Grow Your Own: Succulents

Succulents are easily propagated from cuttings and leaves. Jim Love, a local succulent expert from the Men’s Garden Club, says to just put fresh succulent cuttings aside and forget about them for a few weeks. When you see tiny roots start to grow, plant it in good garden soil, and again, leave it alone for a while before watering it. I have used this method many times in the past few years with great success. I’ve also placed succulent leaves on top of the soil in a sheltered pot. In a few weeks or possibly longer, small plantlets sprout from the edge of the leaf where it was attached to the stem. Growing new plants this way allows me to share them with my gardening friends and create dish gardens to give as gifts.

There are far too many species of succulents to even list them in this column, much less describe them. You might be surprised at some plants you know that are succulents. There’s a great website, www.succulentguide.com, to help you learn about the many species of this remarkable plant.

The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World is also an excellent resource, with over 750 color pictures to whet your appetite. Another good book is The Garden Succulents Primer, which is just as well-organized with beautiful pictures.

Enjoy the pictures that accompany this month’s column. Where possible, I’ve provided both the common and the botanical names for each plant to help you find the ones that interest you.

If you haven’t looked at succulents in a while, why not take a look at some varieties you haven’t seen before? With some information, a vigilant shopping eye, or a gardening friend who grows and shares them, you may begin to enjoy growing your own favorite succulents as much as I do.

About Aline Clement

Aline Clement is a master gardener with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS.