How to slow down and grow, propagate and swap low-maintenance succulents
Gardening as a pastime is compatible with the principles of slow living. It allows you to take time out of your hectic schedule to engage with something quite simple and pure. In doing so, you’re able to connect with yourself, slow down and be present.
For many, gardening can be intimidating if you feel you don’t have the knowledge or ability to grow plants. However, I love succulents because they are so robust, forgiving and accessible. They don’t require any skill – anyone can grow a succulent. Characterised by fleshy parts that help retain water in arid climates, succulents require well-drained sandy-to-gravelly soils, very little water and lots of sunlight. What’s more, they propagate very easily. A leaf or cutting broken off a succulent will root and become a new plant, which means you can share and exchange plants among your friends or in communities.
Succulents such as Sedums and Echeveria can easily be reproduced with a leaf cutting. Simply break off a leaf from the main stem, ensuring it’s a clean break, then leave for a few days to heal and form a callous. Place the leaf on the surface of soil and spray with water every few days. Roots will appear at the callous as the leaf searches for water, and new leaf nodes will form. At this point, you can plant your baby Echeveria and watch it develop into a fully fledged succulent.
My Favourite Succulents
Foxtail Agave (Agave attenuata)
Pig’s Ear (Cotyledon orbiculata)
Cooper’s Aloe (Aloe Cooperi)
Mexican Gem (Echeveria elegans)
Ice Plant (Sedum spectabile)
Crassula expansa subsp. fragilis
Text: Mary Maurel