Sunday, 24 September 2017

Repurposed juice cartons and propagating succulents

A little while back I decided to try and propagate a succulent in a teapot I was no longer using.  Here is the post about that, and here is what the plant looks like today:

Satisfactory, but I think you'll find what's even more satisfactory is using any empty juice cartons as plant pots and propagators.  I love tomato juice, so I've acquired a few of these recently.

Since they're designed to be water proof, they make ideal receptacles for soggy soil, and therefore for plants.  Simply cut out one edge, fill with soil or compost and that's all I need to say about that.

It works better for some plants that for others.  For instance I've also tried to grow some baby leaf spinach, but this has been less successful.  Though perhaps, if you've a keen eye, you can spot a tomato seedling in there too.  Tomato seeds seem to get everywhere.  I really don't know how they do it.

Succulents are remarkable things, propagated into a new plants from a single leaf, as you can see here:

A couple of tips:

1.  Gently prise off a leaf from the base of your plant, rather than the top.  Don't force it; just wobble it back and forth until it comes loose.

2.  Lay down the leaf on some dry soil and spray lightly with water.  Leave for some time (at least at week).  This allows the edge of the leaf that was severed from the plant to form a dry "callous", from which you want your roots to sprout.

3.  Check back on the leaf every so often until you see roots or new growth forming, at which point spray again.  Wait until the surface of your soil is completely dry before spraying again.  Succulents like to hold on to their water, but too much of it will not be welcome.

4.  Off you go.  Makes a lovely little Sunday afternoon project.

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Growing a succulent in a tea pot
Herbs and shoots


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