The problems I had this summer trying to keep my more sensitive plants out of the rain and direct sun motivated me to take on a big project for a grandma. In the end, I got it all done with the help of a younger woman Monica.
We changed a weedy fenced in area into a shade room with shell floor, gutters, a large carport shelter, step shelves and a rain barrel. I am celebrating putting my plants in it today.
Put together your own unique succulent arrangement by bring your container or choosing from my containers and plants. Bring your questions , creativity and about $15 to pay for items you buy. Sundays after the monthly carport sales from 1 -3. Allow about 40 min. Reservations Required. An low-key, affordable, outdoor activity.
Most people start succulent collecting by putting them in pots with drain holes on lanais or window sills. They worry that Florida rain will harm the plants since there is so much talk about not overwatering. In nature, most succulents get their water from rainfall but probably not as much rain as we have here. Also most of them are naturally accustomed to direct sunlight. Therefore, they do very well in Florida provided that the soil does not hold too much water. We can build mounds and change the existing soil to better draining soil with bagged palm/cactus soil, perlite, and grit or fine gravel. We can be conscious of the fact that some such as jade, peperomia, senecio, and some others do better in partial shade. Most succulents such as kalanchoe, echeveria, haworthia, portulaca, graptopelum and many others love the sunshine and do fine in our rainy weather. They grow larger, change colors and truely thrive. You can leave valuable plants in larger pots so that if we have a frost you can bring them in. When you first put them outside, they might get brown spots due to sunburn. The best time to transition them to the outdoors is during our winter months. If the brown sun burn gets bad, move them to the shade. If it’s minor, leave them there and they will adapt. When it hasn’t rained in a week they need a good watering with the hose. Mulch or stones help trap the moisture a little so it is beneficial to top your garden. You should check your garden every week to see what clues different plants are giving you about how they like their environment. Once in a while you might lose one, but in general you will be amazed at how well they do in the ground in Florida.
After learning about garden totems, I have constructed about 10 succulent centerpieces.
They are all sturdy plant stands that could be used in a garden, patio or lanai and a few with specific low light plants could be used indoors near a window. I am very excited about this new idea which showcases succulents in a taller attractive vessel made of ceramics and glassware. I have used my succulent mix and made holes to insure good drainage. I chose various rooted plants that complement the style, shape, and size of the basin. These will be ready for the March 5 and 6th carport sale priced from $20 – $30.
Euphorbia are mostly cactus like succulents with white sap that can irritate skin and even cause blindness. Use gloves when handling them and clean up sap with alcohol , not water.
Included in this group are crown of thorns, pencil cactus, Madagascar palm, and many that look like cacti. Many smaller euphorbia can be grown indoors and many are very rare and expensive. Others prefer outdoors and can grow very large. There are 1000 different types of euphorbia.
I will keep 4 potted plants on the Succulent Swap table. No need to spend money. Come for a visit and if you bring a potted plant worth about $5 you can make a swap and take something different home.
Chris has lived in Bradenton for 20 years and 5 years ago moved to the yellow chalet in Palma Sola which is now ArtbyCmac Studio and Succulent Nursery
Chris started her teaching career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. That set the course for a long career as a Spanish and English as a Second Language career in the US and 10 countries in Latin America,Turkey and Thailand.
Art had been a lifelong interest and in Bradenton she took classes from several excellent local artists.