Greenhouse Succulent Care: Tips For Growing Greenhouse Succulents
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By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
The appeal of succulents for thehome gardener continues to grow or may be just beginning. They are becomingfavorites for many because they are easy to grow and handle neglect well. Assuch, commercial growers want their slice of the action and are growing theplants in their greenhouse operations. Hobbyists, too, enjoy growing greenhousesucculent plants.
Growing Greenhouse Succulents
Professional growers and hobbyists areadding substantial greenhouse succulent plants to their inventory in manyareas. In places where succulents and cacti only grow outside for part of theyear, greenhouse growing allows for bigger plants earlier in the year. However,they are facing a few pitfalls, especially with first-time growers.
Growing succulents in a greenhouseis different from growing otherplants in this environment. If you have a greenhouse and keepyour succulents there, maybe you will benefit from these tips. Follow thesebasic suggestions for taking care of them to achieve the healthiest succulentgrowth.
Starting a Succulent Greenhouse
You may want to add a greenhouse or use anexisting one in which to grow succulents. You might even grow some to sell. Agreenhouse is the perfect way to keep rainfall from getting plants too wet. Itis an excellent way to organize your succulents and identify them.
A heated greenhouse can keepthem alive during the winter if you’re in a climate with months of belowfreezing temperatures. If you continue to add succulents to your collection anddon’t have enough space to display them in your house, a greenhouse is a greatoption for storage.
Greenhouse Succulent Care
Waterand Soil:You may be aware that succulents need less water than most plants. This is adefense mechanism they developed from originating in areas where rainfall islimited. Most of them store water in their leaves. Succulents need to dry outcompletely between waterings. They need even less water in fall and winter.
Plant them in an amended,fast-draining soil so water can quickly exit the root area. Too much water isthe primary reason for succulent death. Don’t hang baskets above thesucculents. These may obstruct the lighting and drip into succulent pots,keeping succulents too wet. Dripping water can also spread disease.
Lighting: Mostsucculents like bright light conditions, except for those that are variegated,such as green and white. Direct sunlight in a greenhouse should be filtered.Leaves may be sunburned if exposed to too much sun. If direct sunlight reachesthe plants, it should be just a few hours in the morning once they’ve beengradually acclimated to it.
If the greenhouse does not providethe sunlight necessary, use artificial lighting.
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Succulent Propagation – The Ultimate Guide
Learning to propagate your succulent plants is a simple and cost-effective way to grow your collection without spending a lot of money. In this article, we explain how to propagate succulents through the 3 essential types of propagation. Learn everything about Succulent Propagation. How to plant succulents from seedlings to propagate. how to propagate succulents from leaves, how to cut succulent stems for propagation by cuttings, and growing succulents from seeds.
The meaning of “propagation” is the act of taking one part or piece of an adult succulent plant and using that piece to grow a new plant.
The three basic methods of propagating succulents are:
1- by using the scions that grow at the base of some species,
2 – through leaf cuttings (or whole leaves), cutting off pieces of stems or branches of the plant, or
3 – propagating the plant through the seeds of an adult plant.
Succulent propagation is a relatively simple process. However, some plants are more difficult to propagate than others. Take a look at the 4 basic forms of succulent propagation below to decide which method you would like to try!
Best Succulents to Grow Indoors
- Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
- Christmas kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
- Mother-in-law tongue or snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Crown of thorns (Eurphorbia milii)
- Medicine plant (Aloe vera)
- Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi)
- Zebra cactus (Haworthia fasciata)
- Panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
- String of bananas (Senecio radicans)
- String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
- Hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum tectorum or Echeveria elegans)
- Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)
- Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum)
- Pebble plant or living stone (Lithops)
Greenhouses forum→Greenhouse for succulents and cactus
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Otherwise, your cacti and succulents would do fine in the greenhouse during the winter and could all go outside in summer. Some of them might have to be in summer shade. My husband made a pergola covered with shade cloth for our Scottsdale yard and the cacti did much better both summer and winter. Prior to that some had frozen and some had sunburned.
