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The Crassula family of succulents will always hold a special place in my heart. The first plant I ever truly remember loving and interacting with was a big beautiful Jade plant (crassula ovata) that belonged to my grandmother.

Jade in itself comes in all forms of of different varieties including: gollum and hobbit jades, trailing jades, stacked jades, campfire jades and variegated jades, the list goes on!

Most Jade varieties make great houseplants for the following reasons:

1. They can thrive in low sunlight (along with bright sunlight!) and will keep a dark glossy green color in lower light conditions

2. They grow fast!

3. They are easy to care for and prefer to go completely bone dry in between waterings.

4. They propagate easily.

5. They have a super appealing look with thick branching “trunks” and round glossy green leaves.

Crassula lining the top row of this beautiful planted shutters seen at Succulent Cafe Carlsbad.

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

The  CRASSULA Family of succulents encompasses a large variety of different plants including all the jades (crassula ovata), watch chains, stacked jades and the crassula perforata or “string of buttons”.

Crassula are able to survive harsh conditions through the utilization of an interesting form of photosynthesis known as CAM - Crassulacean Acid Metabolism. In CAM photosynthesis, plants absorb CO2 (carbon dioxide) at night, to avoid water loss during the hot and often dry daytime of their native locales. Instead of opening their pores (stomata) during the day, in order to absorb CO2, which would lead to transpiration (water loss from the plant due to evaporation through the stomata), these plants absorb CO2 at night and convert it into a organic acid called malate. Then during the daylight hours they convert the malate back into CO2 and they can photosynthesize to their hearts’ content while the sun is out, without losing valuable water!

caring for your crassula:

Crassula “Baby’s Necklace”

LIGHT: Can vary - some prefer or can tolerate bright and direct sunlight, while other prefer more indirect sunlight. All do best in more bright indirect light, but many types of crassula ovata can do well in indoor and low-light conditions as well.

WATER: These plants are hardy and can often tolerate many different situations and care techniques. They do not do well with frequent overwatering. Best to water thoroughly only when soil feels dry.

If you have any questions regarding caring for Crassula don't forget about our new ASK the Botanist page! ASK THE BOTANIST THANKS FOR READING!RACHAEL
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Here are some of the reasons why the Pilea peperomioides is a great house plant:

1. They prefer bright yet indirect light, so perfect for sunny rooms in your home.

2. They grow fast!

3. They are pretty easy to care for,

4. They reproduce readily, sending off baby offshoots that can be easily transplanted. That is why they are often called the Pass-It-Along or Friendship Plant, since friends often pass the baby plants on.

5. They have a super appealing look with those round glossy and deep green leaves.

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES is a flowering plant, belonging to the family Uricaceae, natively found in the Yunnan Province of Southern China (why you might hear it referred to as the “Chinese Money Plant”).  The PILEA is a perennial evergreen succulent (in that it stores water within its parts).

Story goes that these attractive plants were brought back to Europe by a Scandinavian explorer in the mid-twentieth century. Due to the fact that these plants produce lots of baby offshoots that are easily transferred, these prolific cuties were soon sprouting up as a popular houseplant throughout Scandinavia. Despite the fact that it had been used in China, and was “discovered” by European botanical explorers centuries beforehand, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that the PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES was officially identified and given its name.

caring for your pilea:

WATER: Typically water about once a week, yet always check the soil. They prefer to have very mildly damp soil, although don’t like to sit in wet soil (drainage hole in planters is preferred). When the leaves start to look droopy it is a sign that it is time to water.

SUNLIGHT: These plants prefer bright indirect sunlight, so they are great for sunny spots in your home. They grow fast so it is recommended to rotate your plants about once per week so that the leaves and stem don’t slant toward the sun.

AND MORE: I read that they benefit from monthly fertilizing in spring and summer months (I haven’t fertilized mine yet so I’ll be sure to next time I water). You also want to clean the leaves of dust from time to time to help with optimal photosynthesis.

propagating your pilea

Cut with clean shears/knife, then either plant directly into moistened soil or water propagate to activate root growth. Keep soil moist (but not too wet) for about 4-6 weeks before they have fully grown in their roots and they start sprouting new leaf growth as well!

