Growing Succulents: An Update

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Around the time I revealed our sunroom makeover, I introduced the Great Succulent Experiment.  I have a well-earned reputation as a killer of houseplants.  I’m not that hot at growing things outdoors either, honestly.  But succulents are said to be almost impossible to kill, so I bought two and crossed my fingers that my black thumbs could be cured.

blue chalk fingers

Here’s the first of the two succulents today.  It has already lasted much longer than any other houseplant I have cared for.

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If you look closely you can make out that the top right part of the plant is a lighter, bluer color than the rest.  That’s all new growth!  Not only have I not killed them yet, they are actually growing bigger!  Some of the growth may be a result of the plant searching for Michigan’s low winter sun, but I choose to believe it’s just thriving under my care.

chicks-and-hens-and-jade_thumb

The hens and chicks has opened up quite a bit since this summer.  I am guessing that too might be because it is searching for as much sunlight as it can get this time of year.  You can see there’s been some growth on the jade plant too.

new-growth-on-jade_thumb

It’s fun to see the new leaves (are they called leaves?) appear out of the center of each shoot.

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Since our sunroom isn’t heated, I moved the succulents into the house for the winter.  I keep them on the kitchen window sill, which gets afternoon sun.  That’s about as good as it’s going to get in a Michigan winter.

I water the plants once a week – ish.  I occasionally check on the soil to see if it’s dry and look to see if there are any drops of moisture on any of the succulent leaves.  Seriously, are they called leaves?

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Succulents can draw moisture from the air and Michigan is usually pretty humid, but in the winter all bets are off.  To make sure they are getting both water and nutrients, I mix a few drops of this succulent food (affiliate link) into a spray bottle full of water.  Then I soak the top of the soil.  So far, so good.

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I was even excited to see that a piece of the blue chalk fingers fell into the dirt, and began to grow all on its own.  So, at this point of the experiment, things appear to be progressing well.  I will need much more research though before I can declare my brown thumb problem solved.

What is your determination?  I know there are gardeners out there who read Mad in Crafts.  Am I am doing okay?


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Thanks,  Jessica

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