Succulents....cultivation

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Snorky85, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Snorky85

    Snorky85 Total Gardener

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    Hello all,

    Looking for some expert advice on how to cultivate succulents. Last year I bought a few sempervivums and they have exploded with babies! I've really taken a liking to them, along with a few alpines that I'd bought at shineyland and other places. I also bought a few more this year from RHS Chatsworth.

    I'm thinking about cultivating them for sale to raise money for charity (it will be a doggy or wildlife charity). I was hoping to get some tips/advice so I can get a good headstart, rather than trial and error. Info I'd like to know:

    Best compost type (I'd heard JI no.2)?
    Do I mix soil with perlite or similar?
    When is the best time to start?
    Can they be grown from seed?
    Do they need feeding?
    What are the optimum conditions for growth - temperature, light, moisture etc?
    Any ideas where good value terracotta planters can be obtained from?
    Are there any pest/insects/diseases I should be aware of? (mine haven't suffered any as far as I know?!)
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    I would just use something like JI as you say, mixed with 50% grit.

    Sempervivums will grow in pretty much any compost but something not too rich and with good drainage stops them growing big and out of character.
    Feeding needs to be kept to just a minimum.

    Most succulents are pretty easy going, although sempervivums are hardy , likewise sedums etc. there are a large amount that prefer shelter from winter wet and even need to be frost free.

    Seed growing is possible but can be a bit slow in the early stages, off sets or cuttings are much faster.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Really need to know which specific plants you are intending to grow/propagate.:smile:
       
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      • Snorky85

        Snorky85 Total Gardener

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        Thanks Pete. I've read that you cut off the "babies" and let them dry/callous over for a few days. It then says you can sprout roots in water but can also plant them. Have you tried both methods and if so, which do you think works better?

        Sounds like seed growing will be too slow.

        Do you reckon it is worth buying a tray of mixed succulents and grow them from that?
         
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        • Snorky85

          Snorky85 Total Gardener

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          Yes - I should go out and take photos of what I have got and work out what they all are. ha ha. I will do that when/if it ever stops raining.
           
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          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Lucky to have Surreal Succulents not too far from me plus the climate to grow them outside.:)
            I grow aeoniums and echeverias mainly and they grow pretty fast.
            I use John innes .....2 or 3, I prefer 3.....mixed with grit; probably 20% or so. I also mulch with a layer of grit. I water very sparingly.
            Many places supply succulents now....Lidl for example.....and they can be pretty cheap. This way you can see what you like and plant up just a couple or a few.
            Research a little about individual succulents and their particular requirements.....some prefer full sun and some a little shade.:)
             
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            • Snorky85

              Snorky85 Total Gardener

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              EF5D4606-10DA-472C-A175-1A31DAF73E6B.jpeg76178FCD-2FB9-4440-BA26-F074EA176186.jpeg71A93481-70FF-452F-8DB3-AF02A3DF0AF7.jpegE044462B-811A-4A79-AB13-E5B50269AD2B.jpeg971E3D15-5369-402C-B0EC-B2641E9AB079.jpegB3699C17-1A18-4805-92A6-175DCE985A8D.jpegBA876572-3A8D-4B75-AB9A-1417365F7B56.jpegF1289FE7-5133-41B1-AA5B-6614845F063F.jpeg7E6FE89A-705E-4FF8-A535-A629A2F2E0F0.jpegC8251122-5542-48B3-A3BA-E982CDE4C278.jpegF783F6AC-899C-4273-9A9E-02FC2318A79E.jpeg1575098A-3774-4966-89F7-40541E8E94F4.jpeg A few pics...
               
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              • Snorky85

                Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  Look like you have mostly pretty hardy stuff there, the cacti and the aeoniums are probably the exception to that and require frost free winter treatment.
                  Looks like an echeveria 6 pic from last which will be best frost free also.
                   
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                  • Snorky85

                    Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                    Ah I kept that in the greenhouse over winter and have hardly touched it-but it flowered, even though it has grown a bit straggly. Is that a good one to cultivate?
                     
                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Well, most are very easy to propagate, just remove a rosette or stem, leave it for a couple of days and then pot up in a gritty compost in pots that are not over large.
                    Clay pots always look better I think.

                    But its really a case of just having a go,as I say, they are very easy plants in the main and not fussy given good drainage and sunshine.
                     
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                    • Verdun

                      Verdun Passionate gardener

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                      Some of those....sedum spurium for one....are not really succulents in the sense that aeoniums, echeverias are. This sedum will spread and spread and is totally hardy ...it is really a ground cover plant Snorky :)
                       
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                      • pete

                        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                        Sorry I missed this post Snorky.

                        Well, apart from maybe Echeverias, and the sempervivums I think you will struggle to get plants rooted and growing well this year to sell.
                        How many are you looking to propagate.

                        Realistically I'd say root this year and sell next spring early summer, you might have a few ready by late summer this year.
                         
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                        • Snorky85

                          Snorky85 Total Gardener

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                          @pete ah thank you, that’s good as was thinking of selling them early next year so should work out ok then. :) I’m in no rush.
                           
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                          • andrews

                            andrews Super Gardener

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                            Echiverias and similar will grow from a leaf. If the leaf breaks off, lay it on top of a dry gritty mix and don't water - mist every now and then. Leave it in sun but not blasted by sun and a new plant will form from the base of the leaf. The 'mother' leaf will feed the new plant and then wither away. I'll try and put pics up tomorrow of some that we did. This is a slow process but will give you plants for next year.

                            I'm growing echeveria from seed and it is really slow going. Very small plants still from seeds sown on Christmas day.

                            Aeoniums - chop the top off, let the rosette callous and pot into gritty mix. the top of the aeonium stem will then branch, giving you two more rosettes to harvest - just keep repeating the process from your 'stock' plant.

                            Sedum - just break a bit off and stick it in gritty mix - it will grow.
                             
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