Succulents have become popular among novices as well as expert gardeners. Besides being easy to care for, succulents remove toxins from your breathing air, improving indoor and outdoor air quality.
Creating your own succulent garden can be quite rewarding and it all starts with the perfect succulent nursery.
What Is a Succulent Nursery
A succulent nursery is an enclosed space that is set aside to cultivate succulents. Such a nursery will usually be accessible by foot and is intended for decorative and horticultural succulents.
Succulents can be propagated using stem cuttings, leaves, or roots. Stem and leaf cuttings are planted in premium succulent soil in the nursery long enough to develop a strong rooting system before being transferred to a garden or a pot.
A succulent nursery is important to protect the young plants from excess cold and other extreme weather conditions during certain months of the year.
Benefits of Growing a Succulent Nursery
Makes Planting and Watering Easier
Since everything is in one place in a succulent nursery, planting, watering, and maintaining the plants is much easier.
Offers Protection From the Elements
Unlike when you have planted your succulents in a garden, they are well protected from hard rains, hot sun, strong winds, and animal disturbances in a nursery.
Seedlings Grow Healthier
Whether you use stem and leaf cuttings to propagate, they are likely to grow healthier when grown in a nursery where they are well protected. The same applies to when you use seeds for propagation.
Controls Pests and Disease
Succulents are prone to pests such as mealybugs and scale, which can end up killing the plant if not taken care of.
In a nursery, the plants are protected from almost everything, which means that diseases and pests are kept at bay.
How Do Succulent Nurseries Work
Growing succulents is usually very easy because all you need to do is break off a leaf or part of a healthy stem and leave it on the soil to develop into a new plant.
Starting a succulent nursery is a great project that you can take up, especially if you are new to succulent gardening.
Very little preparation and care are required when you have a nursery. While in the nursery, the plants are protected from extreme sun, winds, and excess rainfall.
You still need to water the plants at least once every week. You also need to ensure that you plant them in a well-draining potting mix to prevent root rot.
Pros and Cons of Growing Succulent Nurseries
As a gardener, no feeling beats the feeling you get when cute bunny succulents start blossoming after months of watering and feeding your succulents with the right fertilizer.
Succulent nurseries are easy to care for, but they also come in at a disadvantage. Here are some pros and cons of growing succulent nurseries.
- Succulent nurseries make it easy to care for the plants since there isn’t much care and maintenance required.
- You can easily control most pests and diseases that are common with succulents.
- The plants grow much healthier when they are in a nursery because you can care for them the right way, all in one place.
- A succulent nursery makes it easy to also protect the plants from strong winds and animal disturbances.
- When it comes to transplanting plants, transplant shock can end up delaying their growth.
- A lot of labor is required to establish a healthy plant, especially when you have propagated using seedlings.
Features of Succulent Nurseries
Artificial succulents have the exact pattern and color you expect from an actual succulent and you don’t need to deal with all the demands of planting and watering.
However, the latter is much more satisfying, and if you are thinking about starting a succulent nursery in your home, here are some factors to keep in mind.
If you are thinking about growing a succulent garden, you need to pay attention to the climate because this will make a huge difference, especially when it comes to outdoor succulents.
Most succulents are natives of North Africa, Latin America, and the Mediterranean. You, therefore, need to pay attention to the succulent variety that you want to grow so that you can meet all its requirements.
Each plant has a minimum as well as optimum temperature range. For instance, full sunlight succulents can tolerate exposure to the sun, while some indoor species need to be taken outside during the summer months when growing in cold climates.
Most succulents, however, are adapted to the Mediterranean climates and can therefore thrive when exposed to full sun throughout the year.
Even if you live in cooler climates, micro-climate is something that you shouldn’t overlook especially if you are growing outdoor succulents.
Solar radiation that is experienced in urban areas, for instance, can end up increasing the temperature by a couple of degrees.
If you have a sunny balcony, window, or wall, you already have the perfect climate to grow succulents even when the temperature gets lower outside.
When you are growing succulents outside, especially in cold temperatures, water can be terminal to the plants. If you want to grow succulents outside and leave them there all year long, you are better off planting the plants in pots.
While succulents don’t need as much water, you need to make sure that the roots are always saturated. When it comes to watering, however, only do so when the soil has dried up completely. Succulents can easily become overwatered, which can lead to root rot.
Most succulents only need to be watered during the warm summer months when they are actively growing.
Most succulent varieties thrive when exposed to as much sunlight as possible. When growing a succulent nursery, make sure that you create a garden border in full sun and within a sheltered position.
Doing this will ensure that the area stays warm and dry always so that your succulents can thrive and blossom.
While at it, you also need to keep in mind that exposing succulents to the sun can encourage flowers to bloom when the plants have reached maturity.
One of the most important elements to pay attention to when growing a succulent nursery is the type of soil in the garden. Succulents don’t do well when grown in waterlogged soil. They can also do without nutrient-rich soil.
What succulents need is well-draining soil. If you are planting your succulents in pots, mix your soil with grit or sand perlite to increase drainage.
How to Choose the Best Succulents for Your Succulent Nursery
There are different succulent species that you can choose from and what will thrive in another place doesn’t mean that it will do so well in your garden.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing succulents for your nursery.
The type of succulents you get will determine how adaptable they will be to the climate in your area.
The first thing you want to note is the level of sun and the temperature in your garden. Most succulents do well when exposed to at least 6 hours of sun per day, although some varieties adapt well to partial shade.
What you don’t want when you have succulents is to expose them to full shade throughout the year.