Resources:

ApartmentTherapy

CleverBloom

Wikipedia

If you have any questions regarding caring for Sansevieria don't forget about our new ASK the Botanist page! ASK THE BOTANIST THANKS FOR READING!RACHAEL
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Wanting to learn more about caring for succulents inside but don’t have time to read a long post? Check out this awesome and creative Infographic created by Quill.com

I often get asked about which succulents are best for indoor use. While we would love to bring the beautiful pastel echeveria inside, they often need more sunlight than can be obtained indoors. Check out this beautiful and easy to read Infographic to learn more about which succulents will do best in your home and how to ensure they thrive!

Don’t forget you can also always ask us any plant related questions you might have incubating in your mind via our Ask the Botanist form!

thanks for reading,Rachael
Easy-to-grow indoor succulentsInfographic by Quill 
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by Christine Kelso of @workhardplanthard

There are many ways we can tie plants to our own health. The obvious – they purify our air. They offer us medicines that are sometimes life-saving (e.g. penicillin). Many of use know that just the act of caring for our plants is stress relieving (though some of us know they can also cause us stress – when they’re struggling or when we don’t have time to care for them the way we want to). I’ll cover some of these topics in future blog posts, but there are so many other correlations I see in my day in/day out life as a physician who comes home to my plants every day. Thriving in personal health requires knowing what our own bodies and minds need and feeding those needs in a balanced way. I am constantly reminding my patients to “listen to [their] bodies.” Those of us that care for plants know our plants have ways of talking to us, giving us clues to what they need. Wilting is often a sign the plant needs water. Burnt leaves mean too much direct sun. We need to be attentive to that. That’s really all it means to have a “green thumb” in the first place, isn’t it? Watching, learning, trial and error. If we always looked at plants with wilting leaves and thought they were thirsty without first checking the soil with a finger or meter, we would not be actively “listening” to them.

For example, one of my Peperomias (rosso) started wilting. I knew it had plenty of water – the soil was damp to the touch. Peperomias, being semi-succulents (fairly thick leaved/stemmed), like to dry out somewhat between waterings. I knew it wasn’t thirsty. I was giving it plenty of sun – I even tried some direct sun here and there to help it increase photosynthesis and drink up more water. But the soil stayed damp and the leaves continued to wilt. It was in its original plastic nursery pot with a decorative pot cover over it, and I finally realized it wasn’t aerating well at all because of how tight the outer pot was. Not wanting to use a blunt end of a skewer or chopstick because it is such a dense plant and its root system could be disrupted, I simply gave it a new pot cover that was looser. This allowed for more circulation from underneath and the Peperomia perked right up. Another option would have been to repot in a terra cotta pot which allows for more circulation and aeration. This is a little more time consuming but something I’ll likely eventually do.


In similar ways, our bodies talk to us. The most common cause of a (non-traumatic) ache or pain in the upper body is overuse. It’s our body’s way of telling us to stop that repetitive activity or modify it in some way. Similarly, back pain – one of the number one reasons for doctor visits in the US, is often from poor ergonomics during the day and/or at night.

When someone tells me “my thumb hurts,” the first things I ask are “What are your daily habits? What are you doing repetitively through the day? Do you use a smart phone/tablet? How do you hold it? How do you text? Do you have any hobbies such as knitting?“ We don’t realize how much hundreds of repetitions can add up to our tendons and joints yelling at us to “STOP!” Often, backing off of that activity for two weeks and then modifying how we do it when we come back to it can cure the ache. Bracing the affected area at night can promote faster healing. Why? The way we sleep has a huge impact on our aches and pains. We sleep in all sorts of contortions that we are not even aware of. Think of all the times you’ve awoken with some numbness in your hand or arm. During sleep, you trapped the nerve, reducing its blood supply, hence interfering with its signals to your brain. As the blood supply recovers, so do the signals. Similarly, we often stretch our tendons at night when our hands are curled up under our pillow or trapped under our bodies. Bracing the painful area overnight can allow for complete rest, encouraging recovery. This is especially true for the fingers, hands and wrists.

Standard thumb and wrist braces can be used at night to rest overuse injuries.

So the next time you have a (non-traumatic, of course) ache or a pain, consider listening to your body and thinking through what it might be trying to tell you, just as you listen to your plants. And of course, as always, if it’s not improving, seek professional guidance.

