Another year is behind me. Apparently, I have this habit of writing once a year – I found a link to one old post via my Pinterest account and then I saw that my last post was in Jan-2016. Oh well, busy life can get you there I suppose.
One year older, one year full of memories behind me. So, I decided that this post won’t be without a purpose and with just some random update. Among many other things, I got married last year :). As you may have noticed, I love plants and I wanted to give them away as wedding favours.
This is not a one day project and you have to plan ahead, but it is possible and to be honest – a lot of fun. In total, it took me maybe two or three full days (one in spring and two in autumn, just before the wedding) to complete everything but it was totally worth it. We decided to go with succulents for several reasons – 1) you can propagate them easily; 2) they are low maintenance plants so even if you give them away to people who are not really good with the plants, they can live quite a good number of days and 3) they look really nice in terracotta pots.
-“mother” plants from which you will take the cuttings (we mostly used lucky plant or money tree/Crassula ovata, a bit less of Rocket aloe/Aloe gracilis and just a few of different cacti that we had left after re-potting of our cacti/succulent collection
-several big containers in which you will put your cuttings in spring in order for them to develop the roots (depends on how much plants you will need in the end)
-small terracotta pots, 8 cm in diameter
-paper or something in which you will pack your little favours before you hand them over to your guests
Step 1 – spring
First you have to grow your plants (or you can buy all of them, but this is more fun and a lot cheaper). I have prepared my cuttings in first week of April. Take your mother succulent plant, cut small cuttings in a way that you don’t kill the mother plant of course. Look at it as a haircut to the mother plant. My Crassula cuttings were between 5 to 8 cm long and for Aloe cuttings I took one rosette per cutting. I had 50 Crassula cuttings, 20 Aloe cuttings and around of 20 different mix succulents. I prepared 10% more cuttings than the expected number of guests (I wanted to give one pot per guest) just in case not all of them grew nicely. Luckily, almost all of the plants developed good roots and I even had some leftovers.
Anyway, first prepare several big containers with good soil full of nutrients required for growth of young plants. I took our garden humus as in this stage it wasn’t important if weeds start to grow – and they did. After that, prepare your cuttings and just place them in the soil. Just for scale, in this first picture above, there are 50 Crassula cuttings in total.
Once you complete everything, place your cuttings in some good place outside with moderate sun where you will be able to water them on a regular basis (once a week) until they are ready for potting.
Step 2 – summer/autumn
I waited for the last moment for potting (two weeks before wedding) just because in the end it was around 80 small pots in total that had to be placed somewhere. I didn’t want them in the way, as it was a chaotic few weeks anyway. However, they could have been potted up to a month before as they developed really nice root system.
It took me one beautiful Saturday to pot all the plants. Some cacti were spiky so it took some time to manipulate with them. Terracotta pots were rather small, but my plants weren’t so big either, therefore 8 cm in diameter was big enough size. For soil, I didn’t take our garden humus to avoid any surprise weeds but I bought humus and mixed it with one quarter of sand as succulents love well drained soil. You can buy such a succulent potting mixture, but I had some sand on my hands so this was a good way of using it.
At the bottom of each pot I placed a small rock for better drainage and in that way I avoided soil from leaking down the pot. After everything was done, I left the plants outside for a few days and I watered them regularly.
Step 3 – final packing of wedding favours
Before packing, make sure that your plants are dry (watered at least two or three days before) and that your pots are nice and clean.
We packed our plants in cellophane, tied it with some white ribbon and we inserted small cards that we made with our names and date of the wedding on one side and following instructions on the other side: Take me home and water me gently.
And that it is it. If you love plants and want to give them away at your wedding, I recommend this project. It is easy and fun for any gardener.