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Growing Succulents: Spring Guide

Hi everyone looks like it's getting warmer despite it's only mid-February. This week we do get upto 13 degrees with sunshine in London and I have been asked for some tips.  

Semi-dormant and full dormant

My plants don't usually go into dormant as I tend to keep above 5 degrees (although there are many nights when it's 0 degree). Semi-dormant plants will still get soft but probably less needy for water. I think I only water mine every 3 weeks. Full dormant succulents probably only need to water once a month but I don't think we will get full dormant succulents in UK but probably more likely in other colder Europe countries. Anyway if your area is starting to warm up let's say over 10 degrees with full sun daily, perhaps it's good time to wake them up. 

To wake them up give them a good water bath (like 5 seconds) during day time (ideally full sun), bring them outdoor and under shaded sun to dry. Make sure your pots have drainage hole. If they refuse to wake up, do it again a week later or once the soil is dry again. 

FYI indoor succulents would hardly go into semi-dormant unless you haven't been watering them for over the winter or they show no sign of growing/ etiolated or all closed up. 

Echeveria Vivace

Repot?

100% YES!

Spring is the best time to repot and prune the roots. Do you know that you are supposed to repot your succulents every few years especially they are root bound. I grow my succulents in soilless potting mix (think of desert) which means they don't get much nutrients and rely on you feeding them cactus food or change to new potting mix. I don't personally prefer to give plant food so I always go for latter option. Also it's a chance for you to prune their roots. I think I should probably write another blog on how to prune and repot the succulents. In short, they will get stronger and more hardy. Read here for my potting mix. 

Etiolated: Behead or not?

There are pros and cons on beheading them, you get two plants if you chop the head off and there are chances that you get more pups on the existing succulents too. Personally I don't like to behead my succulent unless it's starting to develop some rotten stem. I would normally remove the bottom leaves (save for leaf propagation or free gifts to customers) and slowly introduce them to outdoor sun. However if you decided to behead them, I have seen many people cover them with cinnamon powder on cuttings. Apparently cinnamon powder helps to kill the bacterias while providing natural rooting hormones. 

Lost stressed colours 

If you are growing your indoors 365 days a year without sunlight, the chances of your succulents getting stressed colours are little. You will probably get some blush colours if they are by the window sill facing the sun. Annex and greenhouse would be absolutely ideal. Again allow me to remind you, succulents get stressed with full sun + cold night + dry. 

        Even my Zesta lost some of her stressed colours despite being outdoor.

How to bring your indoor succulents to outdoor?

If your succulents haven't been getting any direct sun ( or little sun), it's important to know that they might get sun burned if you put them under direct sun. Yes I have many sunburned succies and I have no shame admitting them. Anyway all you have to do is slowly introduce them to the direct sun.

First of all, check the UV value from the weather forecast, if the UV index is below 2, you can bring them out during day time and under shade (PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!) for few days. If your succulents show no sign of sun burned then you can move them under the direct sun. I have to note that once your babies get sun burned, they will recover but with scars. It's really fine with me it just shows that they have been through alot.

Unless you just water your succulents, your succulent should stay as dry as possible.

Soil for Succulents, how to grow succulent, succulent for sale, succulent plant care, small succulent plant, flowering succulent, growing succulent

As you can see my jelly beans got little sun burned during summer.

Watering Frequency 

As usual, 'less is more' method. I would say water less(-er) during early spring unless the weather is really warm in your country (I'm looking at Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) you can pretty much water them more frequently; but not too often that the leaves start to be elongated than chubby. 

Ohh did I forget to mention that Spring is my favourite season? The full sun + cool night will stress them at no time and if your babies don't blush, perhaps there is something else you need to improve, say watering, sun, pot, soil mix.

New succulents?

Hell Yes!

In case you are new to gardening, if you start to see daffodils are perking up from the soil, it means time to stock up some new succulents! Not trying to upsell here but if you should know that I have a webstore selling rare succulents. 

Weather forecast

We do sometimes get extremely windy in UK with days of super gloomy weather. Therefore if you are growing your babies outdoor, please check your daily weather forecast, ie check the UV value, wind direction and speed. 

Mel's method?

As succies are generally low maintenance plants and I have started to adopt the 'lazy' method which means unless it's pouring continuously for days (which I would cover them) otherwise I pretty much just leave them uncover all day and night. As a result? the most stressed succies you've seen and enjoy the transformation! Ohh that including no watering too and let the rain does its job...

Mel's lazy method of growing succulent

Let me know if you have anything else I would like to add.

Til then, it's time to blush baby!

 

 

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