Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Succulent Care & Feeding

Succulents, Garden dilemmas Ask Mary Stone, Garden tips, Gardening tips, Plant wedding favors

Hello Fellow Readers, I had the privilege of helping Holly and Joao of Montclair with plant decorations to also serve as gifts for attendees of their upcoming nuptials. While chatting with Patti of Little Big Farm here in Blairstown she suggested succulents. They’re very trendy, easy to take care of, and make a perfect houseplant that can spend summers outside. Succulent is not a botanical name but refers to plants with fleshy parts (leaves, stems, or roots) which store moisture in times of drought. I found flats of assorted succulents and we felt (plants have feelings too) compelled to provide a Care and Feeding label for adopters to take home.

Garden Pots, Garden Dilemmas Ask Mary Stone, Succulents

Pot Heads Artisans Louise Vanderhaegen
and Kathy Jameson

Please don’t smother me with too much of a good thing. I stash my liquids on board much like a camel and therefore like dry, well-drained soil. When I’m completely dry, put me in the sink to run water through my soil until it comes out from my bottom. When I quit dripping return me to my saucer. No need to use a baby wipe, but I hate wet feet and if I sit in water I may get a fungus or rot. I like plenty of light but not intense direct sun as I’m prone to sunburn. If I discolor it’s too sunny. If I reach or lean it’s not sunny enough. You can take me outside to live when it’s warm but please don’t let me freeze. Feed me 3 to 4 times during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer; a 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to a quarter strength is ideal. I can make babies if you clip a section and stick me in soil – there’s a little more to it than that but this is G-rated. When I outgrow my pot, please replant me using a fast-draining mixture that’s designed for cacti or succulents. You’ll know it’s time if I look proportionally too big for my pot much like a muffin top stuffed into too small jeans. And I have no ego about going up a size so have at it baby. My care and feeding may sound intensive but in truth I’m an easy keeper, resilient and forgiving; makes for a good relationship don’t you think? Congratulations Holly & Joao! Garden dilemmas? askmarystone@gmail.com

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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