Succulents are still very much ‘on trend’. Even if you are not a succulent enthusiast you are still likely to appreciate a succulent in a nice pot or container in someone’s home. Especially if it is not a plastic one! Horror of all horrors!!!!
The bathroom is the most common room in someone’s house to see a sexy succulent. However, due to the humidity from showering and baths a lot of succulents will just not survive in a bathroom unless they are indeed plastic!! This is why I was so happy to find a succulent that survives in a bathroom and has done so for about two years.
The name of the succulent is a Haworthia Coarctata. As pictured below. It can be grown outdoors or inside your home. Grown indoors it does grow alot slower and does not multiply as often but it still looks great in a small glass jar or any tiny pot.
What care is required for a bathroom succulent?
The answer to this question is hardly any. I water my succulent approximately every 4-6 weeks and only give it about 1 tablespoon of water. If this succulent is ‘over’ watered it will rot and die. A good way to remember to water your succulent is to water on the 1st of every month. Then you can keep track of when you last watered it. Even when it looks dry do not water it. Also, as the succulent is in the bathroom it will receive some moisture from when the bathroom gets all steamy.
Will it grow in a pot without a hole in the bottom?
Yes it will. Mine does. You have to be very careful when you water a succulent that is growing in a pot without a drainage hole. However, it is possible. Mine is growing in a glass candle jar from Ikea. With a glass jar you can see the water through the glass and see how wet the soil is. Also if you put too much water you can always gently tip the jar to the side and pour any excess water out. Just put your finger on the top of the succulent so you do not tip out the succulent as well.
The Haworthis Coarctata will also grow outdoors in the ground in shade or full sun. The ones below have been growing in my garden for about 2 years. As you can see they have grown some babies/pups. These can be carefully broken off, re-potted and brought inside. Even if you break off a part that does not have a root it will grow its own roots and happily continue to grow.
The green colour of the Haworthia growing in the sun is lighter in colour than if it is growing inside or in the shade where the colour will be a lot darker green.
This Haworthia has very shallow roots so it is great for growing in any tiny pot or container. I recently found a great use for all my old Pandora boxes. I pulled out the black cardboard and put a tiny bit of soil in the bottom of the box and popped in a Haworthia Coarctata. It looks funky.
There are probably a few succulents that wil grow/survive in a steamy room without much light. However, I would like to point out that this is the only succulent that I ‘personally’ have had survive in my bathroom.
If you are considering buying an Ikea kitchen and would like some tips on how to go about it – read on. It is not as straight forward as you may think! I would have loved to have heard someone’s thoughts and experiences before I went ahead. I did search the internet for a blog but was only able to find information on American Ikea. This is my experience with Ikea Adelaide – Australia.
Sometime last year we decided to replace our kitchen – it really did need it. This was the first time in our lives that we had the opportunity to do this. Where on earth do you start?
Firstly, make sure you get a few quotes from local kitchen suppliers. We obtained two ‘custom made’ kitchen quotes from local suppliers that were $40,000 and $26,000. This was for the basic models and did NOT include any appliances, electrical or plumbing costs. I believe you should get some quotes for a few reasons.
1. Quality – check out the finish on the doors and benchtops.
2. Warranty Criteria – How long and covers what aspects
3. Timelines – to make and install. (don’t forget you will also need to remove your current kitchen – is this included)
Ikea do not display all of their kitchen options at the store. There are numerous colours and finishes on offer so obviously they are unable to display all their options. You can view some ideas in store and some ideas in their annual Kitchen Brochure. A point to be aware of is that if you see a handle or accessory that you like do not assume that it will be available when you go ahead with your kitchen as it could be discontinued by the time you have your kitchen installed.
So it is good to have some idea of what sort of kitchen you think you might like. If you have no idea at all then I would suggest looking on Pinterest. If you have not heard of Pinterest; it is a free website that you can join/register with and then type in words such as ‘ white kitchen – black benchtop’. It will then show you as many photos of kitchens with your specifications as it can find. You can then save these photos to your computer/pinterest board so that you can look at them at your leisure and decide which kitchen really tickles your fancy.
Ikea Online Design
I tried making my own design on the Ikea online design tool but it was not the easiest piece of software to use. I am unsure whether it was my computer not having the right graphics or speed to use the app but it kept shutting down and was very slow. I understand that they provide a service (which you have to pay for) where an Ikea team member will help you design your kitchen on the app – in store. This would indicate that: – like me – other people had trouble with the design tool so they brought in this option of booking an appointment with an Ikea staff member to help you use the software.