I have lots of ideas for future posts to help you thrive not just survive– more on back pain, skin care, nutrition, restorative sleep, bowel habits (yes, bowels!). If you have specific requests, feel free to message me. I’m all ears! 

Thanks for reading!

Christine

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I am the first to admit that PATIENCE has never been one of my strengths. I don't think anyone who knows me would ever describe me as a patient person. Passionate, yes, patient, not so much. As someone who is immersed in creativity for a living, I often find myself super excited about the prospects of new ideas and projects, instantly thinking about the end result, most often mentally skipping over the entire middle portion of the actual DOING. This used to stop me in my tracks... the part of the process that required time, planning and PATIENCE alluded and too often even paralyzed me. 

Patience is not merely the ability to wait, but the ability to wait with a good attitude (or as I say to my kids "patience is waiting nicely"). Working with plants has taught me about the beauty and purposefulness that can be found within those moments of waiting.

Take for example SUCCULENT PROPAGATION. Whether you are propagating through clippings (where you clip part of a plant and then replant it, waiting weeks for roots to reemerge) or growing baby plants via succulent leaves (in which you wait for months for tiny succulents to grow from leaves) PATIENCE will be a key ingredient in your success. 

When propagating a succulent clipping, it's best to wait about 24 hours from time of clipping it to time of planting it. This gives the cut end a time to callus up leaving the plant less exposed to damage from root rot or possible infections. In addition, after planting your clipped succulents, you should wait at least one week prior to giving it a nice drink of water. This gives the clipping time to start growing some new roots, also minimizing potential for damage. 

The simple act of waiting to water after creating something new has actually taught me a lot about my own approach to patience. I used to feel compelled to share every idea as soon as I had, and every art piece as soon as I created it. As soon as I had an idea I would immediately contemplate how it would end and would want to share it far and wide. Too often this impatience with my own thoughts would lead to my ideas and motivation just fizzling out. Yet observing my plants, and their at times slow approach to growth, has taught me the value of holding my ideas and my art close. Of not feeling the need to share right away, but giving these ideas rooms to grow, develop and fully realize their potential.

pc: marie monforte photography

At times, getting quiet and still within my patient places is still a struggle for me. I still have many moments when my brain tends to inflate my perceived failures and “lack ofs”, while deflating my achievements and slow yet steady growth. Thankfully I am getting better at recognizing and altering these negative self talk tendencies. Cultivating patience is something I am continuing to practice, and I am happy to report that I have recently added daily meditations and lots more writing into my life. This is truly helping me to be still with my thoughts and patient with myself and everyone else around me too! 

I credit working with my plants as the motivation behind my desire to embrace those moments of waiting, of being still and reflective and to avoid inundating myself or my ideas with all the things immediately. There is so much to be learned in those places of patience, in incubating those ideas until they are truly ready to be watered cared for, grown and shared.

thanks for reading,rachael

 

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

pc: marie monforte photography

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Growing Succulents Indoors by Sarah of YourGreenPals.com Succulents & Why They Make Good Houseplants

Succulents are plants that have fleshy, thickened leaves or stems that retain water. The most commonly known succulent is the cactus, but there is a large variety of succulents in different shapes, sizes and colors. Succulents make good houseplants because they can thrive in low humidity, lower light and can survive a little neglect. This allows succulents to survive in indoor settings with little maintenance.

Selecting the Correct Succulent

While succulents are a good option for a houseplant there are certain varieties that are better suited for growing indoors than others. The best rule of thumb is to choose a variety that is bright green. These varieties tend to need less sunlight than the more colorful varieties which makes them more ideally suited for growing indoors.

Placement and Lighting

While succulents, especially the right succulents, can survive in low light or shade they do still need some amount of light. The best thing to do is put the plant in a sunny window.

Succulents that aren't getting enough light will stretch. Their leaves will spread out and the plant will try to stretch towards the light. If this is happening simply place the plant in a sunnier spot or if that isn't possible supplement with a grow light.

Watering

DO NOT OVER WATER!! This is the biggest mistake made when growing succulents and will kill the plant quickly. Succulents do best with a soak, dry, soak method. Soak the soil completely, let the soil dry out completely for a few days and then soak again.

