U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Saturday, May 23, 2009

To Kill Or Not To Kill?

Succulent people, I need your help!!!
I have some succulent plants in my garden. Most of them are easy.

Please click on the images for a better view

I love them, but I don't know much about them. My biggest achievement was a wreath that I managed to make during a wreath-making session in our garden club. Unfortunately, it died. No, not the wreath. The club.

Anyway, all plants are doing OK except this one.

This is how it looked when I just bought it in 2006. Nice. Big plump leaves, beautiful color...

It looked good in 2007:

... and in 2008:

But look at it now!

What should I do with Mister Long Leg? Discard? Cut off the top and leave the leg? Cut off the leg and plant the top? Leave it as is and watch how tall can it grow? Leave it and pretend that it provides the vertical effect (ha-ha!)?

Can you give me some advice?

It doesn't look good at all.
It spends winters in the garage, so I don't think it got frozen...

At the end, I want to show you this gorgeous arrangement from the Roche Harbor garden on San Juan Island. This is what I have in mind when I look at my own plants. That succulent was as big as a child's head! It took my breath away.

P.S. I love what some blotanists do with succulents: Melanie at Old Country Gardens (Potting Troughs - Part Two, etc. ), Cathy at Outside In (Water Fountain, etc.) and others.


  1. Hmmm I don't know what to tell you - it certainly was pretty in the beginning. Hopefully someone will come to your rescue. I love succulents and do quite a few. In fact I want to make a living wreath also and that's mainly why I started collecting them. I did make a living basket - it's harder and I think I should have started out with a wreath. Is your plant maybe not hardy to a certain point and got too cold this last winter? Now I need to go visit the links you gave. Someday I'll post all of my succulents.

  2. Tatyana, I suggest to cut the stem and replant it in soil mix with sand and lots of perlite, keep it out of the sun for about 2 weeks and let it re root. Don't water it too much only once a week during the summer.

  3. Sorry I forgot to mention - to keep it from growing that way in the future always tip the top off once a year. This will stimulate the bottom to grow larger and more leaves. And I believe that variety is in the sedum family.

  4. I would take one piece off of the top and see if it will root. If it did, then I would cut the whole top off, root it in another pot, but leave the long stalk to see if something would come back from the bottom. I have done that with an echiveria successfully.

  5. Hi Tatyana

    Was Mr. long leg startved of light in the winter. He does look very leggy.

    I wouldn't chop off the top. Just make sure he gets plenty of sun and warmth I guess.


  6. I gave one of these to a friend of mine who likes succulents. She said the top broke off (in a wind storm or something) so she just stuck it in a pot and it rooted! Based on that knowledge, I would say cut off the top. I wouldn't want the leggy part anyway. Good luck!

  7. I don't know anything about succulents, but I love the way you use them in the garden! You are so creative and definitely have a flair for imaginative displays.

  8. Татьян, вот тебе еще и на русском о кактусах и сукклентах.
    У меня есть кактусы, но не цыели еще ни разу, дома в период покоя (зимой) жарища. А у свекрови цветет каждый год в один и тот же день.

  9. I don't know much abut Succulents, but I think yours look great. I am wanting to get into Succlents a little more. I actually found a new book; I'm not sure I am going to buy it, I am thinking about it. It is, Hardy Succulents: Tough Plants for Every Climate, by Gwen Kelaidis. You can find it online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, maybe you can find it local.


  10. Hi Tatyana,

    Mr. Long is a Kalanchoe thyrsiflora. I say go with the procedure that 'Outside In' suggests. After it roots, try to slowly acclimate it more sun to prevent leggy-ness. Good luck! -Jackie

  11. Well, I know they don't want wet feet. Or much water. And as for the daddy long legs, I'd look that one up if you know the name. I would be thinking it needs a trim.

  12. Wow, that's a great look to aspire to in your garden. I don't know much about succulents, but to state the obvious, maybe it just needs to be in a sunnier spot... Have you fed it? I'll check back in to see if it improves. Cheers!

  13. Tatyana, you are right, you did have some succulents to post. My goodness. The really white one is very interesting! I like what Outside In said, I know sedums in the garden that get knocked off by the dogs root very easily... so Mr. Longlegs should do quite well.

  14. I love posts like this Tatyana...bloggers are so very helpful and I learn so much! Thanks, gail


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