Transplanting succulents and cacti

Yesterday was the perfect early spring day. We hit an afternoon high of 74°F, and being outside in the sun felt heavenly. I took the opportunity to transplant most of the small succulents I bought recently at IKEA and Silverado.

The first step was to mix up some well-draining potting soil. I used about 50% pumice, 25% coir (see post from last week) and 25% regular potting soil. The result was a nice and fluffy mix that should be perfect for succulents.

Succulent soil mix

Then I got out the succulents and some pots I’d been collecting for this purpose, sat down on the front lawn and went to work. Here’s what I came up with.

Sedum pachyphyllum
One of three mixed succulent bowls I put together yesterday
Mixed succulent bowl #2
Mixed succulent bowl #2
Click here to see an update (1/19/2012)
As I was unpotting the IKEA succulents, I realized that each nursery container didn’t contain a single plant with multiple stems as I had thought, but rather a bunch of loose cuttings that were in the process of rooting. This was an unexpected boon because there were more plants to go around.
The small, fat leaves of Sedum ‘Burrito’ (at the bottom in the previous photo) break off very easily. By the time I had planted the 10 or so cuttings contained in the 4" pot, I had broken off at least a couple of dozen leaves. They are supposed to root easily, so I filled two of the IKEA nursery containers with soil and placed the leaves on top. Even if only two or three of them root, I’ll be happy. I really like the look of Sedum ‘Burrito’ and would love to have more plants—especially if they are free. (Check out this photo from Succulent Gardens in Castroville, CA. They’re propagating Sedum ‘Burrito’ this way.)
I also transplanted three of the cacti I bought at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden last month. They’re called Silver Torch (Cleistocactus strausii) and will slowly grow to 6-8 ft. The agave in the foreground is one my favorites, Agave schidigera 'Shira ito no Ohi', a Japanese dwarf cultivar that might eventually reach a width of 1 ft. I’ve had it for almost two years and while it’s doubled in size, it’s still only 4 inches across (the tallest of the cacti is about 9½ inches).
One of the succulents I bought at Silverado last weekend went into the ground. This is Senecio vitalis (plant on the right), and I put it in the succulent bed right next to the front door. The agave on the left is Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor', which has been producing one offset after another. The green pot in the background contains a Golden Goddess bamboo (Bambusa multiplex 'Golden Goddess').


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