Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Tis amazing what a little “spring cleaning” will do for one’s spirits. Today was gorgeous and sunny out, and nurserywork was a welcomed gig. Later on in the evening I found myself looking through old plant photos, dreaming of the season ahead. It’s really exciting to think we’ll be outside gardening on the regular in only a few more months. One can dream I suppose, counting the days as per usual…

For the moment I am left with my thoughts, my plants and a computer loaded with photos. Upon further investigation I came across a series of bottled succulents that sparked a past interest. I love junk hunting and for reasons I’m unaware of antique and strange glassware always seemed particularly interesting. While I’ve curbed the habit as of late (there simply isn’t enough space) I used to really enjoy growing succulents in bottles. I love terrariums and planting succulents in glass seems to give them a strange authenticity. It’s as simple as finding a neat bottle, carefully filling it with soil and dropping in some of your favorite succulent cuttings. The ease of propagation of these species is unmatched and the cuttings are almost always successful. For less then 10 dollars you can make a great gift that almost anyone can appreciate. Who could hate a plant that needs so little care. Planting a succulent in a sealed bottle adds even greater ease of growth, the plant practically takes care of itself.

While you’re at it you might as well create yourself a couple nice succulent frames as well. With less carpentry skill then a grade 3 shop class, anyone should be able to build a simple wood frame. From there tack in some chicken wire, tuck in some soil and spagnum moss, and load with as many succulents as possible. Give it a couple weeks to root horizontally and then hang it where you please. By far one of the neatest succulent projects you can do and it shouldn’t take longer then an afternoon.

Now that you have your jars filled with echeverias, and you’ve framed up some sedums and sempervivum. What are you going to do with the rest of your wheel barrel full of succulent shapnal. Easy, succulent pots!  Simply sprinkle the remains of any sedum on top of soil, and roots will grow within a week or less. Within a couple months they should look something like this.

What do you do with your left over succulent cuttings?

8 Responses to Easy Succulent Projects

  • Jean says:

    What a great idea! I know terrariums are hot once again, but I hadn’t considered using them for propagating and growing succulents. Sign me up for a new hobby–perusing junk shops for clear glass bottles!

  • Mike says:

    If you use Cactus/Succulent soil in your wall frame is it so sandy it will just run out? Would you use normal potting soil?

  • Saurs says:

    I’d never considered a terrarium before–something folk do on old Masterpiece Theatre skits in between pressing flowers and mixing herbal remedies–but I recently came across a nice hollow glass mannequin head deal that would looking thrilling with an aeonium or something where its brains would be.

    Healthy looking frame-o-succulent you got there. They look like hell to clean up, though.

  • Andrew says:

    I’m a huge fan of these little terrariums. I’ve been a bit worried about using succulents because of the high humidity, but it seems like they’ll do just fine.

  • I’m not much for terrariums, I’m not sure why. But making a vertical frame…I totally need to do that. I also want to find some cool old galvanized rain gutter, cut it to random lengths, mount it on the back of our garage and plant it up with succulent cuttings.

  • These are fantastic! I’ve always wanted to try something like that, but I’ve never had the right containers. Gotta ask my in-laws (who love yard sales) to keep an eye out for glassware. Thank you for the inspiration.

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.