For $99 you can have a Ktichen Planner come to your home. I assumed that this meant he would help with design ideas, colours and the plan etc. This is not the case. The Kitchen Planners are contractors who come out and will measure up and send you a computerised kitchen desgin and the estimated price for this design. If you are looking for him to advise on colours, benchtop types- ie laminate or stone this is not part of this service. They are not Interior Designers but really just there to measure and generate a 3d image of what the cabinetry will look like.
At this stage you have not signed up for a kitchen with Ikea you have just used their planning service to generate a computer design of your kitchen. Included in the $99 the planner/designer will change aspects of the kitchen until you are happy with the design. This is easy to do on the software. As long as you do not go overboard and change the whole design! You will now have some idea how much your design will cost.
What the planner will do :
Measure and plan the kitchen to your specifications
– this Includes Ikea white goods and electrical appliances that you will replace
Itemises and costs the cabinetry/appliances and accessories
Generates a (black & white) computer design of the kitchen
Our planner included/decided on aspects of the kitchen that we had not thought of or asked for. Such as: where the drawer inserts would go (see below), corner cupboard carousels etc Even though this can be changed after the computer design has been created, if you want to save time make sure you have an idea of where you would like your utensil drawer and if you want carousels in your corner cupboards. Ensure you tell the planner when he is measuring your kitchen.
Corner Cupboard Carousel
Once you have decided to go ahead with an Ikea kitchen the next step is to call Ikea and arrange for the ‘Installer’ to come and complete the final measure and quote. This is a cost of $220 and is called a ‘pre-inspection’. The Kitchen Installer who measures for the installation will be from the contracting company that installs your kitchen. You definitely need to be at home when he measures. Our installer asked a lot of questions with regard to the functionality of the kitchen. He also made suggestions to minor changes that would enhance the look of the kitchen.
Even though the installer may install kitchens for a living do not assume that he knows more about what you want in a kitchen than you do. He will be able to give you advice on technicalities but should not try and change your mind with regard to the basic design of the kitchen, the colours and the spacing between the cupboards and benchtops. One mistake that we made was agreeing with the Installer to raise the cupboards by a few centimetres ‘for aesthetics’. However, only being 5’4″ now that they are installed all I can see from my level is the undersides of the cupboard which is not the nicest of views.
Cupboard view I imagined.
The cupboard view I have!!
The installer will give you a date for your installation. Do not assume it will be next week. My installer had a 6 week wait time! Ikea do have more than one installer contracting to them. Different contractors have different expertise. Some are cabinet makers – ie they are similar to a carpenter and can cut out wood to fit the kitchen properly whereas other contractors may literally just put the cabinets together and put them in place. You will require a plumber to plumb the sink and dishwasher. Ikea will arrange their plumber and electrician for you or you can use your own plumber and electrician. You will let them know this at the time of the booking. We used our own plumber and electrician so unable to comment on whether the Ikea trades are well priced or expensive.
When you call Ikea to book an installer for your pre-site inspection you can request an installer which has the shortest wait time if you require your kitchen installed for a particular occasion. However, keep in mind that there may be a reason why this particular installer has a short wait time. If time is not an issue, I would suggest to ask for an installer who is also a cabinet maker. The installation of the kitchen cabinetry will be the same price whoever you choose but the cabinet maker will be able to make a ‘bulkhead’ (joinery between the top of the overhead cupboards and ceiling) and other cabinetry you may need. This is an extra cost but cheaper than having another carpenter or cabinet maker tradie come and make the items.
Once the order has been placed and deposit paid to Ikea the deliver of the cabinetry will be made to your front door by Ikea approximately two – three days before the installation will occur.
Plumbing and Electrical
Ikea will co-ordinate for a Plumber and Electrician for you if you do not know/have your own trades to carry out the work for you. We had our own trades to do the work so I cannot comment on this. You could get a quote from some local tradesman and then ask for an estimate from the Ikea trades to decide whether you would use the Ikea recommended tradesmen.
Splash-back & Bench top
Ikea can also arrange for your Splash Back and/or Bench top. They have a range of Glass or Stone Splash-back and Stone/Laminate or Timber bench tops. We chose Glass Splash-back and Stone Bench top. These two options are not supplied by Ikea but a contracting company.
This is where (for us) that buying a kitchen from Ikea was less than professional. Although Ikea display the glass and stone in store this is, essentially, all they do other than ensure you sign to approve the colours and (obviously) receive a percentage of the sale.
Things I didn’t realise
After the cabinetry is installed the ‘plinths’ are installed underneath. I did not realise that they would be installed so far under the cabinets. Be aware of this if you are staining or polishing your floors that you take this into consideration.
The carousels we had installed in the corner cabinetry are great for accessing items in the back corner. However, I think storage wise you, would be able to store about 20% more if you were decided on normal shelving, as, due to the functioning of the carousel a lot of space is wasted.
