Always, Katie: Home Sweet Home: Succulent Window Garden

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Sweet Home: Succulent Window Garden

Like just about everyone else on the internet, I am crazy about succulents!  When it comes to houseplants...  I have a very particular set of skills... skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for plants that require regular care and water.  I am the Bryan Mills of house plants.  I will find them... and I will kill them.

Credit: IMDb
But succulents!  They PREFER it if you forget to water them!  And they come in all kinds of varieties... a bunch of colors and color combos, all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Love it!  Also, I'm fascinated by the idea of propagating them (baby anything is on my mind lately, go figure), and I love that one plant (as if you could buy just one) could eventually turn in to a whole garden with its offspring. :-)  

We have this big window ledge-type-thing on the landing of the steps to our basement.  It's big and wide and empty, and it gets quite a bit of light, so I've been daydreaming of filling it with succulents since we moved in here.  I've had a Pinterest board for several months with a bunch of inspiration, as well as information on planting, caring for, and propogating them. 

When we got back from Barbados a few weeks ago, my wonderful inlaws gave us a big planter of several succulents, which really put the bee in my bonnet to fill up that window sill! Then about a week later, the tiny little succulents at Kroger went on sale for $1.79 (and $1.99 for slightly larger plants), and I had to snatch some up.  And by some, I mean... a lot.  Here was my haul from Kroger that day (for under $16!).

My mother-in-law had also been rooting some cuttings from one of her Christmas cacti, so I picked those up.  I had a few vases and other glass things I'd been hoarding to be succulent planters, so I grabbed some cactus dirt fom Lowe's (about $4-5), and two little bags of river rocks from the Dollar Tree ($1 each), and got to work.  I put a layer of river rocks in the bottom of each bowl/vase for better drainage (since none of my planters have holes in the bottom) and put a nice loose layer of cactus dirt on top. I gently pulled each succulent out of the pots they came in and shook off the (notoriously low-quality) dirt as gently as I could before repotting them in the fun, clear containers I'd prepared.  

The Christmas cactus cuttings are in a vase that I used to use when Ethan picked up flowers on the way home from work.  It was pretty crowded for even a modest bouquet, BUT I recently dug out the larger vase that we had full of glads on the altar at our wedding and promoted it to "because he loves me" flower holder.  My aloe still doesn't have a permanent home, but as soon as I can find the low square vases that held our reception centerpieces, it will live in one of those :-)  Some of the other containers came from clearance racks, Goodwill, and the Dollar Tree.  This was a really fairly inexpensive project - AND one of the succulents in the planter from my inlaws had already "had a baby" that I was able to fish out from under it... one of the ones from Kroger had THREE tiny babies that are currently in my succulent nursery, and some of the plants from the planter had leaves that were ready to remove and propagate, so I'm waiting to see how they do.  I love that my sweet little plants are already starting to "give back."  :-)

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