A Page from Jenna’s Journal: Succulents

Succulents are trendy. I don’t consider myself to be someone to follow trends, and suffering from a black thumb, I resisted succulents. Then, I went to Home Depot with my grandma to look at succulents and she bought me one. Let’s just say, it was love at first sight. Taking care of succulents has been an experience and here are four things I have learned.

1. Do not overcrowd the plants.

My first box of succulents looked adorable … until they started growing. Make sure that each succulent has a 1-2 inch radius of clear space to grow by consistently replanting. That first box I had contained six plants in it. By the time I started transplanting, one of the plants had even died.


Photo by Jenna Chapman – My kitchen windowsill filled with the succulents after transplanting them into cups.

2. Plant them in something creative, but make sure it’s functional!

I decided to plant my succulents in some tea cups because I was keeping them in my kitchen window. I found five matching cups at Deseret Industries and paired them with two designs of plates. The plates are both decorative and functional because they catch overflows. Also, small containers NEED to have a drainage hole. Make sure you get the correct drill bit and use water or all of your drill bits will go flat and you will start a fire. (Of course, I have no experience with this …) I found a great tutorial on drilling through ceramic here.


Photo by Jenna Chapman – Transplanting my original box of succulents into cups. I purchased river stones for decorations, but I haven’t used very many of them yet.

3. Figure out your own watering schedule.

There are many suggestions out there for watering succulents. One thing to remember is that these plants come from the desert. They are used to dry spells and flash floods. Also, it is easy to kill them from over watering, but very difficult to kill them from under watering. I give all of my succulents a small amount of water every Saturday and this worked great up until a couple weeks ago when I noticed one of my succulents was shriveling, but not changing color. I now completely soak that succulent every Saturday and it is much happier.

Photo by Jenna Chapman – “Shrek” the succulent was shriveled for weeks. Only three days after a thorough watering he looked this. Back to normal.

4. Propagating requires patience.

One of my succulents was starting to look quite ugly, so I followed some instructions I found on Pinterest to propagate it (reproduce). This was all fine and dandy, except the instructions said it would take a couple weeks. I started this in early June and I’m still not done, but it is working. Here are some simple steps to propagating:

  1. Gently remove the leaves from the plant.
  2. Let them dry out in a window sill for about a week or until the ends callous.
  3. Place them on top of soil and use a spray bottle to water them daily.
  4. Watch as roots and a plant begin to grow out of the end.
  5. Wait until the “mother leaf” dries out completely and gently remove it from the baby.
  6. Plant!
Photo by Jenna Chapman – My “nursery” for my succulents. I keep them in the cheapest bread pan I could buy at Walmart. All of these leaves started propagation in early June. The ones on the left have been separated from the leaf and planted, but may of the other leaves are not ready yet.

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have your own succulent garden you’d like to share with us tag us on Instagram @suu_news with the hashtag #accent.