New Aquisition repotting

Succulent salvage—saving some clearance plants

The other day I took a quick trip over to the Lowe’s garden center. Initially I was just going in to find a drill bit for a future project—hopefully I’ll be adding some drainage holes to some cheap ceramics and glass that will make great succulent planters. I’ll let you know how that goes in the future.

Of course I had to go look and see what they had in stock. I’m hunting for some Lithops or living stones—as usual nothing like that to be found. I sighed about the coloring crimes that were committed to these cacti and walked away.

painted atrocities

Check out the rear.

In most Lowe’s and Home Depot garden centers, if you make your way toward the back you’ll often find a clearance shelf. These are usually plants that have been damaged or need some extra TLC. I feel like I always end up looking for plants that need saving.

clearance time

My city was recently devastated by hurricane Florence. Any of the poor little plants that got left in the outdoor garden center didn’t  have much of a chance. There were pots without dirt, pots without plants, and pots with mushy, rotted, and dead stuff.

the shelf of sadness

The score.

Here are the few plants I ended up with bringing home for my succulent salvage

  • Graptopetalum pentandrum ‘Murasaki’ (top left)
  • Graptopetalum paraguayense ‘Ghost plant’ (bottom left)
  • Pachyphytum spp. (top right)
  • Crassula Capitella ‘Campfire Plant’ (bottom right)

Total cost $3.50


I unpotted all of the plants and knocked/raked most of the soil off the roots with a bamboo kabob skewer.

There’s actually some pretty good roots left on most of these, which is usually not the case when it comes to clearance—Often they end up over there because of root rot, but even those can sometimes be saved.

Because of the high humidity in my area, and my tendency to occasionally get carried away with watering, I like to add extra soil additives to improve drainage. Here, I’ll mix up some Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm and Citrus Potting Soil Mix with some pumice that I bought a bulky bag of.

Putting the succulents in the pot with varying levels of dirt can help make up for differing stem lengths.

The campfire plant didn’t actually even have any roots on it when I took it out of its pot. There was just a bit of dead stem, which I snapped of before dipping it in some Garden Safe TakeRoot rooting hormone.

This was the end result. It’s not my proudest arrangement, but it will suffice as an intensive care unit while these guys strengthen and recover, and hopefully they will fill out in short time. After potting everything up, I gave them a pump of Miracle-Gro Succulent plant food, and put them under the grow lamp in my etiolation station.

2 replies on “Succulent salvage—saving some clearance plants”

If you just bought a potted cactus and it came in moist soil, then someone probably recently watered it. Don’t water it again until the soil is pretty much all dried out. Most cacti hold water really well, so it could be a while before you need to water it. I have some Joseph’s Irish mittens that maybe get water once a month, or sometimes longer until I notice that they actually look kind of skinny or thirsty (I hope that makes sense).

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