Wearable Planter

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DIY, How to Plantcolleen jordan2 Comments

Succulents are really easy plants to care for. They're not only easy to keep alive with just a little bit of water and access to sunlight, but they are also simple to plant. Succulents can thrive indoors year-round and can live outdoors in most climates. The easiest way to grow and propagate these plants isn't through planting seeds, but by taking cuttings from established plants. Planting them yourself gives you better creative control over how your arrangement looks, and is an inexpensive introduction to gardening that you can do without access to a backyard or porch. If you've ever been curious about how to plant your own succulents, you're in luck because we're going to show you what to do!

What You'll Need:

  • Succulent cuttings or leaves. If you don't have them from a cutting you took, you can get them from Amazon and several sellers on Etsy.
  • A well-draining soil. For this tutorial I'm making my own using 1 part potting soil mixed with 1 part sand, but you can also buy pre-made soil mixes made for succulents and cacti.

  • A planter or tray to plant in.

  • Water.

  • Small river stones  or rocks (optional).


What To Do:

Gather Your Succulents To Plant

We're going to be planting a variety of types of succulents from both cuttings and fallen leaves for this tutorial. Gather together what you would like to plant. You can either clip cuttings from an established plant or use fallen leaves. You can also find cuttings at most florists and online if you can't find them elsewhere. I purchased mine from a seller on Etsy, but you can find them on Amazon, too.

Prepare your succulents for planting.

Preparing your succulents is the most important part of this process. You want to make sure that you have enough of the stem to plant beneath the soil to support the plant. Remove any extra leaves from the bottom of the stem. For larger cuttings, about an inch of bare stem is fine, and you can use less for smaller cuttings. 

Next, look at the bottom of your cutting. The plants should have a "callous" on them, meaning that the bottom of the plant has dried out. This forms a few days after cutting the succulent, so you should wait a few days before planting freshly cut succulents. You can speed up this process by leaving the cutting on a paper towel or paper bag for the end to dry faster.

The great thing about succulents is that you can plant their leaves, too, so save the leaves you removed from the stem. Check for rotten parts of your succulents. Any part of the plant that is black has rotted, and this can spread to other parts of the plant and will eventually kill it. The rotten portions can be removed simply by cutting it.

Mix your soil.


If you're not using a pre-mixed blend of soil for succulents, you'll need to prepare your soil so that it will drain well to allow your succulents to thrive. I mix one part potting soil with one part sand, which allows the soil to drain well. I also like to keep some small rocks on hand to place around the base of larger plants to help anchor them in the soil.

Pour your soil mixture into a pot or tray. I'm recycling a baking pan that I can no longer use for baking as a planting tray.


Now we've gotten to the fun part! Make a small hole in the soil, about an inch deep. Place your cutting into the depression, and cover with soil.


If you're planting more than one cutting, make sure to place them about 2-3" apart.

Make sure your plants get enough water. Succulents don't usually need a lot of water, but while they are establishing their roots, you'll need to water them every 2-4 days, depending on how dry the soil gets. Don't be surprised if you see the leaves start to look a little dried out at first, this is the plant using it's stored energy resources while it builds new roots. In about four weeks you'll start to see new growth. Once the plants have established their roots and begin to grow, switch to weekly watering or only when the soil is dry.

Admire and Show Off Your Work!

Great job! Show off your green thumb and your amazing handiwork to all your friends! Once these plants have established their roots and started growing in about 3-6 weeks, they'll be ready for repotting if you choose. Plant them in a small mason jar or colorful pot, and they make a great holiday gift for coworkers and friends!


How to Grow Healthy Succulents: Extra Credit

How to Plantcolleen jordanComment

This is the second part of a two part series teaching you how to easily grow and care for succulents. Earlier this week we showed you the basics and today we're teaching you a few extra tricks that will keep your plants flourishing (and impress your friends)!

Water with hydrogen peroxide.
One of the tricks I’ve learned recently is to water my succulents with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water (I use a solution of 2 parts water to 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide). Hydrogen peroxide is basically water with an extra oxygen molecule that is looking for something to do. The peroxide will help to oxygenate the soil which is healthy for the roots and help to flush out any stagnant water. It will also help to kill any harmful fungi, microbes, or insect eggs that may be in the soil. I don

Feed your soil.
Soil is like a living organism, and growing plants in soil will in time deplete its nutrients. In order for your soil to keep your plants healthy, you’ll need to give it some nutrition from time to time. Succulents planted in the ground probably won’t need fertilizer, but potted ones will. All fertilizers contain some combination of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and succulents like fertilizers with a high amount of nitrogen. For my succulents, I've been really happy with the succulent fertilizer made by Miracle-Gro.

Don’t be afraid to use fertilizers on your plants, but remember to use them sparingly and in low concentrations to avoid burning the plant. There are a variety of conventional and organic fertilizers that you can find that work great for succulents, so find the one that you feel happiest with.

This succulent came contaminated with aphid eggs that hatched. Keeping it separated from my other plants kept it from spreading.

This succulent came contaminated with aphid eggs that hatched. Keeping it separated from my other plants kept it from spreading.

Keep new plants separate from the others
When you get a new plant, you don’t know how it’s been maintained earlier in its life up to then. While it may look healthy, it may be harboring insect eggs or have rotten parts that you may not see. 

Common problems that any new plant can have are mealybugs or aphids. Plants can also have dying roots caused by over watering. Keeping your new succulents separate will protect all of your plants and let you easily deal with any problems that may arise.

