Green-thumb brides on a budget pay attention. Starting plants from seed is fun. I do a lot of that. But this winter/spring I have started multiplying my plants – especially echeveria – without seeding: I am growing plants from plant parts. It didn’t start out as a plan but it grew. Naturally.
Are you planning a summer wedding or event that needs a few pretty plants? Then you are probably thinking of using something beautiful like Echeveria (even if you don’t know it’s called that.) “Brides on a Budget” might even want to grow their own wedding plants. These succulents look a lot like the more common Hens & Chicks. And, like chicks, they are super easy to grow but you have to bring them indoors over winter.They make an attractive garden plant but they are so costly because they have become as trendy with brides as catnip with kittens (think planters on tables or bouquets that don’t wilt)
When my niece Ayla got married her mom (my sister) bought various succulents to use on table displays and on her Tiara! It was a success and Anne did most of the growing in her back yard ahead of time.
Echeveria leaves pulled off the same plant and left in an empty tray in the house send out roots even though I never mist them or pampered them in any way. The interesting thing is that some leaves do this in a month and some in two months. All from the same plant. Just leave them in the tray until they start to form new plants from where the roots emerge. The leaf is supplying moisture to the newly sprouting plant and somehow differentiating into an all-new and very complete little plant.
Individual leaves pulled off the mother plant will root in their own time – anywhere from four to eight weeks
Look closely and you will see the new baby plant appearing at the leaf base where the roots are also appearing. This means it is time to pot them up and let them grow on.
The solution if you don’t have a big budget for that August wedding? Buy one echeveria plant and take it apart leaf by leaf and let each piece root individually. I pulled apart one of the large plants seen in the video above on February 22, 2018 and within three weeks roots were appearing. By yesterday little plants started appearing at the base of the roots so it was time to plant.
Ideally you write down the date you plant your rooted leaves in the soil. This will help you remember how long it takes to create little plants from rooted leaves.
Small plants appear gradually and by then the original leaf has withered away. I like to place the rooted leaves over a heat source for a week or two so they will continue to root and grow faster. You don’t need a greenhouse but of course I have one so I use it. If you are doing this in your home, place a small plastic cover over the pot to help keep moisture and humidity higher as plants sprout. This helps to speed up plant development.
Sometimes you don’t want to split larger plants apart into leaves so you just pot up the individual plants you pull off the larger clumps. These will send out roots in as little as two weeks. Mine also started to bloom and initiate new baby plants. Very bountiful.
So that is it. If you are a bride on a budget or a gardener with time to fuss it is fun to make more plants from parts of old plants. It’s fun to grow from seed, but growing from plant parts is another ballgame. A fun one.
I helped a friend put together pots of various succulents for her daughter’s wedding and it was so much fun choosing from the wide range of succulents available.
Succulents like Echeveria form nice clumps that can be left in a large pot or split apart and divided so you can create more plants for free.
DONNA BALZER IS THE BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR BC GREENHOUSE BUILDERS AND SHE LOVES GROWING IN THEM TOO!