Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ more commonly known as Kiwi Aeonium. This succulent grows quickly. It is very vibrant and colorful. When it has a little bit of sun, the leaves in the center are yellow and then darken into green towards the outside of the rosette. The edges of the leaves can be pink or red. This succulent adds beautiful colors to the garden all year. Sometime in late summer they can produce yellow flowers.
Aeoniums do not like dry or hot weather. They may go into dormancy in summer and may not require any water unless it is very dry conditions. Sometimes when it is extremely hot, their leaves might curl to prevent water loss. Growing them in moist shade seems to keep them happy in the summer time. Their growth season happens to be winter to spring. When temperatures are cool and damp. Only water them when their soil has dried out during wintertime. It’s the same with all succulents; they do not like their roots sitting in wet soil. It will cause root rot.
Remember to use fast draining soil. Buy a succulent and cactus soil or create your own fast drain soil. If you have regular potting soil, then just amend it. You can add sand, gravel and perlite to make the soil drain faster.
The best way to propagate the Kiwi Aeonium is by stem cuttings. 3 – 6 inches is the best size for the cuttings. Allow the cutting to calluses over then place in soil. In a few weeks the cutting will grow roots. Be patient. Each cutting takes its own time to root. They can also be propagated by seeds or even by division. Allow the new plants to form a root system before you add them to the garden. I would grow them in a shady area until they produce several sets of leaves. Then acclimate them to full sun. If you don’t they will burn from being in the shade.
I was shopping at a grocery store one day and I came across this cute bright green stick looking plant. It had no name and it was just sitting in soggy soil. It was so water logged. I looked at the price and it was like 6.99 for a 2 inch green stick in a water logged pot that may or may not already have root rot. I thought if it does live its going to be a cool looking plant. If it doesnt live I just wasted 7 dollars. And for 7 dollars I could get a much bigger succulent from some where else. I am not going to buy that for such an outrageous price. It is a 2 inch succulent that is almost dead. I sat it back down and continued my shopping. I was headed to the register with a basket full of groceries. And that little green stick went through my head. I thought if I do not take it. It will for sure die. So I turned my basket around and headed to that little succulent. I picked it up and put it into my basket and headed to the check out counter.
Once I got home the first thing I did was transplant that little guy. I put it into dry soil. I did not water it after I transplanted it. It was so water logged I knew it could use some drying out time. I took it out and placed it with all of my other small succulents on my patio. It is an area that only gets morning sunlight. It seemed like forever before anything changed with that little green stick. Then one day I noticed new growth and it was this yellow color. It was so cute.
I was on Facebook and one day someone in one of my many plant groups posted a photo of this bright red/orange stick plant. I was so excited to see it because mine looked just like it. But mine was green. I commented on the photo and asked the name of their plant. They told me Fire Stick Cactus. I responded with a picture of my green stick plant and asked if our plants were the same. Some people said yes and others said No. A heated debate about the Fire Stick cactus broke out with a couple plant people.
What I learned through that Facebook post that day was the Fire Stick Cactus turns that bright red/orange color when they are in full sun. So I slowly started putting my little green stick cactus into more sunnier areas until I thought it was ready to go into full sun. My little green stick plant slowly turned bright red/orange through the course of a couple months in full sun. Some succulents turn bright beautiful colors just like the Fire Stick Cactus does. They just need to be stressed out by the sun.
The more I researched on this succulent the more interesting things I found out about it. For instance it has a sap that comes out if it is broken. And that sap causes burning irritations if it makes contact with skin. The more I research about it, the more I realize the sap seems to be pretty toxic. I now use gloves when I handle it. Make sure to wash off the sap immediately if it comes into contact with skin. Do not rub eyes or touch any other skin with the hand or hands that contacted the sap. I have also read that our furry companions can become irritated due to the sap as well. Be careful when handling this plant and where you place it.
Succulents are some of the most unique plants I have ever come across. And I want all of them. I understand that is totally a unrealistic desire. But I really do want all of them. I mean I do know it is humanly impossible for me to have every single type of succulent growing on this beautiful planet of ours. But I am going to have as many of them as I can possibly fit in my yard. I collect them from every where that I go. And one day I will eventually have a very large collection of these unique plants that thrive on neglect.
People gift me with cuttings of succulents from where ever their travels have taken them. I just love it when my friends and family come home from visiting some where and they bring back succulent cuttings. I am thankful that they encourage this succulent addiction of mine and share their cuttings with me. Most times I take the cuttings that I get from them and place them all in the same pot. Once they grow in I have beautiful succulent arrangements from their journey.
