I should have seen the warning signs. Green tea iced frappacinos, a three hour drive to a lake because it had a beach for dogs and made a great photo opp, binge watching older episodes of Dance Moms because I found out Abbie Lee was dying of cancer and was wildly misunderstood, I WAS BASIC BITCHING ALL OVER THE PLACE. The stage was set for sabotage.
Then it happened. I don’t know what I was doing at Home Depot, I don’t build stuff. Maybe it was a routine outdoor nursery stop, but I was bummed by the heat, didn’t want to plant a damn thing yet I was still going through the motions. Basic bitch blind.
I stopped and looked at the succulent display. How cute, how harmless, how could they ever possibly ruin my life? Look this little guy is 4 or 5 dollars. $. Ooh let’s add a little volume to the indoor plant collection. Ooh, there’s so many. $$.
And look how many are online. Oh wow look how many different ones are online! My store didn’t have those. I know I’ll just head up to another hardware store. $$$. Score! Now I have 5 more but not those ones I saw online, I have to order those online… $$$$ A PROMO CODE let’s order again $$$$$
Oh shit, WHAT? Potting soil kills them? I have to buy what now? What the fuck is a gritty mix oh man where am I going to buy the parts for this soil. FOUND THEM! $. Oh look at these succulents I don’t have these. $$
Plants, check! Materials, check! Now let’s spend HOURS AND HOURS potting them up, cleaning up our dirty shitmess from the kitchen counters, figuring out how to keep the windowsills clean, dusting them, watering them, and in our spare time when we’re NOT touching succulents we can watch YOUTUBE VIDEOS ABOUT SUCCULENTS!
My choir mate: How’s your summer going?
Me: My goal is to conquer succulents. Everything has lead me to this mission. There is no other news. Only succulents.
Choir mate: I mean, people do that with kids…make them their life. It’s like the same thing.
Wow… there’s so much to learn. I didn’t know any of this. GOD WHY ARE THESE SO DIFFERENT. I have to repot them now. Fuck I spilled one. Is this one dying? What are these bugs? WHATS HAPPENED TO MY LIFE?
Sucks to succ. If you have found or ever find this has happened to you, here are my core takeaways from succing.
- Research them online. There are like five different families of succulents that need different care. Learn their names. Kalanchoe, haworthia, echeveria, lithops, shit like that. Feel real smart.
- Succulents have to be in gritty mix that has only a little succulent grade soil in it. Perlite will save you, look in to it. Put it in the soil.
- They need lots of sun. If you don’t have a place in your house that gets hours and hours of good sun, don’t even start. You won’t win. And fertilize them like twice a year cuz that’s succy food.
- Succulents might love the garden hose in some states but in Michigan and colder climates, water touching them will kill them. And they hate humidity. Bottom water only, after their soil has dried out and the succs start to look crappy, and then water very little. If they get too cold they’re dead. You can’t keep them outside unless you’re in some hot ass climate. Hot hot hot.
- Gold and brown is sunburn. Yellow and saggy is over watering. Showing their stem between leaves means it is etiolated, google it. It looks bad.
- They often reveal little insects called mealie bugs. You get to remove them, swap out their soil and spray them with alcohol in the battle to fight pesticides. It WILL happen to you.
- If they get colder they go in to dormancy phase usually Oct-Feb and watering then will kill them. Oh and if you get less sun during the winter they will probably all die without lighting.
- Succs love being cramped in small pots with neglect. Water them like every 3 weeks or even less. They hate being “sprayed”, the spray bottle is meant to spray down at the base soil only.
- Don’t believe every online care video. They do the wrong shit all the time, things that would kill yours. You’ll hear about “top dressing”. Rocks and gravel shit at the top will maintain moisture in the soil and kill them all. Warning you now. Looks nice, ends badly.
- Stop (STOP STOP STOP EVALUATE YOUR LIFE) when you are out of room because you probably already hate yourself, went broke and now have to worry about what to do when/if they survive, grow bigger and need more space.