Planting Succulents

This post was sponsored by Monrovia, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting TFS. 

Plant shopping is easily in my top 5 favorite things to do. I got the chance to pick up a few new plants at Lowe's and of course I had to look at each and every one of them, before picking up what I wanted. I settled on these two succulents, the first one, the flowering one, I spotted right away and picked it up because it was the only one. It's called a Torch Cactus.  It felt like a pretty obvious choice, and it definitely started a few conversations. The other one I picked out is an agave, I may or may not secretly harbor hopes of making tequila out of it someday. Apparently these plants take about 12 years to mature, but I mean, I can wait. 

I got a few pups off of my new plants too, and put them in separate containers to keep growing. They'll most likely be a gift. 

So, I have a few tips on getting these plants out of their containers. I have hurt myself many a'times playing with cactus. 

Here it goes:

Get gloves, leather ones

Cut the sides of the container so you don't have to pull the plant directly out. To do this make 4 cuts around the side of the plastic container, cut down as low as you can and pull the plastic back. The plant should lift out from there. 

Use cactus soil. It makes a difference. 

If your plant has pups, they usually come off easiest if you twist them slightly to loosen them off of the plant. 

Put a few rocks at the bottom of the planters, this keeps soil from leaking out of the bottom. 

 

I got these terra cotta planters at Lowe's too. I'm also a very big fan of these planters on Etsy. I was tempted to paint in the engraved parts, it'll probably happen one of these days but for now I like them how they are. I'm honestly really happy with how these turned out, and they really brighten up the space. I love going to look at the flowers on that Torch Cactus, those flowers bloomed so fast too. It was amazing. There were two bulbs that bloomed overnight into these pretty impressive flowers. 

Each of my plants was about $25, but you can get coupons for signing up for the newsletter, also check out Morovia's #growbeautifully campaign to get even more ideas on indoor or outdoor gardening.  

I hope you can draw some inspiration from my gardening experience. :)

Propagating Succulents From Leaves Part 2

Well, I hope you like pictures, because I've got a boatload. I also think this is the perfect post for the first day of summer, baby succulents! So, I started this project about a month ago. So if you want directions on starting your own, go ahead and click that link. This was a very simple project that required just a little bit of patience, sunlight and water. 

Really, all I did to maintain this project was use a spray bottle every 2-3 days to hydrate the leaves and keep them in a sunny spot. So, if you're looking for an easy summer time project this could be it. 

First, expect the roots to grown. Then as the roots start to brown, the pups will appear. Some varieties take longer for the roots to dry up completely. 

This super long pup just came off on its own. I guess it was ready to go. It's also the longest because it started before the rest. I actually found it growing in another one of my plants that was in a shady spot which accounts for how few leaves it has. 

I was surprised how each leaf grew at a different pace. Those long leaves took a very long time to sprout, but once they did, they really took off. Whereas those short serrated leaves are still growing very slowly, but they are growing.

I hope the pup turns out pink like the leaf. 

This might be my favorite picture of the series. I just love the clusters that have grown out of here. 

These pups aren't quite ready to be removed yet. I'll keep them where they are until they're a little bit bigger and ready to be transplanted. 

I started this leaf with the rest of them. I'm surprised how slowly it's growing. It may be because it's such a tiny leaf to begin with. I'm not sure though. 

Don't be worried if you have some duds. I know I did. I haven't given up on these completely. I'll definitely let them keep them to see if they'll sprout. 

4 Practical Uses for Aloe Vera

Obviously, aloe vera gel is great for sunburns, but there are a bunch of other ways it can be used to supplement overall health. Although it works great as a topical treatment, you can also gain benefits from your aloe vera plant by drinking its juice for digestion and detoxification. Turns out, the juice from this plant can be pretty useful in some surprising ways. 

1. Hair Conditioning Mask - Aside from being hydrating, aloe vera is great for growing your hair out and dealing with dandruff. The enzymes in aloe vera can work to combat dead skins cells accumulating on the scalp, which helps unblock hair follicles for healthy growth and reduces dandruff.  

2. Digestion - Aloe vera is great for digestion and digestive upsets. It helps to remove pieces of food through the digestive tract. It also posses anti-fungal properties, which makes it a safe and effective way to cleanse your digestive tract. It can alleviate inflammation and in some cases assist in the treatment of stomach ulcers. 

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3. Detox - Along with helping with any digestive upsets, aloe vera also works to detoxify kidney, spleen, liver and bladder. Its alkaline properties help to neutralize acid consumed through the diet, as well as remove old toxins that may have had a negative effect on the body.

4. Skin Disorders - Aloe vera works as an antiseptic for cuts and sores caused by certain skin disorders. It also helps to break down skin cells which may improve skin's recovery time. In addition it works well to relieve inflammation and provides a gentle cooling sensation for troubled skin.