Dust off any dirt from the plant. Pot in a loose soil which allows rapid water drainage. You may wish to add perlite or other inorganic material to your soil, this helps the water drain and avoids soil compaction.
Let your plants settle in for several days without water unless weather is extremely hot and dry. (If your plant was shipped potted, no need to plant it, of course.) If there is a plastic bag containing the pot or the roots, remove the bag.
Plants will grow best in medium to bright filtered light. Avoid immediately placing them in direct burning sun, however, as they can sunburn unless given a chance to acclimate. If you notice any discoloration (red or purple) it is likely sun stress, move to more filtered light.
The best temperature range for is 45-90 F. Cacti and succulents cannot usually withstand freezing, you may need to move them indoors or cover them in winter.
Cacti need water about once a month, even less in the winter. Succulent plants need more, especially during their growing season. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering. It is hard to kill them with too little water, but they can easily drown with too much. Don’t be afraid to poke your finger deep into the soil to check for moisture.
Do not “mist” cacti or succulents, water is not love and mist is not a kiss. Many are susceptible to skin fungus and other moisture-related problems.
A liquid fertilizer may be added monthly during the growth season (not during dormancy). Plants drink their nutrition, but, they don’t like to swim in it, so make certain that your soil drains well.
Many plants become dormant in the winter (and some, such as the plicatilis, become dormant in the summer). They may soften or lose their leaves. They need little or no water during this period.
We’ve noticed that some plants (particularly pachypodium) lose their leaves or start dormancy after transit, most likely because of the darkness in the box. Once they are planted and a normal routine established, they soon get back on cycle.
Replanting a Cutting
Let the cutting form a callous over the cut area. This can take 4-10 days (the larger the plant, the longer the period). The callous prevents insects and moisture from entering the plant. Plant in dry soil. The plant will be thirsty and send out roots… this is your indicator to start watering.
The plants like well draining soil, this helps water flow through. Plants drink their nutrition, but then they like to dry out and digest, so to speak. So adding some perlite or any other inorganic material to the soil helps the water flow process and the plant.
Types of Potting Containers
People ask us whether the type of potting container makes a difference – we don’t think so. What is most important is that the container is sized proportionally to the plant and has drainage so that water does not pool in the bottom.
These lovable paddles root very quickly when placed in dry soil. We always ship with callous formed, but, they’ll do best in dry soil. Leave them dry a few weeks and the roots will come out seeking water.
We ship them potted, complete with hanger. Occasionally during transit some of the hanging stems (or “pearls” on string of pearls, beads on the sedum) may come off. Don’t throw them away, just place them back into the pot and they will soon form their own roots and become the next generation of stems.
Lithops and Living Rocks
These little guys like it very dry. In fact, you likely don’t need to water lithops at all during winter. At any given time, they are in the process of forming a new pair of leaves in their center… and devouring the old pair of leaves as their nutrient source. So, don’t despair when the outer leaves go limp.
We recycle everything that we can. For this reason, you may find recycled newspapers, grocery bags and other recyclable materials in your shipment. Pass them along if you can, give the earth a break.
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