Succulents: we all love them, want them in our homes and want to see them thrive. If you’re anything like me, you’ve killed one or two plants, have a few hanging on and occasionally overwater them… I’m just trying to be attentive but apparently succulents like to be left alone. Who knew!
Learning the ins and outs of plants can be hard but thankfully the library has some books that teach the ways of the succulent. Of course, there’s the Idiots Guide to Succulents. This book helps the budding (get it?) gardener figure out which succulent is right for them, providing profiles on the most popular plants. It includes how much water they like, how much sun, and which other plants they pair well with so you can make some neat arrangements! I also really appreciated that each page includes the “zone” each plant thrives in. The zones refer to the USDA hardiness zones that can be used for any kind of vegetation which is really helpful! The map they use only includes USA but a quick internet search shows that Thunder Bay sits in the 3 range. I have chickens and hens in my garden and they are practically a weed with how fast they grow! Of course, indoors you can try growing anything you want. This book is really great as a look into propagating, watering, repotting and everything else.
Once you’ve mastered the growing aspect, you could try reading the DIY Succulents book by Tawni Daigle. After a brief look into succulent basics, this book then very quickly gets into crafting with plants! You can make wreaths, terrariums, and living necklaces! How cool would it be to roll up to a Christmas party and show off your living necklace? Amazing. I was particularly interested in how to build a “vertical framed succulent garden” which was basically a garden mounted to the wall! Don’t be surprised like I was though — you need to leave your garden horizontal for about 6 weeks (and whenever you water it) before you can mount it.
And perhaps most importantly, the book What’s Wrong With My Houseplant? by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth will save your plants’ lives. Each plant is given a short history and description of what it should look like (with pictures too) and some info about what the plant likes. The common problems that each plant tends to struggle with and their solutions are described at the end of the book. The best part is for sure “common problems,” which will save you some grief and several headaches.
If you’re looking for a book that’s a combo of all three, Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties by Debra Lee Baldwin would be your best bet.
So this winter while you’re stuck inside you can still try to bring some greenery into your life. While I’m no pro with propagation or repotting, I’m slowly learning to grow pretty plants and you can too! Good luck out there fellow future green-thumbs!
Nicole Koroscil – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!