If you do find any bugs on your new plants, this problem will not be serious if you take care of it quickly. For mealy bugs, I dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rub it on any affected leaves and where I see plants. For aphids and mites, you can use an organic insecticidal soap  or trying rinsing the plant with strong water. Trickier infestations may require a contact pesticide.

Succulent clippings cut from larger plants.

Succulent clippings cut from larger plants.

Don’t be afraid to trim or prune your succulents.
Is your plant getting too leggy from not enough sunlight? Trim it! Don’t be afraid to cut the bottom few inches off the stem and try to start over. You can follow our guide for growing cut succulents that takes you through what you need to do, so don’t get intimidated! You can also pull off any lonely leaves, and grow a new plant from the leaf.

How to Grow Healthy Succulents the Easy Way

How to Plantcolleen jordanComment
A young succulent clipping thriving in healthy soil.

A young succulent clipping thriving in healthy soil.

This is the first part of a two post series we'll be doing to teach you how to easily grow and care for succulents. If you haven't already guessed from our instagram feed, succulents are our favorite plants. They're really easy to keep and grow if you just follow a few easy steps. Today, we'll be sharing with you the basics of picking and growing healthy succulents, and Thursday we'll share with you some tricks that will help you go above and beyond.

First things first, pick a happy and healthy looking plant.
When you’re shopping for a succulent select a plant that has fat, green, pert leaves. This is the easiest way to tell that the succulent you’re picking is healthy. If the leaves are brown, wilted, or drooping, this doesn’t mean the plant will immediately die, but is showing signs that it hasn’t been well cared for. Set yourself up for success and pick a plant that is already healthy to bring home.

One of the recent trends in succulents is that you may find a plant that has been painted or has decorations (like a face) glued on to it. While this is partially a matter of personal taste, I would stay away from purchasing these plants. Paint on the leaves can prevent the plant from absorbing enough sunlight and glued on decorations can hide or cause damage to the leaves.

One thing to remember about succulents is that being another color is not a sign that the plant is unhealthy. Some growers will intentionally under water or expose their plants to too much light to create stress colors. These colors also don’t mean that the plant is in imminent danger, but is something for more advanced growers to try. Also, if you buy a plant that is showing stress colors, it may go back to being green shortly after you take it home and care for it properly.

Choose the right soil.
For growing your succulents or cacti, you want to get a good well draining soil for your plants. You can buy a pre-made mix or make your own. Most gardening stores and nurseries will carry this and can help you find one based on how you’re keeping your plants or even one made specially for your region. If you want to make your own, there are plenty of tutorials you can find online to help you out.

Pick a pot with good drainage.
Once you’ve got your plant and your well-draining soil, you’ll need to get a pot or planter that also helps with the water drainage. Pick a plant with either a hole in the bottom for drainage or an unglazed ceramic pot that will help wick away moisture.

Recent succulent clippings getting lots of light.

Recent succulent clippings getting lots of light.

Make sure they get enough sunlight.
Remember succulents naturally grow in sunny desserts, and really like sun! Whether you’re keeping your plants indoors or outdoors, make sure they get plenty of sunlight. Your plant will start to get “leggy” or change color if it isn’t getting enough light, and this is a sign that it will need more.
In the winter, I simulate sunlight with a grow light to provide my succulents with enough of the frequencies of light they need to stay healthy. For my setup, I use an LED grow light that I found on Amazon, a clamp light, and a Wemo programmable plug that I can monitor remotely and adjust based on how my plants are doing.


Water sparingly.
Remember that most succulents and cacti naturally grow in the desert and live in dry environments. Those fat leaves of theirs store water and evolved for the plants to thrive in the desert. Most succulents that growers unintentionally kill were over-watered. When you water your plants, soak the soil thoroughly and allow them to fully dry between waterings. You’ll know that you’ve over-watered your plants if the leaves look mushy or become translucent.

Be patient.
This may sound a little too simple, but remember to be patient! Succulents are plants, and if you make any changes to get your plant healthier, it will take a few days or even weeks to see any results.

Further reading:
The internet is full of knowledge of how to care for succulents. We've learned these tricks through the past few years of maintaining plants, but there are plenty of places where you can learn more. We really liked these articles, and we think that you might, too:



What We're Making, DIY, How to Plantcolleen jordanComment

In the first part of our How to Plant series, we're going to show you how to plant a succulent in your wearable planter. We get this question a lot, and while we include directions in each planter on what to do, we thought a visual guide would help everyone out best. Planting a succulent in a planter is actually really simple, and shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes. 

To start out, we recommend getting everything together first. You'll need the planter you've chosen, some soil, a plant, water, and a pen or a pencil. For this tutorial, we're using a type of succulent called sedum that grows as a ground cover in many places. You should be able to find it at any nursery or home improvement center, but you can also find it growing in many places if you know what to look for.

Before you start, check your plant clipping for roots. Most succulents will begin growing roots a few days after they are cut. If they don't have roots, your plant will still grow them, and just plant enough of the stem below the top of the soil.

Step One: Insert plant clipping into the planter.

Step Two: Add soil. You'll only need a few pinches of soil, and make sure that the roots are fully covered.

Step Three: With your pen or pencil, gently compact the soil down to make sure it stays in place.

Step Four: Add a few drops of water to the planter.

And now you're done! Clean any excess soil and water from your planter, and it is ready wear. After a few days the roots will be more stable. Proper care is still needed to take care of your plant, and make sure it gets sunlight when not being worn. Of course you don't need to use these directions in just our planters. You can use these same steps for planting a succulent in a larger vessel, or even adding a little bit of charm to any other small object you can find.