While succulents are sun-loving plants, sometimes too much exposure to the sun can cause burning, which is why you need to plant them in an area where they can be sheltered from the sun sometimes.
At the end of the day, before you plant any succulent, do you research by talking to a professional to know what will work and won’t work for the variety you are targeting.
Succulents come in different colors. Some will change colors depending on the season and climate.
The color you choose comes down to your personal preferences. For instance, there are a whole plethora of purple succulent varieties that you can choose from.
Texture also varies from one variety to another. Go for the texture that you feel most comfortable with.
Succulents come in different heights. It all depends on what you are going for. If you create an outdoor garden, the longer varieties will do, although you can mix them with shorter varieties.
If you are planting the succulents indoors and have limited space, you don’t need to go for a very long variety especially considering that the plant will need to be kept near a sunny window.
Some succulent varieties bloom and some, like the world’s best rose succulents, have colorful leaves that resemble a flower.
Whether to go for a flowing variety or not will depend on your personal preferences.
Growth Direction (Upright or Hanging)
When choosing a succulent, you need to find out whether the succulent you want to grow upward or outward.
Succulents that grow upward and outward make for great cover-style gardens. Some varieties, however, grow over the tops of the containers making for great hanging gardens.
How to Make a Succulent Nursery
Step 1 – Select the site
The first thing you need to do is select a good area to create the nursery. The site should have enough sunlight exposure, well-draining soil and should also be partially sheltered.
You also need to go for a location that can benefit from microclimate and rain shadows.
Step 2 – Decide on the design of the garden
Succulents are beautiful and you need to go with a design that will help you appreciate all your plants. Do you prefer a rockery-themed garden or a miniature dessert effect? Decide on that and go for the design that suits your needs.
Step 3 – Clear the area
Once you have decided on the garden design, the next thing you need to do is to clear the area by removing any existing vegetation, including weeds and grass by the roots.
Step 4 – Analyze the ground
One of the things you need to pay attention to at this stage is the moisture content in the garden.
If the garden gets seasonally wet, you will need to raise it for added drainage.
Step 5 – Prepare the soil
The best way you can do this is to add on the drainage. If your garden gets wet now and then, build a raised garden instead. Mix the soil with grit and sharp sand up to 50%, which could mean removing some of the garden soil.
Step 6 – Apply weed membranes
Succulents grow slowly and in the process, the garden can be overrun with weeds. To prevent this, apply a weed membrane.
Step 7 – Planting
Before you plant, cover the weed membranes with gravel. After that, you can place your succulents across the garden before cutting small holes in the membrane and plant the succulents into the ground.
Step 8 – Monitor your plants
It’s not guaranteed that you will be successful on the first try. So, keep monitoring your plants as they grow so that you can determine if that is the best species to grow based on how the plant is growing.
How to Take Care for a Succulent Nursery
Step 1 – Make sure your succulents are exposed to the sun
Most succulent varieties are natives to sunny locations and you need to make sure that your plants are exposed to at least 6 hours of sunlight every day.
Some of the secrets of rose succulents, for instance, is to place the plant near a sunny window but not right on the window because the hot afternoon sun may end up burning the plant after a while.
Step 2 – Make sure the soil is well-draining
The last thing you want is to plant succulents in poorly draining soil. This is because overwatering can cause the succulents to start rotting.
Step 3 – Water only when necessary
Overwatering a succulent can cause the roots and the stem to decay. While succulents can survive for long without being watered, they still need to be watered at least once a week, depending on the species. And while at it, only water your plants when the soil has dried completely.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
When it comes to succulent nurseries, more spending does mean more quality. You want to buy a plant that has been cared for well, which will mean spending a little more.
The same goes when you are buying seeds for propagation. You also want to go for a succulent that can adapt well to the climate in the area you live in.
Do’s and Don’ts With Succulent Nurseries
- When you are making a succulent nursery, make sure that you choose an area where the plants can get maximum sunlight daily.
- Make sure that your succulents are also exposed to shade, especially during the hotter summer months.
- To ensure that the soil is well-draining to prevent any root rot.
- Do consider microclimate when you are planting succulents because your plants will benefit from that at some point, like during the cold months.
- Don’t apply fertilizer to your succulents during the summer and winter months, as this can lead to burning.
FAQ About Succulent Nurseries
Where can I buy inexpensive succulents?
You can buy inexpensive succulents on Amazon for as low as $2. You could also visit your local plant shop and see if they are offering any discounts on succulents.
Are succulents good for gardens?
Yes, succulents are excellent for gardens as long as the garden meets the plant’s growing conditions, like the right type of soil and drainage.
How long does it take for succulents to grow?
How long your succulent will take to grow will depend on the succulent. Generally, some can take three to a few weeks to begin growing, while some varieties take months to a year to germinate. It will be in your best interest if you do your research before settling on a certain succulent.
How do you lay out a succulent garden?
You can layout your succulent garden depending on the type of succulents you are getting. You also need to consider the direction of growth of the succulent.
Do succulents attract bugs?
Succulents don’t attract any bugs unless you overwater them. The wet soil attracts bugs that can end up ruining your plant from mealybugs, spider mites, fungus gnats, whiteflies, aphids, scales, and ants.
If you are a succulent lover, then you might want to try your luck at succulent nurseries. The nurseries are easy to care for and make it possible for the succulents to thrive. This is because your plants are protected from sunlight, wind as well as animal disturbances. When you are making a succulent nursery, make sure that you choose an area with well-draining soil and make sure that your plants will get enough sunlight exposure so that they can thrive and bloom when the time comes.
Photos from: [email protected] / depositphotos.com,