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Brides on a Budget: Multiplying Echeveria

by | Apr 13, 2018 | Garden Decoration | 0 comments

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 without seeding: I am growing plants from plant parts. It didn’t start out as a plan but it grew. Naturally.

Now I am starting Harry Lauder Walking sticks, curly willow, thornless blackberries, grapes, echeveria and potatoes from pieces of plants. This post looks at Echeveria specifically.  I can make more of the things I love and want to share from things I find or split apart after growing them for a while.  In later posts I look at some of the other plants I love to grow from parts.

Echeveria is such a pretty annual for cold climates – they look a lot like the hardier Hens & Chicks only they are not as hardy. And they are a little prettier. And sometimes these succulent plants grow as large as a dinner plate. 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)

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 try to pamper them. 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. 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 planted 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 a small plastic cover over the pot helps to keep moisture and humidity higher at this stage. 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. I am looking forward to sharing the other plants I am growing from parts in the greenhouse.

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