Best way to plant succulent garden

Best way to plant succulent garden


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Best way to plant succulent garden?

I have a small succulent garden that needs to be established. I started it indoors last year, but when I moved it outdoors in June of this year, it began to flop. I don't know what I've done wrong. It got three months of full sun and I've been tending it since then with a mix of cactus fertiliser and potting soil. I also put it on top of some rocks to act as a mat for it. But no luck. It's always in the same shape and the spikes of the cactus are bent at all the joints.

I planted a second garden that same year outdoors and it's thriving, but I'd like to bring a few of the succulents over to this one too. My question is what do I need to know to establish the succulents well. They're extremely sensitive to poor soil conditions, so I don't want to do something stupid that will kill them. I've been reading up on using tumbled stone as a mulch, as I think it will keep the soil moist, but am I right to expect a dense green mat of succulents? How should I approach it?

I'd prefer to plant the succulents as well as the cactus, if possible, but it's ok if I just focus on the cactus.

Re: best way to plant succulent garden?

It sounds like you may have potting soil too moist. Most of these are actually obligate xerophytes, which means they have little tolerance for soil too moist.

Perhaps you might try not watering at all. I know when I first started in the desert, it was so hot that I'd water plants, only to watch them die in the heat. One year, I left my cactus trays out on the porch until they were fully dry. (Just kidding...kind of.)

When you get your new succulent pots, water them only a bit with a spray bottle or misting mist. Then, just let them sit in that state, and enjoy your new succulents. In about a month, you can start watering again.

Also, make sure your soil is neither too loose nor too dry, but somewhere in between.

Re: best way to plant succulent garden?

Curtis: Welcome to ATS and please do not worry. It took a couple of years before I started to lose plants I planted. If you learn what you can and if there is something to learn, it will be for your better in the long run. It takes patience and time but I can assure you that it is an experience that will be one that you will learn something from. There is no way to mess up a good thing that you have worked for. Enjoy your time here and we'll be glad to help you on some questions. Take care.

Re: best way to plant succulent garden?

One other thing to note is that succulents that are placed in direct sun require a slightly drier environment than those that are put in the shade. I had a very limited time to work with and the environment was such that I couldn't do very much. When I pulled up the pots, I noticed that the roots were already starting to die.

Re: best way to plant succulent garden?

Thanks, Brian. I appreciate the encouragement. When I bought this garden, I had the intention of waiting until I had the time to take care of it, but things got a little overwhelming in June. So far the only thing I've done is buy some cactus food for it. The problem seems to be I bought too much. It's already started to flop more.

Now I'm pondering moving it to a bigger pot, so that I can water it regularly and to give it a chance to sort itself out before planting in the new garden. I think I might give it up for this season, but will bring it back in the spring, and keep it on top of the rocks as suggested, and wait to see what happens. Thanks for the other information.

Re: best way to plant succulent garden?

Whoops, I thought you were supposed to wait for your plants to dry out for a month before planting them.

You can do this when the soil is very wet or cold, but not right after you plant. When you water in hot weather, use a spritz bottle or hose.

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One other thing to note is that succulents that are placed in direct sun require a slightly drier environment than those that are put in the shade.

Not true.

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I had a very limited time to work with and the environment was such that I couldn't do very much. When I pulled up the pots, I noticed that the roots were already starting to die.

Did you understand how to use a potted succulent plant? Succulents like to be grown in potting soil with high levels of organic material in it. Not just a bag of dirt with compost in it.

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Now I'm pondering moving it to a bigger pot, so that I can water it regularly and to give it a chance to sort itself out before planting in the new garden.

Yes, you could do that, but you need to keep the potting soil always slightly damp and mist the plant during dry periods with water and keep the plant well watered during periods of heavy watering. It needs to be lightly planted in soil so that it gets some root hairs to help with its thirst.

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I think I might give it up for this season, but will bring it back in the spring, and keep it on top of the rocks as suggested, and wait to see what happens.

Sounds good.

My old succulents are doing well, but I have only had them for a few months so they aren't as large as yours.

Re: best way to plant succulent garden?

Lorraine: Thanks for the welcome. I'm looking forward to talking to some other garden