Spring Clean Your Garden
The most important time of the year for succulents is the clean up from Winter to Spring. This is the time to repot, or refresh your potting mix. The time to feed for the upcoming growing season and the time to clean all of those old shrivelled winter leaves off to get the air flowing around the stem of your plant before the new growth begins.
While we still have our best winter colours on show, this is the time when many succulents will start to grow and lose those magnificent winter colours. By now you might have noticed your Crassula's are starting to flower and your Aeonium's have already changed their Summer/Autumn colours to the greener larger leaves of winter.
After the winter dormancy for Echeveria's and other summer growing succulents - this changing season is when we need to think about watering more. Whilst in winter when many succulents either sleep or grow very slowly, now we must step up the watering. Water well on a day you know the excess water left on your plants will have the opportunity to dry out. Consider when they will need another drink. Its best to let your plant/s dry out first before watering again. You can measure this by the weight of the pot before and after watering. Remember some mixes can be a bit hydrophobic after a long dry spell so it could take a few goes to get the water to penetrate to the lower parts of the pot.
Now is the time to do your divisions, or cut off those excess pups. It is the time for beheading your plants that have become too tall for your pots. It is also the best time to clean off your dead leaves that have gathered around the base of your plants and most importantly, to do that long awaited repot that you have been promising them! Remember: after you repot your Echeveria you may have some damaged root so its best to wait a week or two before watering these plants as often rots or infections can happen when succulents are watered straight after a repotting. Also your beheaded plants can be placed on newly filled pots of dry soil mix, and within two to three weeks they will have some new pink roots reaching into their new soil.
Spring for Aeonium's is more of a maintenance time, when they should have started to grow with the Winter rains. Trim up or repot (if you like) and clean away all those dead leaves to get the last of their spring growth before summer dormancy time comes. Spring is their least colourful time. Late spring and summer is often the most colourful time for Aeonium's.
Lithops / Conophytums
By this time of year, your little bums should be well on the way to shedding their last years leaves or bodies. If this hasn't happened of yet then you'll need to hold off before watering. This is an important time, where balancing watering against drying out really matters; the old leaves will not shrivel properly if they have been overwatered at this time. They will have trouble shedding their old leaves by being too full of water to split properly and shed. This time of year for your Lithops is fantastic as you start to see the the deepest richest colours appearing on their new bodies. It is also the time that you will notice if you have grown them well, your original single plant may be dividing into two plants. Once the old leaf has split, you will start to notice the dry appearance. Increase the watering as now they want to grow and build up their strength for the next Autumn/Winter flowering. A very light fertilise and some liquid feeding is great in Spring!
Cotyledons will have already grown from the Autumn period and could possibly be flowering for you now. This is a good time to trim them if they seem a bit rangy - increase the watering! Try to pick a day when the leaves will dry out before nightfall as Cotyledons have hairy leaves which hold water well. This can cause fungal and rotting problems over the Winter/Spring months if the airflow is not good enough to dry out the leaves. By now you may have old dead leaves around the bases of your plants. Try to clean up and some fertiliser can optimise the last part of the growing season for your Cotyledons.
The Plant Lovers Fair is right around the corner and we are so excited to see you all again! Located in Kariong, NSW (near Woy Woy) this event will see 40-50 specialist nurseries come together from around Australia. This show services all those from the Northern beaches down to Sydney. We have done some major pricing alternations to make our prices competitive in the market and with all the devastation lost through the floods, we hope to help the community replace, repair and replenish. This is the time to get the succulents you have been hanging out for and we can't wait to share them all with you!
Keep up to date with our latest events: Upcoming Events
With Spring time in full swing and the Tesselaar Tulip Festival starting this weekend, we have decided to open our retail store Saturday AND Sunday (10am - 4pm) for the month of September!
This last year has been one of the most difficult for growing succulents in Australia. It has been the wettest and coldest Victorian Winter we've ever experienced. NSW and Queensland have had record rains. Western Australia has been extremely wet in the south. South Australia has been cold and wetter than usual. Which means that many plants have suffered. This makes it very important to clean away old, dead leaves to avoid fungal rots on dying leaves. I can only hope optimistically that this coming Summer may be a little better and a bit easier for the plants we love.
- Bridgette Fleming