a dark smooth river rock as top cover on the rest of the planter.

Part of revamped planter Nov 13

Here is a photo of a section I really like.

Finished revamped front planter in Nov 13

All done!  Wheew!

Working on planter Nov 13

Time for a short break and then it is time to revamp another planter.
So do you have a planter not to your liking?  If not......re do it!

Until next time:

It's Another Beautiful Day!





Monday, November 4, 2013

Oops!

As many of you know I have a you tube video entitled How to Drill Holes in Pots.  And I have drilled countless pots with this method.  I had only broken one pot until the other day when it happened again.  And darn if it didn't happen to a really cool pot.  So if you watch the video you can see that at the end you pretty much hit the vessel with your drill.  It's hard to avoid this.  It's normally not a problem but this vessel had a very thin bottom as compared to the rest of the vase (pot).  So oops, I broke through the bottom!
  
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It broke the whole bottom!

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You can see the the top of this vessel is a bit smaller than the bottom.  So I really didn't want to throw it away, I really liked the color and shape.  And on the side (which you can't see here are handles).  What to do, what to do!???  Then it hit me!  Patch it!

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I keep all kind and types of saucers handy.  Not sure why except that I can't seem to throw them away.  Now I know why.  They could be good for something.  The first one I tried was too big to go in the top and then I found this one.    So I popped it in the pot to see if it would work.

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Can you believe how well it fit!  But.....still some areas around the edge where dirt could go through.  And you can see that I drilled a hole in the saucer.  Still need that drainage.  But what am I going to do about the leak around the saucer?

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I used some screen door material over the hole first!

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Then I placed the saucer on top of the screen.  Now we are in business and no leaking!

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Dirt, plants and Walaaaa!  Now would you have thrown this cool pot away?
There is always a solution if you just use your imagination!

And:

It's Another Beautiful Day!