you will need
A range of Cacti & Succulent Plants
Searles Cacti & Succulent Specialty Mix
Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food
Decorative pebbles for a beautiful display
& Succulents have interested adults & children alike
for hundreds of years. Resurgence in their popularity in recent
times is partly as a result of trends to minimalistic, low
maintenance garden styles. Other reasons could simply be our
busy life styles and the constant demands on our time and
the fact that they look so wonderful and take very little
care to grow well. These particular plants do not require
a lot of time and maintenance.
Choosing the right plants
When choosing Cacti & Succulents at the local nursery,
there are a couple of points to look out for:
Purchase fresh plants
Plants should be free of diseases
They must be reasonably firm in their pots but don't
shake them, this can damage roots.
If your interest is flowers and colours the best time
to view them in flower is spring (a lot of varieties flower
The position they are to be placed in at home should be chosen
carefully. Naturally this will depend on whether they are
to be kept in containers or transplanted into the ground.
Containers are ideal for Cacti & Succulents as they are
assured excellent drainage at all times and plants can also
be moved around if necessary. For best results, plant into
Searles cacti & Succulent Potting Mix.
You can use most varieties inside a well-lit house for a week
or 2 at a time quite successfully. Outside container plants
will perform at their best positioned in an easterly or northerly
place. Against the house is excellent, as Cacti & Succulents
appreciate the radiated heat from walls and also overhead
eaves on the house will undoubtedly give them some protection
from heavy summer rains. A minimum of 4 - 5 hours sun or full
sun is best.
Planting into the ground in the subtropics needs a bit of
planning. Sloping or raised beds are best where there is no
clay present. Improve drainage and raise beds by using Searles
Cacti & Succulent mix or washed river sand. A full sun
position or 1/2 sun position in the garden will be fine. As
they will grow rapidly once established & happy, it is
important not to under estimate the space each plant may require.
Having them leaning out over paths or driveways may be uncomfortable
to all especially if it needs to be transplanted as a result.
This needs to be done regularly or when the plant is too big
for the pot it is currently in. Rubberised gardening gloves
are a must to avoid the spines. Some newspaper or cardboard
will also be useful. Fold the paper into the shape of a collar
and place around the Cacti & Succulents to support the
plant itself. Your choice of container (terracotta, plastic,
ceramic, tin) is not too important but the size and drainage
is. It must have one or more holes in the base and only measure
5 - 10cm (2 - 3 in) larger than the last pot. Cacti &
Succulents like to be potted on slowly, not into extremely
large containers straight away. In the bottom of the new container,
use Searles Cacti & Succulent Mix. Supporting the plant
in it's paper sling, gently remove the old pot and position
the plant evenly in the new container keeping the soil level
as it was in the old pot the same as in the new pot. Fill
around the plant with more Searles Cacti & Succulent Mix.
Decorative stones and pebbles in various colours are a great
Don't water plants in immediately instead wait 3 - 4 days
for root hairs to heal after repotting. This may prevent rotting
after transplant. Repotting should be done annually. Watering
plants will depend on lots of individual factors. Rainfall
is one; if rain is bountiful don't water plants by hand. If
rain is very heavy or persistent you may consider moving plants
undercover to avoid excess water. Otherwise watering at least
once a week in summer allowing soil or potting mix to be dry
before repeating. In winter only water when mix or soil is
dry. This may only be once every 2 weeks. Cacti & Succulents
definitely don't require saucers. Instead they should be allowed
to drain freely.
Fertilising is simple and should not be overdone. Apply Searles
Flourish Soluble Plant Food at indoor rate once per month
from spring through to autumn. For specific varieties suited
to your area pop down to your local nursery.
Happy Gardening with Searles from the Searle family.
© Copyright 2002 JC & AT
Searle Pty Ltd
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