New pots and new growth: spring-tidying my succulents

Spring has finally sprung in the North West of England and before I get hit with deadline season, exams and the dreaded dissertation hand-in, I decided to do some tidying up with my plants.

Spring and Summer is definitely growing season for succulents: most of them have signs of fresh growth peaking through, especially my sedums which are sprouting pups from their lower stems. I’m keen to keep them as happy as possible and I felt a lot of the pots my plants were currently in didn’t give adequate drainage to prevent the dreaded root rot.

I’ve been planning on buying some small terracotta pots for a while, but as always happens, I didn’t realise I’d find the perfect ones quite so soon. Walking around ASDA with shopping for groceries, I happened to wander down their new gardening aisle and lo-and-behold, the perfect terracotta pots I’d been looking for were smack-bang in front of me. I bought three, and the next day went back and grabbed three more – they were at steal a 70p!

They didn’t have drainage holes, which is a pain, so I had to think outside the box. The standard ‘hole-making’ process uses a masonry drill bit (legit, it’s on Wiki-How). Being a student of little means, I didn’t fancy buying an electric drill and instead sort an easier way to make the holes. I ventured forward with a screwdriver, soaked the pots for a few hours and then applied pressure to the bases while twisting. It took ages, and the bases did flake and my desk looked like I'd dropped a glass of red salt all over it but finally I had drainage holes, and minimal damage, to the pots.

I’ve now repotted four succulents in a cacti and succulent potting mix, adding extra permilite and gravel to help with drainage. At the beginning of this month, I was putting my succulents outside to get some real sunlight. Right now, though, the days are more grey and I’ve had to keep them in under my growlight.

All in all, a successful spring tidy-up. Now I need to stop procrastinating and get on with my dissertation.

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