Four Ways to Overwinter Succulents

These four ways to overwinter succulents give you several options, depending on how cold it gets where you live. Most varieties can’t handle temps below 32 degrees F. These common winter conditions can lead to damage or death for dormant (not actively growing) succulents: — soggy soil (causes roots to rot) — excess rainfall (engorges…

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Ants in Your Succulents? What to Do

Rinse ants out of rootball (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Late summer into fall, Argentine ants like to nest in the root balls of potted plants. Haworthias, aloes (especially dwarf varieties), gasterias and gasteraloes are highly vulnerable. Ants overwinter in the soil and consume the plant’s juicy core. Leaves eventually fall off and the plant dies. Ants push soil up from below. The first line of defense is to…

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How to Stress Succulents (And Why You Should)

Kalanchoe luciae (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Plenty of sun brings out brilliant reds and yellows in certain succulents, but how much to “stress” the plants varies depending on where you live, the time of year, and the kind of plant. Give aloes and crassulas a bit more heat, sun or cold and less water and richer soil than they really want,…

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Summer Care for Succulents: Heat and Sun Concerns

Don’t let summer sun and heat harm your succulents! Heat generally isn’t a concern. Although some succulents (like sempervivums) tend not to thrive in temps above 80 or 90 degrees F, the majority are fine. It’s heat plus sun that’s the concern.

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How to Make Succulents Bloom

Is there a way to make succulents bloom? Yes and no. It partly depends on a plant’s age. It may not be large or mature enough to gear up for reproduction (which is the point of flowers). But there IS something you can do to make a succulent bloom if it’s just sitting there, sulking,…

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Agave Snout Weevil Prevention and Treatment

Agave snout weevil damage (c) Debra Lee Baldwin

Agave snout-nosed weevil is a half-inch-long black beetle with a downward-curving proboscis that enables it to pierce an agave’s core, where it lays its eggs. Grubs hatch, consume the agave’s heart, then burrow into the soil to pupate.

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Your Succulent Garden After a Rainstorm, Checklist

Rain at last! Could the California drought finally be over? Well, no. It’ll take hundreds of years for underground aquifers to refill. The snowpack isn’t adequate for our future water supply. On the bright side, our gardens are looking glorious…even those with mainly drought-tolerant plants. Perfect conditions for succulents are good drainage, annual rainfall less…

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Should You Let Your Flapjack Plants Bloom?

Should you let your flapjack plants (Kalanchoe luciae) bloom? I’m recommending no…but it’s not that cut-and-dried (no pun intended). Flapjack plant is a succulent that’s popular mainly because of the color of its leaves. (Shown above at Waterwise Botanicals nursery.) Like other succulents with overlapping leaves along a single stem, when Kalanchoe luciae blooms, the entire plant elongates. This is how…

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Succulents and Too Much Rain, A French Solution

Want to protect your succulents from too much rain? Here’s how the Jardin Zoologique Tropical in southeastern France keeps their succulents from becoming waterlogged during seasonal rainstorms. Corrugated fiberglass panels atop metal bars tent the plants so excess rain doesn’t soak the soil. The structures are tall enough to allow good air circulation, and the panels are translucent, enabling maximum sunlight to reach the plants. The…

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Prepare Your Succulents for Rainstorms

Snail on Succulent

During rainy weather, succulents, which come from arid climates, may rot. Stems or trunks turn squishy and collapse. It may be possible to take cuttings from healthy top growth and restart the plants—as I did after one rainy winter with aeoniums. Fortunately, the rest of my succulents came through fine, despite double normal rainfall. After…

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