Teen in touch with nature
AFTER following his horticulturist father around the garden since he could walk, 14-year-old Xander Reid knows a thing or two about succulents.
He has learnt even more since opening his business Get Cactus two years ago, selling succulent bowls through his Facebook page and at festivals.
“A good tip is, ‘yes, you do need a good-looking bowl but it’s more about how the succulent looks,” Xander said.
“You have to look behind their tags and see what they like in terms of things like light.
“Some grow more than others and some will kill each other. A lot of them, most of the time connect with each other and help each other out; they will share water and help each other to survive.
“All plants connect by radio waves; it's fascinating.”
Another tip is to keep succulents in part-sun, part-shade outside.
“They need small amounts of water; get a spray bottle and spray them every third day and about every fourth day in winter,” the Lesmurdie green thumb said.
“If they get really dry, they haven’t been watered enough, and if they are squishy they have been over watered and usually the pot doesn’t have a hole at the bottom.
“You must have a hole in the bottom in all pots and also have rocks in the bottom, so you have a really good drainage system.”
Xander’s bowls feature about 30 species, such as kalanchoe and aloes, which he grows at home.
“I love succulents because they are easy to manage and some can be really cool and different,” Xander said.
“There are so many different types with different colours and patterns, and a lot of time they get their flowers in winter and spring and some have some really nice flowers.”
The young entrepreneur is growing his business and is hoping to open a regular stall at the Kalamunda markets. His favourite succulent shop is Succulent Planet in Rockingham.
To find out more about Get Cactus, visit the Facebook page.
Xander Reid, of Get Cactus, with a selection of his plants.