Teen in touch with na­ture

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Gardening - Sara Fitz­patrick

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.

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