Succulents are great plants to grow that require very little care : sun, good drainage and very little water. They can be used to create beautiful arrangements that will live forever.
Growing succulents from seeds is so much fun and easy when you follow these simple rules.
You will need to get some shallow sprouting trays with a lot of holes in them; this allows for water to drain quickly from the planting medium when your seedlings are very young and fragile.
You can use special cactus and succulent soil or you can simply use sand. If you do use sand make sure it is pesticide free.
Before you sow your seeds, make sure your sand or soil is wet. Succulent seeds are very tiny and will easily float with water to one corner of your tray before they have roots. If your medium is wet, they will stick to the sand and stay put until they have roots.
Make sure that you scatter the seed with some space between them and tap the tray gently against a flat surface. By tapping it, you are making sure that any seed that does not touch the sand will fall into place. Cover them with either a shower cap or a humidity dome until they start sprouting – this is important as most seeds won’t germinate unless there’s a certain amount of humidity in the air.
Depending on the seeds the succulents will take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to germinate. As you can see they are equally as small as the seeds were and will require stable water conditions for about a week before you can start letting the medium dry out a bit more. Remember to remove your humidity dome or shower cap as soon as you see them sprout. Too much moisture will make them rot.
From here on your most important task is not to water too much. Going by experience, I found that the best way to keep them going strong is to wait until the whole sand is thoroughly dried up and then water it well. Make sure to let it fully dry out before the next watering.
To water them carefully flood the tray by pouring water into the corners of it. Make sure the water drains through and that you do not let them stand in water by keeping the tray in a container or plate. The sand should be soaking wet, but the plants should never sit in water. I move my trays into the sink or into the garden for watering so that the extra water can escape quickly. Let the sand dry fully before watering again. By doing this, you mimic what those plants would experience in the desert. Drought and flood – once it rains. After a few weeks, they will start looking like the little plants in the picture below. Even though you might be tempted to move them to another container since they are forming sturdy looking plants you should stay patient and let them grow.
Bear in mind these are desert plants. They will not grow as quickly as other plants that you might be used to. Patience is the key.
After about three months they should be ready to transplant. You can create beautiful succulent arrangements with different colors, shapes and textures or you can plant them all individually in tiny containers.
To become a master at keeping succulents, I highly recommend this book:
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