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Rainstorm Ready – Preparing Your Garden

Posted on February 09 2017

While many regions of the United States face freezing temperatures and increased snowfall, the winter weather in Southern California beats to a different drum. Copious rainfall has brought a remarkably wet and active January, reversing several drought-stricken areas. Celebrating the reduction of drought restrictions, we must also keep an eye out for our friendly succulent friends. Succulents enjoy an occasional watering and plentiful rainstorms replenish and renew the succulent, bringing out its most vibrant colors. Nourishing rainwater can also be a detriment to succulents. Being mindful of the rainy weather ahead, protecting your succulents from over watering is essential. Plant them in a container with adequate drainage in a compact bowl of coarse soil. Rain water that can move efficiently through the container will not only nourish the plant with the amount of water it needs, but it will also reduce the likelihood of root rot or mold caused by standing water. If succulents spend several days in consecutive rainfall, especially housed with poor drainage, the plant will become waterlogged. Symptoms include the stem and leaves of the plant becoming mush. To prevent waterlogging, move the containers to a dry area that receives little to no rainfall. You can also replant succulents from a location prone to over watering in an area that has adequate drainage or receives minimal water. A drop in temperature may follow a rainstorm, often times falling below the minimum that many succulents can withstand. Similar to waterlogged plants, a freeze will turn the plant tissue to a damaging mush. Once the rain has subsided, cover your plants with fabric covers or frost cloth if freezing temperatures are forecasted. If these three resolutions didn’t pan out like you hoped they would, there is still hope. Over watered plants can come back to life if you allow them to dry out. Once the soil is dry to the touch and the succulent shows signs of normalcy, the plant will recover back to its beautiful and healthy self. Succulents are known for their ability to bounce back. They are hardy little suckers!


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