I can not even go inside of a store and buy soil without purchasing at least one succulent. And lets get real. Who truly makes it out of the store buying just one succulent. I even collect the leaves. Broken pieces. I am that weird girl picking up random leaves off the ground in the local nursery stores. And I know I am not alone with this thing I do. There are thousands of other weird people across the globe picking up succulent leaves from the ground of their local nursery.
If you are like me and just can not get enough of these beautiful plants. Then we have probably joined one of the same succulent groups across Facebook. The groups are the next level with this addiction. My Facebook feed is constantly filled with other peoples succulents. Some of these succulents I would not know even existed if it wasn’t for these amazing groups. And everyone in the groups are so grateful to meet other people who also love succulents as much as they do. There really is so much beauty, knowledge and love being shared in these groups.
I have started mailing plants in the mail. Rolling them up in some tissue and sending them off in a padded envelope or box. This week alone I have already mailed my Mother of Thousands babies to people in ten different states. I now have a P.O. Box so that strangers can send me envelopes and postage and in return I send them tiny plants. The lady working at the post office gave me her number. She wants to start doing succulent trades as well. She doesn’t have the Mother of Thousands plant. But she does have the pink Mother of Millions plant. And I do not have that plant. The line at the post office begins to back up a little as we quickly discuss our shared love of succulents.
Succulents are really gaining in popularity. They seem to be everywhere. They can almost grow in and on everything. I have even seen people wearing them even on their fingernails! Everything could be a potential succulent arrangement. As does many others. If you have a friend or family member who also loves these strange plants that do not like to be over watered. Bring them back a succulent cutting from where ever you go. They will appreciate that you thought of them while you were away.
The great succulent migration has begun. I am still learning all the identities of all my succulents. I am not sure who can be put into the ground and survive through the winter and who will die. I live in the plant growing zone 9b. It can get as low as 25 to 30 (F). By next winter I will know more about my succulents and who can live where. 🙂 But this winter is upon us and I am just gonna move as many as I can fit into their winter home.
I recently bought a greenhouse. I am hoping that it holds my succulents through the whole winter. I do not want them to get rained on or to freeze. I am a little nervous about the strength of the greenhouse. But I feel I have done everything that can be done to ensure the safety of my plants through the winter months.
Sometimes we get wind storms. And the thought of the wind tearing my greenhouse up kinda makes me cringe inside. I have a lot of succulents that are migrating into that structure. So I am trying to make sure it is secure enough to withstand the winds. I have duct taped every connection. I used zip ties on the shelves. I have the tarp anchored to the ground and tied to the frame. I also have my fingers and my toes crossed.
It is Fall here in the central valley of California. But honestly some days I can’t really tell that it is Fall. It is still hot enough to be rafting on the river. I am still wearing shorts. I am sure the kids would still be in using the pool if the fire didn’t scorch it last month. But as the consumer world desires it to be pumpkin spice everything. So it really must be fall. 🙂
I do love fall. It is one of my favorite seasons. The beautiful colors that the leaves turn. The chill in the air in the mornings. The nights are just chilly enough that I get to wear my hoodie. Some of the trees are starting to loose their leaves. Basically all of nature is getting prepared for winter. Some plants are beginning to go dormant and the animal kingdom is gathering winter food supplies. It has become time for me to prepare my succulents for their winter homes.
I do have some succulents that are in the ground and they have lived there for years now. I am hoping to be able to plant more in the ground. Eventually, our front yard is going to be a rock garden full of desert plants. Hopefully a yard full of succulents.
I am moving my potted succulent arrangements into their new winter sanctuary one by one. I am giving them a nice bath and checking for critters. I am going to keep the doors on the greenhouse open until they need to be closed due to weather.
I have made more arrangements this summer than I thought. They are all filling in beautifully. I have collected a lot of stem cuttings, leaves and pups for the last, months. And they have all grown so big from how small they once were. These are my future mother plants. 🙂 As long as I can keep everyone alive over winter.
I created a broken terracotta arrangement over the summer. I saw so many broken pot arrangements and fairy gardens being posted all over the internet. And I wanted to create one myself. I had a bunch of broken terracotta pots that were behind the shed in the back yard. I have now placed those broken pieces into a bucket for safe keeping. 🙂
I took a piece that was broken in half but still had the bottom attached and put some soil in it. I then took another piece and stood it up and added soil to the front of the piece and the back. I took two more broken pieces and added them on top of the soil and then added more soil to the front and back of them. I then took a really small piece of the broken terracotta and placed it at the bottom to stop the soil from falling out.