Fertilizer

Succulents don't need a lot of extra nutrients from fertilizer, but some is usually a good way to keep it healthy. Fertilizing once or twice throughout the spring/summer months will help the plant thrive. Succulents go dormant during the winter and don't grow much. No fertilizing is necessary during the winter months while the plant is dormant. The best time to fertilize is in the spring when the growing season starts.

 

Some varieties to try:

  • Jade Plant

  • Aloe Vera

  • Zebra Plant

  • Panda Plant

  • Crown of Thorns

  • Snake Plant

  • Hens-and-chicks

Potting and Soil

Nurseries tend to pot their succulents in soil that is too rich and retains too much moisture, so re-potting a succulent once it is home will be necessary. Ideallt, it's best to choose a pot that has good drainage, is not glazed and is not made of glass.

Succulents grow best in loose, sandy soil that allows for good drainage. There are several ways to get the correct soil mixture. There are special soil mixes designed specifically for succulents that can be purchased at gardening stores. Normal potting soil can be mixed with pumice, grit, sharp sand or perlite to help with drainage without breaking down over time. Or simply mixing one part potting soil with one part sand usually does the trick.

The best way to test the soil for the correct consistency is to wet the soil and squeeze it. If it falls apart it should be right for a succulent to thrive.

Wrap Up

Succulents can make great house plants due to their resilient and low maintenance nature. In expanding knowledge on lawn management, growing indoor succulents is a great starter plant. Here are the main things to remember when growing succulents indoors:

  • Select the right variety

  • Select a pot and soil with good drainage and airflow

  • Place in a window

  • Use the soak, dry, soak method for watering

  • Fertilize lightly

Thanks for reading!


 

Author Bio: Sarah works for yourgreenpal and she loves gardening and lawns.

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Sansevieria zeylanica

Sansevieria - commonly referred to as Snake Plant or Mother In Law Tongue - is one of my favorite succulents for indoor botanical decor. 

Here are some reasons why I adore Sansevieria: 

1. They are extremely hardy and tolerant of both bright sun and deep shade.

2. They appreciate neglectful watering (seriously, you can water these guys once a month and they're good to go!)

3. They encompass a huge variety of specific types, with varying hues, heights and even textures.

4. These are super air purifiers according to NASA Clean Air Study! Sansevieria are one of many plants able to purify indoor air from toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene. 

5. Unlike most plants, they continue to absorb carbon dioxide during the night, making these a great bedroom plant. Leaves can be toxic so keep away from young children or pets.

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

Sansevieria fernwood

 

Background: Sansevieria cylindrica

Foreground:Sansevieria patens

SANSEVIERIA are a genus of about 70 different types of flowering plants that are native to Madagascar, Africa and southern Asia. They typically reproduce by clustering, sending shoots of new plantlets off from their roots.

 The many varied species of Sansevieria are generally separated into two types; hard leaved and soft leaved.

Hard leaved:

*typically native to dry regions

*thick, hard and succulent leaves that store water and reduce moisture loss

*leaves are oftens shorter and more cylindrical in shape

 Soft leaved:

*typically native to tropical and sub-tropical regions

*wider, thinner and softer leaves

*typically grow much larger and more clustering than hard leaved types

If you have any questions regarding caring for Sansevieria don't forget about our new ASK the Botanist page! ASK THE BOTANIST THANKS FOR READING!RACHAEL
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How to use water therapy to revive distressed succulents and speed up root growth on plant clippings.

Materials
  • succulent clippings* and/or succulents that need some TLC (shriveled leaves and roots, dehydrated looking leaves, etc.)*this method works for lots of different types of plants including pothos, philodendron etc.

  • small vessel with narrow mouth (like test tube, flower bud vase, shot glass, baby food jar, etc)

  • water

Instructions

1. Collect your succulent clipping or dehydrated plants that need some TLC. It's best to let clippings sit for about 24 hours before submerging in water, in order to let cut end callus over. For dehydrated rooted plants, rinse as much soil as possible from the root ball and cleansing the roots.

2. Fill your vessel with water to just below the lip.

3.. Submerge your plant in water up to just below the leaves.

4.Place in area with bright indirect light, like a windowsill and leave there. Replace the water every 5-7 days.

5. For dehydrated rooted plants,  you should start to see new root growth within a few days. Within a week the plant should look more plump and vibrant. I typically keep in water anywhere from 2-4 weeks before replanting.

