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Christy HillmanLauren MillsLooking to grow your knowledge about cut flowers, arrangements, and potted plants? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Lauren Mills and Christy Hillman are infatuated with color, form, texture and design. Learn how to get the most from your floral purchase through their blog. Included are tips, photos, background information and insights. You’ll love their lighthearted style.
OurSucculentSelection

Every day, customers ask me how to care for their succulents. I struggle to answer these questions, because there are so many factors that lead to the correct care of succulents – the container, the type of soil, the lighting situation, and most importantly to water or not to water. Here are some tips on caring for your little succulent friends.

Soil
Succulents need the proper mix of soil. Ordinary houseplant soil is too rich and holds too much water for succulents. A mix of soil and sand is what we use, but you can also use a mix of soil and dolomite – generally a 1:1 mix. If you squeeze the wet soil and it falls apart, it’s the right consistency.

Drainage
While most succulents have shallow roots, all succulents hate to sit in water. If your container has a hole in the bottom, you’re pretty much all set! Just put in a thin layer of gravel so the hole doesn’t get clogged with soil, then add your soil mixture and the succulent.

If your container doesn’t have a drainage hole, add a thicker layer of gravel to give any excess water a place to go, then add your soil mixture and your succulent. If your container does not have a hole, be careful no to over water.

Light
Succulents enjoy a well-lit room. But on hot summer days, they prefer the shade or dappled sunlight. So, while a sunny window might be great most of the year, in the heat of summer, you may need to relocate them out of direct sun. Succulents also enjoy a sunny trip outdoors occasionally, but don’t leave them outside if it gets colder than 40 degrees.

If your succulents are getting to much light they will have a scorched look to their leaves. You may see brown, black or white patches and leaves will appear burnt and withered. If your succulents aren’t getting enough light, they will begin to stretch to find it. This will cause your succulents to get very leggy.

Water
SucculentGardenHealthy succulents will have plump leaves, which is where they hold water. They do not search for water with their roots, like many plants, and should not sit in water. Overwatering is the fastest way to kill your succulent. Signs of overwatering include squishy leaves, plants that are pale in color, and are rotten at the base of the plant. If you over water your succulent, remove it from the pot and let it dry out.

Dried out, withered leaves are sure signs that you are not watering enough. Always let the soil dry out between watering, but do water. If you forget to give them a drink, they will usually plump right back up, which is what makes succulents such great houseplants – they are forgiving!

Succulent Class April 9th
The Market of Choice Floral Department at Cedar Mill is offering a class on how to create and care for your own indoor succulent garden on April 9, 2016 at 10 am. The cost is $20, and you get to take your garden home with you! Stop by your Market Floral Department to register in advance.

Succulents are typically low-maintenance, come in a vast variety of colors, shapes and sizes, are drought tolerant and easy to maintain. Just follow these simple steps and enjoy your succulents year round.
AirPlant1A lot of folks who come to our Market of Choice store in Cedar Mill believe that airplants, or Tillandsia, live on just air or the occasional misting. I thought that, too, when I first brought one home years ago, and that resulted in my plant's demise in a short amount of time.
 
Now that we sell airplants in our floral department, I thought it would be a good idea to find out what I did wrong so that my customers' airplants don't suffer the same fate.
 
What I learned was this: airplants need what all plants need: air, light and water. What they don't need is soil. That is because airplants in the wild grow on other plants. They have roots, but their roots are for attaching themselves to other plants.
 
That means you can put your airplants virtually anywhere – add them to terrariums, wire them to your other plants or to a piece of driftwood, or display them clustered together on your favorite serving platter. 
 
In their natural habitat, airplants gather moisture and nutrients from humid air and rain, so you need to provide a similar environment. That said, these exotic little beauties are super easy to care for, once you learn the basics.
 
It's simple as 1, 2, 3.
 
1. Mist regularly. Look closely at your airplant and you will see that its leaves are rather scaly. These are called trichomes (if you're into that scientific stuff, which I am). They help the plant hold onto nutrients and water. Grab a spray bottle and mist your airplant several times a week. If your airplant is in a terrarium, pluck the little guy out and mist it in your hand. You can mist them wherever they are, but just make sure they don't sit in water or they will rot.
 
2. Bath occasionally. About every one to two weeks, fill a glass or plastic container with water and submerge your airplants for an hour. Some sources say you can bath them for up to eight hours, but usually an hour is plenty. It's also a good idea let your tap water sit out for a while so the chlorine dissipates. Do not use distilled or soft water because of the salt content. If your airplant is flowering, bathing the flower will cause it to fade quicker. After their bath, gently shake off the excess water.
 
(Tip: Curling leaves or browning on the tips means your airplant needs more water)
 
3. Feed lightly. Add a pinch of Orchid or Bromeliad fertilizer to your spray bottle. Airplants also need good air circulation and an environment that is not too cold. Airplantcity.com suggests temperatures between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
Congratulations, it's a pup!
At some point your airplant will flower. After the flower dries up, your plant will produce a new airplant, called a pup. Sadly, the mother plant will eventually die, but not before producing more pups. To help your pup get bigger and stronger, try removing the faded flower petals and trimming away the flower's stalk.  
 
You may see some leaves looking ragged. Don't be tempted to remove them (if they fall off it's OK), because that is probably where the new pup is forming and it can be so small you might throw it away, too! You may leave your pups attached to its mother or set them free.