Succulents have long been the darling of both the garden and design world — they are easy to grow, offer unbelievable colors and forms, and are readily available in most areas. However, as we move into fall, their care is a bit different depending upon where you live. So, let’s highlight the basics and then enjoy some fall succulent design ideas.
Fall Succulent Care
Most, but not all, succulents need to be protected from frost or hard freeze (although sedums and sempervivum are much more frost tolerant). Know what kind of succulents you have and be prepared to protect your fall succulent plants using the tips below:
- Year-round mild climate? Your succulents are likely just fine where they are.
- Milder climate with occasional cold snaps? Place them against a structure that radiates a bit of warmth, such as a south-facing exterior wall of your home.
- Regular freezing temps? Bring them into your home, garage, basement, or greenhouse, always ensuring they have adequate light.
- Err on the side of less water as they enter this more dormant season — water your succulents just enough so that the roots don’t totally dry up.
- The kiss of death for succulents is a combination of too much moisture and cold temps, so be on the lookout for either (or both!) of these conditions.
Fall Design Ideas for Succulents
Succulents offer such a rich range of design opportunities year-round, but especially around the harvest season. Do an internet search on various tutorials and how-to’s for any of these projects and more — but let us know which one is your favorite!
Gather your pumpkins and small succulents (mostly 2” – 4” sizes and tiny clippings, but depending upon the size of your pumpkin, you may use larger plants). There are many how-to videos online, but the idea is to hot glue succulent clippings onto a bed of moss on the top of your pumpkins — the succulents root into the moss and need very little (if any) water or care.
Grab a wire wreath form, stuff it with moss, and insert succulent clippings with hot glue. These wreaths last forever with just a little misting every once in a while.
Succulents are beautiful additions to terrariums provided it’s an open environment with no lid, as these plants need adequate air circulation. If you’re putting together a temporary feature for a table centerpiece, however, closed terrariums are fine. Add succulents, moss, driftwood, and other decorative elements to create a cozy woodland theme.
Succulent Place Settings
This is a darling idea for any holiday gathering you may be planning. Gather a variety of 2” – 4” succulents (one for each place setting) and small containers (teacups, ceramic pots, small silver cups). Pop a succulent into the container (you needn’t even remove it from its nursery pot), tuck in some moss around the edges, and finish with a place card with your guest’s name.
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I have a bamboo or some call it a money tree anyways the leaves are turning yellow very fast. Don’t know why. Never have had a problem. Could you please let me know what to do. If it needs repotted or missing minerals of some sort. I’ve lost over half. Was so beautiful.
Hi Sharon, we’re sorry to hear about your plant. Money trees and bamboo plants are very similar and have very similar needs. Yellowing leaves on either plant is usually a sign of improper watering practices. Money trees prefer infrequent and deep watering; this helps keep the soil moist but not soggy. Be sure the plant also has enough drainage. If your soil is too compact, you may want to repot your plant with fresh soil. Both plants also need at least 6 hours of bright sunlight per day to thrive.
However, there are some differences. If you have a bamboo plant, you’ll want to make sure the soil is rich and acidic. You can test its soil and amend it as needed; Here’s some more information on soil testing and soil amendments, https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/soil/how-and-when-to-test-your-soil/ and https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/gardeners-guide-to-soil-amendments/.
To tell the difference between a money tree and a bamboo plant, look at their stems and leaves. Bamboo plants have green branches ending in tufts of sword-shaped leaves. Money tree plants have thick trunks and thin branches. The branches will have five big green leaves on top.
We hope this helps!