A succulent Dish Garden with decorative rocks. Photo by David Austin

Succulents are all the rage

What’s a succulent?

One of the latest crazes in gardening is growing succulents. Anyone that has collected a few usually finds themselves hooked. They come in all shapes sizes and colors and the ease of growing them can be unmatched. If you aren’t sure what succulents are, they are basically any plant with fleshy stems or leaves that hold water. From the Desert Rose, with its fleshy trunk and striking flowers to the cactus with its thorny persona and its durable nature, succulents come in many forms.  They have other names like sedum, kalanchoe, echeveria, agave, aloe, and crasulla, just to name a few. Common names like Burros tail, Hen and Chicks, Jade plant may be more familiar. What they all have in common is they don’t need too much water and like vegetable plants, most do best with at least 4-6 hours of sunlight. Many are cold sensitive but others can be cold hardy.

A row of newly rooted succulent leaves and the new plants forming from them.

A row of newly rooted succulent leaves and the new plants forming from them.

Easy to make

Another reason people seem to like them is that they are easy to start new ones and very low maintenance to care for. They can be started from seeds but more commonly are reproduced by vegetative rooting. Rooting a cutting or a leaf is fairly easy with most varieties. The trick is letting them cure before putting them in soil. Not letting them cure is a common mistake made by people rooting the popular Frangipani plant, which is one of the larger succulents.

Come and learn

If you want to learn more about starting and caring for succulents; come to our November 17th class in Sebring. Click here to find out more and purchase a ticket to reserve your spot. You’ll learn a lot and the class includes making and taking home your own miniature succulent planter. It’s on the same day as our Highlands County Master Gardener Garden Festival and Plant Sale and a great way to end your day at the festival. Click here to watch the Garden Festival movie trailer. The succulent class is $20 but we have other free classes that day on Growing Orchids, Landscape Cold Protection, and  Composting with Earthworms. That’s the news from the Hometown Gardener.

Need answers?

Have a plant problem, a bug to ID, or any other horticulture related problem? Come see us at the Master Gardener help desk in the UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension office. We are at 4509 George Blvd., Sebring in the Bert Harris Agricultural Civic Center. Master Gardeners are on duty from 9:30 to 3:30, Monday through Friday.

Like my Hometown Gardener page on Facebook and stay up with the latest gardening info in Florida’s Heartland.

Read Highlands County Extensions other blogs at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/highlandsco/

Save the Date for the 2018 Garden Festival and Plant Sale by the Highlands County Master Gardeners. November 17th at the Bert J Harris Agricultural Civic Center in Sebring, Fl. Watch the trailer! For information or to be a vendor email me at davidaustin@ufl.edu

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