Succulents - Starting off what do you need?
Starting off anything new can sometimes feel a little daunting. What do I need? Will it be expensive?
Is it worth it?
Today's post is all about what you need to get started when it comes to succulents and some of the items you might already have!
The first thing you need, and probably the most important thing, is soil suitable for succulents. I've always bought Westland Cacti & Succulent Potting Mix, mostly because there aren't too many other options in the garden centres but it has worked perfectly for me. The reason this soil is so important, compared to other potting soil is because it contains sand and grit for drainage, as well as seramis which retains water. Succulents are only watered 7-10 days during the summer so the seramis helps the soil stay moist for the roots if you forget to water - which believe me I do a lot!
Stones are important for your pots as they help with drainage. I always try to pick some when I'm at the beach but I find it handy to keep a bag of aquarium gravel incase I run out of stones. I will use a small handful of these at the bottom of pots but also, they are lovely as a topping to any succulent arrangement.
When it comes to tools, the clippers is the only thing I have bought. I use this for cuttings, whether it's the head of a stretched succulent that I cut off and pop into new soil, or if a succulent is growing babies, I'll cut one off. You just need something really sharp so you get a clean cut. The chopstick is excellent for making a small hole with the pointy end for any cutting to go into and then the flat end to pat down the soil around your new cutting. As pots and cuttings can be small and a bit fiddly, the chopstick makes it easy to reach into those awkward places. I use a spoon as a little shovel to help with filling a pot with soil and adding the soil around the succulent. Finally yes, that is a make up brush you can see! Succulents have a white powder on their leaves called epicuticular wax. This powder helps the succulent store moisture in times of drought and helps protect the leaves from sunburn. This powder can come off very easily if you touch it, so having a paint brush or a makeup brush with soft bristles to help brush off any soil on a leave when repotting is essential.
The last thing you need is a succulent. The echeveria "purple pearl" is one of my favourites. You can find this one in any garden centre and it is so easy to look after. It's also one of the easiest ones I've found to propagate which is what the next blog post will be all about!