Senecio is a genus with many different succulents ranging in appearance from straight stick-like plants such as the beacon plant to strings of pearls to larger short stemmed bushes. The smaller ones are mostly slow growing and tend to be more expensive. They tolerate a range of lighting conditions, are prone to rot easily, and cannot tolerate frost. The best way to propagate is by cuttings.
Sempervivumcommonly called ” hens and chicks” is another succulent which forms small tight rosettes. They tolerate a wide range of lighting from bright sunlight to indoors but since they hug the ground ,they are very prone to rot if the soil stays too very prone to rot if the soil stays too wet. They tolerate below freezing temperatures. Cobweb houseleek is an interesting sempervivum. After a few years they flower once and die but they regularly produce many pups or chicks which can be separated.
Echeveria are usually small tight rosettes with triangular tips on chubby leaves. They grow well indoors in a window sill or in shade outdoors and since they sit very low on the soil are subject to rot if overwatered or if the soil does not drain. They stay small indoors but can grow into mounds of rosettes outdoors. They come in a variety of colors which change according to seasons and conditions. When they are more stressed you will see more colors. They tolerate some frost and can be propogated from pups or leaves.
Today’s succulent is Kalanchoe. There are many varieties and they grow well in Florida. Most have clusters of bell-shaped flowers. I have a large variety in my big container of succulents in my yard that has pale gray/green leaves with purple marks. I have others with serrated pale green leaves and of course” mother of thousands” which has many plantlets on each leaf. All of these are easily propagated from leaves, plantlets or stems. One I would like more of is flap jacks which have round light green leaves with red edges. My favorite is Panda or Kitty because both grown rapidly and are very attractive with thick fuzzy leaves with brown tips. Kalanchoes can adjust to bright light and grow well in the ground but they get very leggy in low light. They can not tolerate frost so bring them inside.
Today’s succulent is Haworthia. These are small slow growing succulents that are happy indoors with low light. I find them very attractive especially the varieties with very fat leaves such as Fat Albert ( Haworthia comptoniana) and the tiny light green chubby (Haworthia cooperi). Everyone loves the Zebra plant with white stripes ( Haworthia fasciata) I heard it takes almost a year to grow a plant from a leaf but they do produce pups which can be separated from the mother plant. Because they don’t propagate so easily, they are more expensive to buy than other succulents. Be careful not to overwater and bring them in when it gets cold( 40 degrees F) .
9 days til our Giant Plant Sale – Today’s succulent is crassula, the most common being the jade plant. It also has varieties that are very interesting. One is ET jade and another is wavy or curly jade. Jade can be propogated from a leaf quite quickly or by cutting off branches and letting them callus before planting them. I like a tiny variety of crassula which I call watch chain. It grows very easily and is great for filling in arrangements with something delicate and intricate. Another tiny one is pine tree. Crassula usually have stems and thick leaves and they do not tolerate frost.
Today’s group is the Aloes. A year ago I knew of only one – Aloe vera but now I realize that I have at least 5 types of aloe. They all have pointed leaves but come in different colors and sizes. Some have spiny leaves, many form rosettes. They all produce pups quite quickly which can be separated from the main plant. They flower with a long stem. Aloes are quite easy to grow and the variety makes them much more interesting than I first thought. I prefer Aloe humilis which is very attractive and hardy. Aloes adjust to different lighting and watering situations well but do not tolerate frost.