I went to my propagation area and picked out a bunch of little pups and placed them in random spots all around the soil. I then went and picked out a few river rocks from my rock collection. I added a crystal quartz. I tried to place the crystal in the center. Then I began sprinkling some crushed rose quartz and purple amethyst on top of the soil. I still didn’t think it was finished. So I added a couple small sea shells and a tiny broken piece of ceramic that I found in the river.
I like to use the pups from my leaf propagation area instead of bigger cuttings in this type of creation. Because I really enjoy watching the succulents grow and fill in the arrangements I make. I plan on making more of these broken terracotta pots. I collected all the broken pieces from behind the shed and now have a half of a 5 gallon bucket filled. I like to reuse as much stuff as possible.
I love to go into nature as much as possible. I enjoy collecting rocks, driftwood, sea shells, twigs feathers. Anything that catches my eye. I enjoy combining those little treasures that I collect with my succulents. Every arrangement I create has a little bit of an adventure inside them.
We had a fire in our back yard a couple weeks ago. It was a pretty scary night. Our back yard plus three of our neighbors were damaged by the fire. We lost 2 sheds, a pool, and a 4×4 truck. Plus all of our tools and belongings that were in the sheds. One of our neighbors lost their whole shed as well. And two other neighbors had some damage to their sheds but they are able to have theirs fixed. Four fence lines were also damaged or completely burned to the ground. It was a very sad scary night for all of us. The neighbors included. Fire is powerful and destructive. The smell and burnt debris that is left behind is awful.
My string of hearts and both of my big beautiful Wandering Jew plants also have severe heat damage. All of my huge sunflower plants died in the fire. A few days before the fire I started to harvest a few of them so thankfully I will have seeds for next years crop. I have been slowly trimming all the damaged leaves off of my plants.
We have put up new fence lines and have removed over 12 tons of burnt derbies from the backyard. There is a blank canvas back there now. And I am excited to create something new from the ashes. I am also very grateful that my family, animals and our house survived that massive fire on Sept 7, 2018
I have created a little area on my patio that I call my propagation station. I like to use saucers that normally sit under a pot. I fill them with soil and I put leaves all over them. Then I sit them on a table and leave them alone. Every now and then I will squirt them with a squirt bottle. But you do not really have to do that. The leaf will provide water to the pup until it shrivels up and dies. Once the pups begin to grow bigger I put them into a tiny pot. Then I place them into a tiny green house. Once they establish themselves with a nice little root ball I move them into a bigger pot with other little succulents. When I create my succulent arrangements I use the little succulents from the pot of many.
I just love to propagate succulents. I think its really amazing that you can reproduce a new tiny plant just from a leaf. I mean you can even accidentally break a stem and place it in soil and it will grow roots. Just like magic another plant forms. The tiny plants growing from the leaves are called pups and the broken stem i mentioned is considered a stem cutting. I normally let the stem cutting sit for a couple days so that it forms a callous. Once it has callused I place it into soil and it will eventually form roots. Be patient sometimes it takes a while for roots to form.
Every time I go to my local hardware store i check out the floor of the nursery and pick up the random succulent leaves that seem to always be on the floor. I always ask whoever is working what they do with them and they always say we sweep them up and throw them away. Then I ask if I can have them. They always give me a weird look and say sure. I mean I cant help but see a leaf and think of the future plant that it can be.
I found some cool driftwood the other day while I was rafting on the river. I collected it and loaded it up on my raft. I just knew they were going to make great succulent displays. I used crushed rose quartz and crushed purple amethyst as well as crystal quartz in each. I tend to use my little pups from my leaf propagations for all my projects with driftwood. I like to watch them grow in. Would love to see what everyone else does with driftwood. Feel free to share photos!
Donkey’s Tail succulent or (Sedum Morganianum), sometimes called Burro’s Tail plant, is a popular and easy to grow trailing succulent. It is native to Mexico. This unique looking plant has long hanging stems. That are covered with thick rows of fleshy blue-green, tear dropped shaped leaves that overlap like the hair on a donkey’s tail. The stems can reach lengths of over 3 feet long. It is happiest when grown in hanging baskets or up high so that it has room to flow down and no one can accidentally bump into it. A Donkey’s Tail plant is very fragile and the stems break and the leaves easily detach and fall off of if disturbed. Donkey Tail needs careful handling. Read more about Donkey’s Tail
Aloe Vera is one of my favorite succulents to have in the garden. It will thrive pretty much anywhere as long as the soil is well drained. Aloe Vera rarely needs to be watered, give it a good soaking and then let the soil dry out between watering. It has many health benefits and the easiest way to use Aloe Vera is to just snap off a leaf when you need it and rub on the gel. Use it fresh, or it stores it in the fridge for up to a week. Its a nice little burn cream to have on hand.