OUT­DOOR DIY

They’re drought-re­sis­tant, low-main­te­nance and so easy to grow

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Strike a suc­cu­lent. It’s easy!

IN A CLI­MATE LIKE OURS, plants that cope with drought are in­valu­able – and none more so than suc­cu­lents, the cac­tus-cousins with­out thorns but with thick fleshy leaves, of­ten in stun­ning shapes and colours. Best of all, they’re easy to grow. Suc­cu­lents will strike, or grow, from vir­tu­ally any­thing – even a sin­gle leaf. A new plant will form at its base, feed­ing off the old leaf un­til a new rosette (a cir­cu­lar ar­range­ment of fo­liage) has rooted and is able to sus­tain it­self. They will also grow off larger stem cut­tings.

YOU WILL NEED DEBCO CACTI & SUC­CU­LENT MIX, ABOUT $13 FOR A 25-LITRE BAG FROM HARD­WARE STORES; 15CM TERRACOTTA SQUAT POTS, $4.98 EACH, FROM BUN­NINGS; SUC­CU­LENTS LIKE SEDUMS AND ECHEVERIAS (FOR CUT­TINGS) ABOUT $10 A PLANT, POT­TED; OR CUT­TINGS FROM FRIENDS AND NEIGH­BOURS.

STEP 1 Set cut­tings aside in a dry spot – they need to dry out for a few weeks be­fore plant­ing to help any wounds to cal­lus over and pre­vent fun­gal at­tacks. Once they’ve cal­lused over, rootlets and even tiny rosettes of fo­liage at the base of each leaf will ap­pear.

STEP 2 Gen­tly plant the leaves with the rosettes into a bed of free-drain­ing pot­ting mix, which con­tains coarse sand to aid drainage. At this stage, place your plant out of strong sun­light.

STEP 3 Once the ba­bies have formed into larger plants, lift them out and re­plant into larger pots or the gar­den.

STEP 4 The more sun your suc­cu­lents get, the bet­ter the plants’ shape and colour will be. Place peb­bles around the base of the plant to help re­duce hu­mid­ity (which suc­cu­lents don’t like – the stones keep moisture away from the stem and al­low wa­ter to flow into the soil) and to deny weeds sun­light to grow. After one week, wa­ter lightly.

Stun­ning cen­tre­piece Cre­ate a burst of colour by plant­ing up a va­ri­ety of es­tab­lished and smaller suc­cu­lents you’ve struck.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.