If the installer does not use all the parts or you change your mind with regard to small items like door openers or if you want handles on your overhead cupboards then you can return them to Ikea for a refund. (they need to be returned within a year of purchase)
If you do go ahead with an Ikea Kitchen the $99 is re-imbursed when you make the final payment for the cabinetry.
If you love the item – lets say a cupboard handle – if you were to purchase the handles when you first decide to go ahead with the Ikea kitchen you can always return them within a year of purchase. If you are unsure of how many you need it would be advisable to buy more than you need as you can always return them. Ikea has a 1 year returns policy. Ensure you keep your receipt.
Aeonium Aboreum are a great succulent. They are easy to grow, propagate extremely easily, can survive on just rainfall and ‘can’ look fantastic.
I say ‘can’ because they can also grow tall and lanky and ‘not’ look so fantastic.
So what can you do if your Aeonium Aboreum gets long and lanky and starts to look less than impressive? As this succulent is so versatile there is a very simple solution to the problem.
Basically, you can just prune the stems. You can either: Prune the stems back and then pull out the rest of the plant and replant the stem in the ground.
Or alternatively: you can prune the stems back to a lower level. It’s like giving them a hair cut. You can make them as tall or low as you like. The stem will sprout new buds within a few weeks. This will make them bushier and less lanky as each stem will produce more than one new bud. See below.
The best time to do this is late Autumn or Winter which is when the Aeonium succulent has its growing season. If you did prune and replant them during Spring or Summer they would not die but it would take a little longer for the plants to start growing again.
If you decide on the second option and feel bad about throwing away the Aeonium stems. An alternative to putting them in the green waste is to pot them up. Take all the stems and plant them next to each other in a large pot. Instantly making an impressive pot for your patio area and making use of the stems.
How long does it take for Aeoniums to get leggy?
It took my Aeoniums about one year to grow into long lanky, fairly unattractive succulents. If I had pruned them back around the 6 month mark (middle photo) they would have been bushier and less lanky.
6 months growth
Approximately 1 year later
If you think this is a lot of work on a fairly regular basis you are probably right. I have found that this particular Aeonium is more likely to grow tall and spindly. There are other Aeoniums that are less likely to grow as fast and tall. I have a second Aeonium Aboreum (see below) species that has much larger rosettes, grows lower to the ground and flowers less. Therefore, is a lot less work and as it flowers less often is less likely for the stems to die back. Aeonium’s are monocarpic. This means that after the parent plant flowers it dies. (see post: Which succulents die after flowering?)
Other Aeoniums do not seem to grow as fast and get as lanky as the Aboruem. Such as the Aeonium Swortkof, Variagated and Pinwheel. See below.
Some might say that my Aeoniums have grown tall and lanky due to a lack of full sun. Yes this can be a factor I do have some growing in full sun and they are still quite lanky. I believe it is just the species of Aeonium.
If you love succulents you will always want more. If you love succulents you will know that it is not hard to propagate and grow more of the succulents you have. 90% of succulents will produce offsets/babies/pups at some point in their lifespan. Some succulents will start replicating themselves at a very young age whereas others will not until the parent plant is about to die.
Graptoveria multiplying in my garden
One of the many amazing things you can say about succulents is that they are the plants that keep on giving. Yes of course there are other plant species that produce new shoots and offsets but as a type of plant; succulents produce offsets in abundance. Once they are growing in their ‘happy place’ or perfect location there is no stopping them.
What methods can i use to propagate succulents?
There are a few different ways that succulents multiply. Many will naturally produce offsets which grow below and next to the parent plant. Some can be propagated by gently pulling off a leaf – which will grow into a new plant and others will produce new plants simply by pruning back the plant. Of course you can always propagate from seed but you can do that with any plant and even though it is very satisfying to do so it takes a very long time.
Not long after pruning Aeoniums start producing new offsets
Which succulents produce offsets as apposed to propagating from leaves?
The succulents that are the most prolific at producing offsets are some of the most popular. Echeveria, Aloes, Pachyphytum, Pachyveria, Graptopetalum, Graptoveria and Sempervivum genus’, just to name a few, start producing offsets very early in their lifespan. It is not unusual to buy your first plant from a nursery or store that has more than one offset already growing. However, please note that succulents that produce offsets can still be propagated from leaves!!S
Echeveria Princess Anne
What do I do when my succulent starts producing babies?
You can do absolutely nothing when your succulent starts growing a new plant from a fallen leaf or producing an offset. Nature will run its course and a new plant will grow from the leaf and/or plant. You can carry on in the knowledge that sometime in the future (maybe about 3-4 months) you will have a twin of the succulent you purchased.
