Saturday, September 09, 2006

Succulent Starts, plus a Coleus

A species of Kalanchoe (ID'd by R.Brinkman, I think)

I have been learning about growing starts from succulent plants. My best successes have been with the plants in center of the photo. The ones with the light green leaves with white and pink edges. The one in the center is really going.

Again, of course, I don't know the name and I can't find them in my book. And right now I don't feel Iike going looking on the internet to identify it. Maybe tomorrow, unless some kind soul tells me what it is in the Comments section.

I'm learning by doing. Which is kind of slow going, but it's not like I am really busy or anything. I have plenty of time for experiments.

I am using authentic Mexican-style "potting" soil, (meaning pot-luck or good luck). I put the soil in the skinny plastic disks you are supposed to put under pots to catch the water. They are nice and thin and don't use much soil, perfect for almost rootless little starts.

Then when the plants (pups?) seem large enough, I move three or four together into a large pot and then they just keep growing. It's kind of a miracle, really. It's so satisfying to see the little guys just take off and grow. There is such a strong life-force in plants. No matter what happens to them, they just keep trying to grow. And to replicate themselves. Just like some people I know.

Coleus plants definitely have a strong life force. I throw some seeds in a bucket, tuck it away behind some other plants. I eventually notice there are 100 of 3" plants bursting into life.

So I thin out the "extras", and throw out the thinnings, which keep right on growing in the compost pile. And then the plant is two feet tall, with branches sticking out everywhere. And some kid or puppy knocks a couple of branches off the coleus plant. I throw them in a bucket of dirt, and the next thing I know, the branches have rooted and are taking off. Amazing plants. And very eyecatching.


Anonymous said...

The succulent plants you've shown look like a species of Kalanchoe -- there are many species, and most can be started from leaves, as you show in your blog. Among my favorites is Kalanchoe blossfieldiana, which has bright red, long-lasting blooms (small clusters of flowers).

Gardener in Mexico said...

Thank's alot for the info, for identifying that plant. I really like and, especially since it multiplies so easily.