Succulents ideal for non-gardeners PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Garden Editor   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:59
Gene Klotz, owner of Klotz Flower and Garden in Bowling Green with Succulents he has for sale. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Even the most avid gardener welcomes those plants which need minimal attention. Many people who always say they don't have a green thumb are also finding success and enjoyment from succulents.
For those reasons, Gene Klotz of Klotz Floral and Garden Center notes that succulents are becoming increasingly more popular in this area.
While some varieties of succulents have been popular for a long time such as hens-and-chicks, snake plant, jade plant and aloe vera, there are likely thousands of varieties available.
Klotz says he has really noticed a boom in the interest in the last three years and attributes that success to the wide variety in the various plants, their ease to plant and ease to care for.
Many succulents also work well in the popular miniature and fairy gardens which are also growing in popularity.
"Because the interest has maintained the industry feels it's not just a fad," Klotz said of the trend.
Technically, a succulent is any plant with thick, fleshy water storage organs. Succulents store water in their leaves, their stems or their roots. That feature is the main one which allows those who can kill most plants by just looking at them, to find success with these.
In most cases succulents work very well in containers, which can then be placed outdoors or indoors. If used on a patio, porch or other outdoor location, containers can then be brought indoors for the winter.
Imagination also allows an infinite variety of containers to be used, including simple to elaborate; standard to ornate; as well as those that can be placed as well as hung or mounted on a wall.
Succulents are on display at Klotz Flower and Garden in Bowling Green.
"People love the variety, each one has its own unique look," Klotz said noting some will vine out and many will flower at various times.
While cactus are considered succulents, he says the difference is that the cacti genus tend to have sharp, prickly foliage like a needle; while most succulents are more rounded, though event those that are pointed will not prick someone like a cactus can.
He adds a few varieties can "over winter" outdoors, however any outdoor plants would normally be best brought indoors for the winter.
"These plants are low maintenance - very easy to care for," Klotz reiterates. "They are a lot of fun because there are so many things people can do with them."
Originally associated with more arid climates, the succulent is fast-becoming a staple of colder climate gardens.
Klotz says they are roughly the same price as the more traditional annuals and perennials.
Small varieties are sold in the $4 to $6 range, with larger plants costing more. In addition most garden centers also offer pre-planted succulents and prices on those are mostly contingent on the type and configuration of the container.
It would not be unusual for an elaborate container with a variety of succulents to be priced at $60 or more.
Though succulents do need to be watered, less watering is required and generally most need around four hours of sunlight each day.
Caution does need to be taken when moving an indoor plant or entire planter outdoors. Proper pampering and gradual adjustments to the environment change is preferred by most plants.

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