The tiny balls are Sempervivum offset starting to grow
About 5 months later!
Do succulents that produce offsets also propagate from leaves?
It is important to note that just because a succulent produces offsets it does not mean that you cannot propagate from leaves as well. Satisfation wise, an offset gives you a new plant alot faster than growing it from leaf propagation. Leaf propagation can take up to 12 weeks just to form a tiny plant on the end of the leaf.
When can you transplant an offset?
You can transplant an offset as soon as it has developed its own tiny roots. I would even say you could transplant it before the roots have formed. However, success rates will be higher if you wait for the roots to form. Depending on whether you are in a hurry or not, the longer you leave the offset to develop where it is the stronger the new plant will be. Another consideration is if your offsets are numerous they may all be squashed into the pot and this can hamper growth. If this is the case it would be more beneficial to remove a few of the offsets to make room for more to grow. (see examples below).
Succulents can look amazing mass planted in your garden. See post : Landscaping with succulents
So do not be afraid to use one of the offsets to plant in your garden and start an area dedicatd to a mass planting of succulents. Most succulents that grow numerous offsets are fairly small but can still look amazing in a mass planting.
Surprisingly, it does not take much for a succulent to get sun burnt! There are a few reasons why and how your succulent could/would get sun burnt and there are a few things you can do if it does.
It was not that hot and my succulent still got sun burnt!
If you move a succulent into a sunny position from its usual shadier spot there is a very high chance that the leaves will get sun burnt. Of course there are variables to consider. Summer sun is a lot stronger than winter sun, so should you move your succulent to a sunnier position in the winter chances are they will enjoy the sun and be fine but should you move your succulent to a sunnier position in late spring or summer the end result could be sun burn. It really depends on the intensity of the sun.
Aeonium Pinwheel – sun burnt leaves.
My brand new succulent got sun burnt as soon as I put it in the sun!
Keep in mind that succulents grown in nurseries are grown under shade cloth. This is how all succulents are propagated and grown. Even a baby succulent offshoot/pup grows in the shade of the parent plant until it is old/strong enough to survive the strong rays of the sun. So if you purchase a new succulent and put the plant in the sun there is 90% chance that the leaves will get sun burnt. Every succulent that I buy I put straight into the sun knowing this will happen, but I know that in the end the succulent will be stronger and used to growing in the sun (assuming it a succulent species that likes sun). It can actually take a few months for the succulent to acclimatise and during this time can look a bit worse for wear but I believe it is worth it.
Above are a few of my succulents that were sun burnt this summer.
If you do not want your succulent to get sun burnt but ultimately would like your succulent to grow in a full sun position you need to start the plant off in a semi-shaded position and gradually allow the plant to receive more sun (time) as it matures.
My succulent suddenly has sun burnt leaves and I did not move it into the sun?!?!
If you are growing your succulent in a half shade/half sun position and one day (during summer) you find the leaves have sun burn this would probably because it was a very hot day (ie 40c/104F) and the intensity of the sun was stronger than the succulent was used to, The heat of the sun on these hot summer days will easily burn your succulent’s leaves.
What can I do about my sun burnt succulent?
Leave the burnt leaves on the plant.
There are a few things that you can do about your sun burnt leaves. Sun burnt leaves do not look at all attractive and the first thing you will want to do is to get rid of them. However, if you are experiencing a heatwave or know there is more hot weather on the way and you are unable to move your succulent to a shadier position (as it may be planted in the ground!) then it is best to leave the sun burnt leaves on the plant. They will protect/shade the lower leaves on the plant below that did not get sun burnt.
Cut the burnt leaves off the plant.
Yes you can carefully snip out the sun burnt leaves to make the succulent look nice again, this will not be detrimental to the plant. Usually the leaves that get sun burnt are the outer leaves so they should be fairly easy to access.
If you leave your sun burnt leaves on the plant they will eventually complete their natural cycle and go brown, dry up and drop off the plant in due course.
Will my sun burnt succulent die?
No it will not! Usually only a few leaves will burn. The new leaves forming in the centre of the succulent actually look amazingly healthy in comparison. Conversely, you would expect the new (inner) leaves to be burnt and the older leaves (to the outer edge of the plant) to survive. This is not the case, the succulent is preparing its new growth for the hotter more intense sun. The older leaves have not been prepared for these conditions and have not been grown to cope with the sun’s intensity – this is why they burn.
What can I do to prevent sun burn?
You can protect your succulents from sun burn by moving them into the shade when it is a hot day out of the intense heat from the sun. So either move your pots into the shade for the duration of the heatwave or if they are planted in the garden cover them with some shade cloth. This will deflect some of the intensity of the sun.