Monday, March 8, 2010

Succulent Serial Killing

I admit..... I kill succulents..... not on purpose of course....  I absolutely love succulents!  I adore their shapes, textures, and colors.  I pretty much love everything about them, but for some reason in my possession most succulents die - even the resilient ones.  Except this kalanchoe, which I've had forever, but I don't really consider it a succulent since it seems to survive. 

 

It blooms every year for me and is just starting to set bloom now.  


I've even done well propagating it.  See the plant in the top center in the photo below.  This is just one of the many I've propagated from this plant - which are super easy to propagate anyway.


You'll also notice the jade plant and the Christmas Cactus - yes both still alive.  The jade plant is another succulent I seem to do well with, but the Christmas Cactus.... well I've only had it a few months so I'm not sure if that counts yet.

I bought this paddle plant (which is a member of the kalanchoe) at the Rhode Island Flower Show 2 weeks ago.  I've wanted one of these plants for a long time, but was too afraid to buy one for fear I'd kill it too.  But, when I read that it is a member of the kalanchoe family I figured that I'd give it try.  We'll see... I've only had it 2 weeks.

 

Here is another succulent that is doing OK.... I don't know what kind it is but I'm sure one of you wonderful bloggers does.  I bought it as a tiny plant last summer for a dish garden.... it's the sole surviving member... *sigh*.  Hey maybe it's another kalanchoe! ..... I think not.....


Here's are 2 more plants I bought at the flower show....  keeping my fingers crossed with them.  Someone please tell me what they are since they came without tags.

 

 

This one I bought about a year ago.  Is this a Hen and Chicks?  It has looked pretty bad in the past but all of a sudden it seems to have picked up and is growing babies - this was right after it bloomed!  Yup! I'm excited!



I think I'm doing all the right with these succulents.  I don't water them often...... I wait until they are very dry.  I transplant using them cactus potting soil in pots that have drain holes and they are in a west facing window.

 

I have the most difficulty growing varieties of sedum, which should be pretty foolproof, but sedum especially seem to die as soon as they are near me.  I've tried planting them outside, inside, in pots....  I've tried to talking to them.... begging them to stay alive..... even bribing them.... OK not really but you get the picture!  The only thing I can think of is that I may have a problem with low light. Most of my yard is partial sun and shady.  The only really sunny spots are reserved for the veggie garden and perennial flower bed.  There's not much direct sun coming through the house and I have no south facing windows - only west.  

I welcome all and any advice from you succulent experts.  Boy can I use it!

15 comments:

Angel said...

Just stopped by to say "HI",it looks like you are not doing as badly as you seem to think you are doing with those succulents. Smile Sorry I can't help you out in that department...... but they don't look bad to me! I usually try & stick with what I know does well in the house,and once in a while I live dangerously and try something new. Sometimes it works, sometimes not! Smiles to you ,have a great day!

Michelle@Fromhousetohome said...

I haven't had much luck with them either. I'm not sure why but most things die in my care. I received a bulb kit as a gift for Christmas and panicked but I actually got it to grow. I was so proud of myself. lol
~Michelle

Kiki said...

Wow..what a gorgeous variety...so lovely! I have had some luck and sometimes not so good! Yours are beautiful!
Kiki~

tina said...

Hi Jackie, First of all I want to say congrats on growing kalanchoe. I grew it in Germany in my office and that baby bloomed like crazy for me in a southern facing window. That was the trick. No sun here so no kalanchoes for me:( My daughter has a large paddle plant planted in one of my hypertufa pots. So far hers is doing great. Have you tried a cactus potting mix? I usually have good luck with this which is heavier yet grainier and doesn't compact. I also use the porous pots like clay or cement (hypertufa). Some sedums do ok with low light but most do need sun so find the sunniest spot you can. If you know someone who has hen and chicks, get them to share with you, put them in a trough with some cactus mix and leave outside and forget. They'll grow well there. Good luck!

The Garden Ms. S said...

I wish I could offer help, but I too am terminal to succulents. I can't help but overwater them!

Sounds like you are doing all the right things - best of luck! :)

Mildred said...

I have never had any luck growing anything in a pot; your plants all look very good to me. Here in Georgia, sedums grow wonderfully for me outdoors. My favorite variety is "Autumn Joy." They do like full sun. They are very compact plants; maybe you could put a few around the perimeter of your sunny vegetable patch. You can break off a piece and just stick it in the dirt, and it will grow. I never water mine. They get pretty rose colored tops in the Autumn and the butterflies/bees love them. Maybe this helps a little. Hope you enjoy your week.

RainGardener said...

Jackie don't feel all alone - I seem to kill them too. I bought a bunch of really neat looking ones for in the house and they are all gone except for the Kalanchoe and it's not looking that great at this point. I figured I watered them too much. The jade isn't looking that great here either. I do better outside although not that much. Error! Error! Error!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Most houseplants die for me, I think I just forget about them until it's too late. Your plants all look very healthy and pretty. Good luck with the new ones!

Carrie said...

Well goodness - don't look at me. I do not own 1 indoor plant at all, I have the touch of death. I find your collection very impressive.

Thank you for the comment yesterday, it was such a terrible day and my comment box give me so much strength. Thank you for caring xxx

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Jackie~~ Your photos are lovely.

It's good to know I'm not the only one that struggles with succulents. I believe you've got an Aeonium, the sixth photo. For the life of me I can't keep mine alive and truthfully I don't care anymore. I just have to stop buying them with hopes that "this time will be different." How much money do I have to throw down the drain before it sinks in? LOL

Outdoor sedums have a little better survival rate. Probably because I stay clear.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Looks to me like you do great with succulents! I love the paddle plant also, good luck with it.

I enjoy succulents also, I have all kinds of Christmas cactus.

sweet bay said...

No advise, just stopped to commiserate -- I've done my share of serial killing too.

Angel said...

Hi Jackie! I hope you check your comments often because I just wanted to let you know I got my first Award today! ; and I have chosen to pass it along to you for your Welcoming Spirit when I first began blogging.
Come see me @ http://angel-mygardencottage.blogspot.com/ or go to my main blog for the rules.

Darla said...

The best advice I have is ignore, ignore, ignore..

teresa said...

For someone who can't grow succulents, you have a wonderful collection of them. I have always been the same way with them too. lately my luck is a bit better. I think the secret is to not water them much. Or maybe water them more. see, same boat as you. They look good to me.