Experiments with Succulents and a Cactus

One of my neighbors has a nice planting of succulents - mostly echeverias. This week the squirrels started ripping them up and tossing the leaves around. I figure the plants won’t make it through our winters, so I’ve pocketed a few of the severed leaves. (the tougher echeverias can only take 5-6 hours at temps below 30 degrees before giving up the ghost) Maybe I can propagate some sprouts.

Of course, I don't have the climate for a 4 seasons succulent garden outdoors, but I really loved this video. The related blog, http://jardimdejosicardoso.blogspot.com/ is all in Portuguese but there are lots of pretty pictures and you can get the idea.

According to the experts on the internet, let the leaves dry and the cut ends scab over. When roots start to appear, lay the leaf on some well draining soil and dribble water on it occasionally. A tiny plant will sprout. I’m letting the leaves dry in a recycled cake pan under my herb lights.

The first two leaves to sprout got a cute little terra-cotta pot with some fast-draining cactus potting mix. After two days I gave them some water. So far so good.

I potted up a pad dropped by my eastern prickly pear. Maybe I will get lucky with that too. At this rate I'll need to set up a second light table in the basement, but is so nice to have plants to putter with in the winter. I might even get a chair and a radio for down there.