By Lifestyle Contributor Jen Vertz
Christmas is already everywhere in stores, so it's definitely the time of year I start thinking of starting my DIY gifts. Simple succulent gardens make awesome living gifts that are affordable and that everyone can enjoy. If you start them now, you'll be able to create a cute garden holiday gift that your friends or loved ones can continue to grow! All you need is some cactus or succulent soil, some older succulents from around the house (or a new one from the store; grab a larger one that is a bit overgrown if you're buying a new one), and some containers.
On succulent plants in your home, look for leaves that have fallen off or been bumped from the stem. Gather those leaves and we'll propagate them. You can also gently pull off leaves from the bottom of a plant in your garden- they will work too, as long as you have the whole leaf. Sometimes if you have one too far away from the light, it will start to stretch and/or become too tall, and we can use those too. Just pull bottom leaves, and then cut the entire top off the plant and stick the stem down in some dirt. Leave the root ball of the original plant and cut the stem just above the dirt, and it will grow new sprouts as well!
Make sure to let the ends of the leaves dry out for a few days so they won't get moldy or rot. Once the ends are hardened, just place them on soil and spray them with a bottle of water once a day or every other day.
Roots will come down into the dirt and soon you will see little babies starting to grow from the base of each leaf. Once the original leaf starts to wilt and dry up, just wiggle it away from the baby and you're ready to transplant into it's own pot or garden!
These guys really want to grow and are really hard to mess up. To create DIY succulent garden gifts, just find a cute pot or planter box, fill with succulent or cactus soil, and plant several of your baby succulents. I love to mix and match varieties. You can also put individual plants in small containers and give those as gifts as well. Enjoy! - Jen
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