08 September, 2015

Spring Cleaning!

Now that the warm weather is on its way, our succulents will be waking up from their sleepy winter and starting to grow. Spring is the start of their prime growing season (well, most species anyway) and is the perfect time to give some attention to those sad looking succulent pots.

Should I Re-pot?

The decision to re-pot succulents should not be as daunting as you think. If it doesn't look as healthy as it once did, or it doesn't seem to be to actively growing, then it may be the time to re-pot. They will LOVE you for it. All that extra nutrition and aeration around their roots will get them on the right track to producing some amazing new foliage.

How to Re-pot your Succulents:

  1. Remove any dead leaves and/or give your succulent a light pruning.
  2. To get your succulent out of the pot - Tip it upside down, place your hand under the plant and tap the edge of the pot onto a hard surface until it simply pops out. Try not to pull it out, there is no need, it will come out after a few taps.
  3. Give the roots a light pruning as well - this will encourage new root growth.
  4. Place into your new pot a good quality, well draining cacti and succulent potting mix. You want enough in there so when you place your succulent, the base of the plant is level to just under the top of the pot.
  5. Fill in the gaps with your potting mix, being sure to not press down the mix. This will only compress the soil in the pot and reduce their root growth. Simply tap the pot on the ground instead to get the mix into all the nooks and crannies.
  6. Fertilise with a control release fertiliser.
  7. Water in well.
  8. Mulching is a great idea - You can use gravel, pebbles, a wood mulch - anything you like. Mulch is a great way to keep the roots of your succulent cool during the hot months and help the soil retain water (which means less watering for you!)

No Time to Re-pot?

If you think a re-pot is not needed, or you simply just don't have the time, there are still a few things you can do that your succulents will love you for:

  1. Are they water repellent? Watering sparingly over the winter period is great for succulents, but it may have dried out the potting mix they are in and made it water repellent. Does the water just sit on top? If this is the case, you can use a soil wetting agent. They usually come in liquid form and are available at all independent nurseries.
  2. Pruning - A light pruning will encourage new growth and create a more compact plant. With your rosette succulents, simply remove the dead under leaves.
  3. Fertilise - You can use a combination of seaweed solution and a blood and blone liquid fertiliser to give your succulents a real boost. Now is also a great time to reapply a control release fertiliser.

With just a little bit of effort, your succulents will have the best chance during this peak growing season, and you will be rewarded with lush new growth and maybe even some spectacular flowers. Happy Gardening!