Yay! Rain's on the way! Are your succulents ready? Succulents love rain but some may be in danger of getting too much.
Here's my own Succulent Rain Checklist:
-- Channel runoff away from low-lying garden beds.
-- Turn off automatic irrigation. Leave it off until the weather warms and the soil dries in spring.
Succulents in containers, outdoors:
-- Check to make sure drain holes aren't clogged. This sometimes happens when pots sit on the ground instead of atop rocks or pavement. Use a chopstick to test the hole (push upward from underneath).
-- If soil is already wet, move potted succulents under cover. A bit more rain probably won't hurt, but if succulents (especially rotund euphorbias and cacti) stay cold and wet for prolonged periods, they may rot.
Succulents in containers indoors and on covered patios:
-- Place them where they'll get a good soaking. Rain provides dissolved minerals and nitrogen, washes away dust that inhibits photosynthesis, flushes harmful salts from the soil, and boosts spring growth and flowering.
-- Set out buckets and pitchers to collect rainwater. Use it to water succulents you can't or didn't move.
-- It's seems obvious but is worth emphasizing: Don't set succulents in non-draining containers out in the rain.
After the rain:
-- Don't let sunshine scorch plants you've moved into the open. Haworthias, sansevierias, and anything variegated are especially vulnerable.
-- Check the forecast. If nighttime temps are predicted to drop to 32 degrees F or lower, late in the afternoon cover vulnerable succulents with bedsheets. Or use a lightweight, non-woven fabric sold in garden centers as "frost cloth" or "floating row cover." Succulents along walls or under eaves and trees are less likely to freeze than those beneath open sky.
What about hail?
There's not much you can do. In several seconds, soft-leaved succulents can get pitted by hail's impact. The good news is that spring growth usually hides the damage. You can try protecting soft-leaved succulents (like Agave attenuata) with frost cloth. I place an old window screen atop my thin-skinned, juicy-leaved Glottiphyllum linguiforme because hail makes it look terrible forever.
Related info on my site:
Caring for Your Succulent Garden After Rainstorms, Checklist Rain at last! Could the California drought finally be over? Well, no. It’ll take hundreds of years for underground aquifers...[Continue reading]
On my YouTube channel:
Did you find this newsletter helpful? Feel free to forward it to a friend! ~ Debra