If your water isn't too hard you could use a misting system that goes off 3 or 4 times a day during the summer. I tried that but our water turned the plants and walls white.
A long time ago I saw a greenhouse that had one end wall of cloth, and drippers from above kept the cloth wet and they used fans outside, blowing the air from the wet cloth into the greenhouse.
Probably your best idea is to have a shade area outside and keep your less hardy plants in the greenhouse all winter. My daughter has a greenhouse in Texas and her greenhouse was getting to 130 so she can't use it in summer at all.
Here I move everything out in summer and still place most of it in the shade.
I keep shade cloth up in the greenhouse year around. If I recall, it was 60%.
A suggestion to keep your plants hydrated. I place them in trays with a shallow lip. Then I water the trays so the plants draw water from the bottom of the pot. When they have become hydrated, I can easily dump the water from the tray. It takes less effort and prevents water or soil splashing on your succulents.
Daniel and Kerry Branagan use their 26′ Growing Dome a little differently than most. Instead of growing food or flowers, their greenhouse is filled with beautiful lush succulents of all shapes and sizes. Kerry’s love for succulent plants came about as a child at her grandmas when she saw her first hen and chick succulent. She was fascinated by it.
For the past 16 years, Kerry and Daniel have been collecting succulent plants from all over the world on their travels. Where most people might buy a small trinket as a trip memento, Kerry and Daniel pick out a unique succulent. As you can imagine, they have collected many “souvenier succulents” jade, aloe vera, echeveria varieties. Her favorite is a sizeable canary island aeonium that they bought on a trip to San Fransisco.
Their Growing Dome Journey
For the Branagan’s a Growing Dome was the obvious choice. They see incredibly high winds and massive snow loads in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “The quality just can’t be beaten.” They purchased their 26′ Growing Dome Greenhouse kit in September of 2015. With the help of the family and a Growing Spaces supervisor, they were able to get the Dome built quickly. Although they originally planned to use the greenhouse for food, Kerry quickly realized that kind of gardening was not for them. But it was a perfect environment for her succulents.
Inside their Growing Dome
Kerry called their geodome greenhouse “a sanctuary, a place of peace, quiet, and solitude. The very best investment they have ever made.” When I asked Kerry if they made any adjustments to their greenhouse to make it the proper environment for succulents, she said, “not a thing” their greenhouse gets A LOT of sun even during the winter months. The pond, in combination with the sunlight, keeps the Dome at a perfectly steady temperature. They haven’t added any fish to the pond. Instead, they chose to add a small shelf to hold extra succulents and add a little pond coverage to keep away the algae. This is a great option for anyone who struggles to keep floating pond plants alive.
- Kerry holding a giant echeveria plant.
- Daniel relaxing in the Dome
Over the past five years, Daniel and Kerry have had countless visitors. People come from all over to see inside of their succulent paradise. Kerry is happy to share advice, knowledge, and succulent propagations with everyone she meets. Her garden club often meets at the Dome. Kerry said, “every time she enters the Dome, she is reminded of priceless memories from trips or friends who have visited and gifted succulents.” Currently, Kerry is working hard in her Dome prepping succulent bouquets for both of her daughter’s weddings.
- Idaho Greenhouse in Winter
- Potted Succulents in Dome
Advice to Future Dome Owners
I ask everyone who participates in the Dome of the Month, what advice would they give to a future dome owner? Kerry had some expert feedback. Especially for those who would like to start a succulent greenhouse sanctuary for themselves.
1. Maximize your space with hanging baskets
2. Try to put the eyelets in before you build your Dome. (These are now included with each kit.)
3. If you plan to grow succulents in your greenhouse opt for a sand floor over concrete. If you do this, you will often find succulent offset sprouting on the ground.
As someone who can’t even keep a cactus alive, I asked Kerry what advice she might have for beginner succulent greenhouse gardeners. She said, “growing succulents are very different depending on where you live. Succulents love moisture and sun, so be sure to provide ample amounts of both. Some great beginner succulents include haworthia or small types of aloe vera.”
- Huernia Zebrina succulent bloom
- Kerry during a succulent presentation to local garden club