Succulents do not suck

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life19 Comments
If you know just one thing about me that is perhaps a quintessential fact of who I am, you should know this: I do not have the greenest of thumbs.

I documented my disdain for photosynthesis back in 2009 with this post. Those words laid the groundwork for what may today seem to be a 180-degree turn in the greener direction.

It appears I can choose and maintain plants for the long haul.

The caveat? They must be succulents.
Just say it with me… suc-cu-lent. It’s both fun to say and something an 11-year-old boy might giggle upon hearing. But there is no denying the thing I love the most about this particular category of plants, second only to their apparent hardiness, is this: their inherent design.
Such delicious texture and symmetry.

I presently care for 9 different pots—10 if you count the one in the center above, which is technically Aidan’s plant—but get this: they are SO easy to take care of.
Forget to water ’em? NO BIG DEAL. They could not give a shit. They just keep right on living. The more you ignore them, the more defiantly green they become.*

(And yes, I know… the little concrete planter mug? Friggin’ adorable.)
I have one on my scrap table.
I have one in my office.
I have four in my family room.
I have a handful on my deck.

And where did they (and most of my containers) all come from you might be asking? With the exception of one, they all came from IKEA. Yep. I make the 20-minute drive every time I’m in need of a new plant. So far, none have failed me.

Well, almost none. There is this one:
This little guy is my fault. He was in a pot in Aidan’s room last year, and I decided to transplant him. He hasn’t exactly thrived but that’s new green you see right there. He’s living on the deck along side the three in the white planter, and next to this guy:
Every time it rains I move them under a part of the deck with an overhang because I don’t want them to drown but I act like it’s a hassle and that I have better things to do with my time.

Remember, they need to believe you do not care about them.

Then you’re golden.

Herein ends today’s gardening lesson.

All today’s images where shot with my Canon 50mm Macro Lens. This is a lens I forget about unless I need to do close up detail shots, and yet I realized that it’s such a great all-purpose lens. It’s fast, it lets you get some fantastic detail and bokeh and it’s not priced completely out of the ball park. Tracey Clark recommended this to me some years ago and it’s been a great lens in my collection.

*The claims made in this blog post cannot be substantiated nor endorsed by the SPSA (Succulent Plans Society of America)**

**There is no such thing as the SPSA but I know that occasional watering and a kind word every month do, in fact, go a long way to keeping your succulent happy. 





Cathy ZielskeSucculents do not suck

19 Comments on “Succulents do not suck”

  1. #1

    Succulents are my absolute favorite too! They were our gifts for teacher appreciation this year. I wanted to put tags on that said “Teacher, you don’t ‘suck’ ” but I chickened out.

    It cracks me up that you get them at IKEA. Our local farm stands carry succulents, more this year than ever.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Ha! I bet they would have laughed out loud. Most of ’em! 😉

      For some reason, IKEA has the best selection. No idea why!

  2. #2

    Ohhhh… those look like my kind of plant and also the kind that perhaps our local deer won’t turn into a breakfast buffet, as they have most of our other plants. I will have to look to see if these are mostly indoor living or if they can handle the hot GA sun. And I love those concrete planter mugs!

  3. #3

    My daughter and I are obsessed with succulents too! She killed her first one because she over watered it and didn’t give it enough light. She’s let me keep her new cactus in the kitchen window and it is in an antique teacup 🙂 Go us and our green thumbs! I almost kills my two arrangements by leaving them outside. It has rained and poured pretty much every day since like February in Missouri. That doesn’t work for our cute succulents so they have to stay inside until Mother Nature decides it really is Summer.

  4. #5

    I can and do grow a rather large number of things. I am, however, notorious for killing succulents. I want them to survive and enjoy life with us, but I just, keep, watering them…..:(

  5. #6
    Denise S.

    I love me some succulents as well. The key is definitely don’t over water. Believe it or not, most will bloom. I have some that get cool air in the winter 45-55 degrees and they love it. Also come winter, water maybe once a month, no more. Yours are looking great and I love the concrete planter.

  6. #8
    Karen 2.0

    Jade plants are immortal.

    In May of 1992, while living in a basement apartment, I stuck one on my windowsill, behind the blinds, and forgot about it. In June of 1993, I found it again.

    That plant is sitting on top of my refrigerator right this moment, still alive and kicking.

    Forget what they say about cockroaches and nuclear holocaust. Jade plants. They will dominate the Earth. Mark my words.

  7. #9
    Missus Wookie

    I like succulents too. Your explanation of your gardening technique made me smile. You should try some alpines too, also tough as old boots, small, like lack of water and give you pretty flowers 🙂

  8. #10

    I am a very bad succulent mom. Very bad. I kill them. I have a green plant from my grandfather’s funeral basket that is 19 years old…I water it every few months. One of my boys pulled off the leaves in 2002. One of my cats ate off a branch in 2006. That sucker still lives. When I do remember to water it new growth springs forth…
    Succulents…I give them a month. Max. But I keep trying! One day…one day I will succeed in succulent mastery.

  9. #11
    Jenny B.

    I like succulents too. They’re not fussy-looking. Was thinking today that I need a macro lens. My 10-year-old wanted me to take a picture of the Lego guys he built, and my “plastic fantastic” just couldn’t get the shot I wanted. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  10. #12

    Succulents are beautiful plants. I have to admit, though, I buy a lot of philodendrons. You’d have to run them over to kill them. They can go a long time without water or sun…or anything. I have no idea how they do it. Something to keep in mind.

  11. #14

    I can not tell you how this post has give me an “ah ha” moment. I have been looking for 6 months for a plastic plant that looks real to put in my foyer. After reading your post I now have TWO plants in my foyer, 3 on my kitchen window sill has 3 (of which two came from Ikea today) and I have two hanging around in my eating area. And hopefully I can’t kill them. Thank you so very much!

  12. #15
    Caroline Morris

    Succulents are adorable! Love the idea about the little concrete planter mug, so cute. And your plants are so beautiful. I have six small pots in the kitchen and the living room and they look pretty good no, but yours are BEAUTIFUL! Greets!

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