Shrink Gardening

Just in case my last post made you wistful for summer (join the club), here’s an idea to get you through what always seems to be the longest month of winter. ¬†With tiny tools to hand and an odd mix of pots to choose from, I garden indoors, on a miniature scale, as much as I can in the long months cooped up in my apartment. ¬†I have an obsession with grey-green succulents, a lasting consequence of driving in the desert last summer, and found a nice variety at Home Depot to chose from.

I generally use normal potting mix and cut it with a small amount of sand, about a 1:3 ratio, to increase drainage. ¬†Succulents keep to themselves pretty nicely, with overwatering the most likely cause of death. ¬†If leaves start to turn yellowish or pale, you are probably giving your plants too much to drink! ¬†Before watering, stick your finger about an inch into the soil. ¬†If you feel any moisture at all, it’s not time yet. ¬†I let my pots go bone dry between waterings, usually 1 to 2 weeks. ¬†Succulents thrive in partial to full sun, but I find that they are happy in my living room, which has ¬†ample ambient light and only a few hours of direct exposure each day.

Plant species in pots from left to right are:

A mixture of Propeller Plant (Crassula falcatta) and Panda Plant (Kalanchoe Tomentosa).  I like the similarity between the two leaf shapes, with the variegated and hairy leaves of the Panda Plant adding a little contrast.

Graptosedum “California Sunset”

(I believe) two rosettes of Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) of an unknown variety

Sedum treleasei in a pot that I made in my ceramics class at the Newport Art Museum.

And an unknown kind of cactus, which is becoming increasingly decorated.