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Playing with Succulents

Contributed by Wendy Richard-Mount

Photo contributed by Angela McMullen

As soon as the frost comes, gardeners are a little bummed-out when putting away their gardens for the winter. But they don’t have to give up on gardening when it becomes cold outside. They can indulge their green thumbs all year long.

Houseplants When the weather is too cold to grow plants outdoors, it can be just as meaningful to grow plants indoors.

Houseplants are great for purifying the air and bringing a bit of nature indoors. Even if there are plants around your outdoor living areas, you might consider adding gardening ideas to your indoor spaces.

Simplicity of Succulents

If you want the pleasure of gardening without a lot of work, growing and propagating succulents is a simple project. They come in super-fun colors and shapes and require minimal effort.

Succulents can be purchased at local supermarkets and hardware stores during winter months. If you are fortunate, you may ask a gardener friend for some plant pieces. Gathering to share a cuppa tea, conversation, and indoor planting is a wonderful way to share togetherness with a friend on a cold winter’s day.

Succulents are a family of drought-resistant plants that have adapted well to dry, arid environments. They store water in their leaves, stems, or roots, and as a result, those areas on the plant may be fleshier, swollen, or more pronounced.

Some succulents can be propagated (bred specimens of a plant or animal by natural processes from the parent stock) when the leaves detach from the main stem.

This is done by laying the separate leaves on a paper towel to dehydrate. This technique forces the plant to create a new plant at the end of it's leaf. It then can be planted into a separate container.

Varying textures, colors, shapes, sizes and types of succulents grouped in planters add interest to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Wendy Richard-Mount Photo

As the days get warmer and more natural daylight occurs, I place my succulents as a centerpiece on the front deck table. There it will thrive well into the autumn months. This outdoor table becomes a common meeting spot where I look forward to sharing the colors and foliage.

JUST REMEMBER! When succulents are indoors, it’s often hard for them to get enough sunlight. Outdoors they generally need about 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day.

You’ll want to place them near a window that gets light all day. If this isn’t an option, place them near the brightest window or area of your home or office. Keep your plants as close to the window as possible. Succulents can get sunburned if the light from the window gets too hot, so be careful when choosing a spot for them.

With some imagination and inspiration, all-season gardening can be very rewarding.

Master Gardner Wendy Richard-Mount has been gardening and landscaping in the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia for eight years.

Wendy specializes in both residential and industrial design and maintenance.

She is also a photographer, writer and artist and creates art using elements found in nature.

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