6. For clippings, leave in water for anywhere from 6-12 weeks until you have numerous healthy looking roots growing. Replace water every 5-7 days. 

7. Once your plant looks plump with vibrant roots, replant in pot or directly into soil (if your climate allows it).

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

  If you have any questions regarding caring for and/or propagating your plants, don't forget about our new ASK the Botanist page! ASK THE BOTANIST THANKS FOR READING!RACHAEL
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As a professional Environmental Educator, with a background in marine biology specifically, the world of BOTANY (the study of plants) is a relatively new adventure for me. Luckily, I have amazing and knowledgeable friends who have walked me into this wonderful world of plants! As I continue to learn more about plant identification, care and health benefits, I am excited to share their knowledge with you all.

I am beyond thrilled to introduce you all to my "go-to" Botanist Buddy, Zoey Manson! Zoey and I work together often on planted instillations, styling, art and horticulture. She is a walking talking encyclopedia of plant knowledge and she is eager to share her knowledge with you!

We are so excited to announce our new joint venture: Ask a Botanist! This page is a place for you all to engage with us and ask us all your plant related questions.

Whether you are attempting to identify specific types of plants, need care instructions or some tips for an ailing plant, or are looking for a plant for a specific space or function, Zoey and I are excited to support you in your plant lover journey! We will also be featuring a favorite Plant of the Month and plant suggestions are always welcome!

So check out our collaborative page and send us your questions (you can even upload photos!). You can also let us know what types of plants or planted art you would like tutorials on so we can create content just for you!

Thank you all so much for following along and for engaging with us! We are so excited to offer you this new, valuable and FREE service!

thanks for reading!rachael & zoey

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

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Infinite Succulent by Rachael Cohen - 10M ago

How to grow your succulent collection through taking clippings, as well as, through growing your own baby succulents from leaves.

taking clippings

1.  For branching succulents, like jades, kalanchoes, some ghost plants/graptoveria, varied sedums and more: 

Remove some leaves from the stem, right above and right below where you are planning to clip/cut. Clip with clean blades (shears or scissors work great). Remove a few leaves off the bottom of the clipped portion, to create more of a stem, and from the top of the remaining planted stem to spur on new growth.

2. For clustering succulents like echeveria, graptoveria, graptopetulums, sempervivum, some sedums and more:

Using clean shears, clip at the base of the rosettes.

3. For larger mother plants, with smaller baby plants growing at their base: 

Gently lift up the mother plants' lower leaves (referred to as the “skirt”), revealing more of the young plants (called “pups”) underneath. With your clean blade, cut just underneath the pup, where the stem connects to the mother plant.

PREPPING YOUR PLANTS:

Allow clippings to sit for about 24 hours, rinse them all with cool water and gentle, eco-friendly soap. If short on time, simply mist all the clippings with a solution of 70% rubbing alcohol diluted with water. Allow the clippings to dry completely in an area with bright and indirect sunlight (indoors or out). Remove any extra leaves and cut back stem as needed (leave a longer stem if you want to plant it, or almost no stem if you will be using for glued on art). 

RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.

Through her plant art and styling services, as well as her workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world, while helping them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!

You are now ready to plant or create art, with your succulent clippings.

Sidenote: New plants will often regrow from where you clipped your succulents, so continue to water and care for the remaining stem to spur on even more succulent growth!

  PROPAGATING SUCCULENT LEAVES

·      Remove leaves from stem by gently twisting and pulling to avoid damaging the bottom section of leaf (where it attaches to the stem).

·      Lay your leaves on top of succulent soil, or pumice, in  an area with bright, yet indirect, sunlight (outdoor, shaded area is ideal).

·   Be patient. Do nothing until you start to see either tiny roots, or a very tiny plant, begin to emerge from the bottom of the leaf. 

·   Once roots, or baby plants, are visible, mist every 3-5 days.

·   Wait, wait and wait some more, while continuing to mist about 1-2 times per week. After the “mama” leaf becomes wilted and decayed, gently separate the baby plant from the leaf (this usually takes about 6 months but can vary).

·   Delicately plant your baby plant and continue to water about 1x per week.

 

congratulations!you are now a proud succulent parent!

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