Do you know you can plant succulent in the rain gutter? Yes it is a possible, low cost method. This technique increased its popularity in recent years.
As a devoted succulent gardener you must learn about succulent gutter gardening in detail. If you are interested this article is for you. Lets learn about how to prepare succulent gutter garden and how to plant succulent in the rain gutter.
Is it ok for succulents to plant in a rain gutter?
Succulents can grow in rain gutters pretty well. In wild succulents usually grow in cracks of rocks, and they can survive even in little soil quantities.
Besides, there are some succulents which can survive without soil at all. Hence you can plant succulents in rain gutters. You can use succulents such as Sedums, echeveria, sempervivums for this purpose.
You can change the different varieties depending on their size, color, texture and on their growth habit as well. Once you combine all these and grow, it will enable you to have a unique design.
Succulents in general require full sunlight and they are tolerant of heat and drought conditions.
If you wish to use small cacti, you can use cactus soil mix which is readily available at the garden centers, and they would be perfect for them as those cacti potting mix are fast draining which exactly these plants need.
What is gutter gardening
In simple words, you can use a rain gutter to plant your succulents and use them to decorate your landscape. They act as long shallow pots for the succulents to grow.
The most appropriate succulents to use for this purpose should be the plants which do not require a lot of space to grow.
You may use those to decorate your walls, fence, porch railing or even any other area you wish to grow them.
You can be creative enough to decorate the rain gutters as you desire.They will add a vertical visual appeal to whatever space you have grown them. it will give an exotic look for the wall or to the fence.
To make it, you need to thread a thin wire through a gutter first so that you can use it and hang it once you complete everything.
You can use more than one gutter in a hanging arrangement. Moreover, you can use a series of hanging gutters to hide your trash cans or maybe to avoid your visitors spotting the old car parked at your neighbors’ house.
Also, you can create a succulent garden on a wall. All you need to do is to hang old gutters on a wall with all the succulents you wish to add to the gutter.
However you need to ensure that you observe the rain gutter to see if there are any pests occupying the plants.
What succulents you can grow in rain gutter
You can add succulents such as
- Delosperma Lehmannii,
Kalanchoe tomentosa( Golden girl),
- String of pearls
- Trailing jade
- Senecio species
- Moon stone
- Sedum firestorms
to grow in the gutter.
These are the types of plants which will thrive well in shallow containers. You can mix them and grow them as you wish whilst having different textures, different shapes, colors etc.
How to prepare rain gutter for succulent gardening
How to prepare the gutter
- First check on the exact length you want to have it.
- Usually, the gutters will form in 20-foot sections. However, it is too long for gardening purposes. Hence you can use a hacksaw and cut the plastic gutter into small sections.
- Further you may use tin snips also to cut the metal gutters.
- Ensure that the end of the gutter is capped so that it will avoid any potential soil spilling off.
- You could easily find the caps from home improvement centers which have gutters.
- You can be tactful in placing a thin bead of silicone to stick the gutter snaps ends to the cap and seal it.
- Make sure that you make drain holes in the gutter bottom. To make the draining holes, you need to drill a half inch wide holes from every 6 inches so that the plants will not become waterlogged.
- Usually , you need to build the rain gutters to mount them on the roof edges of the roof. You can mount them on whatever vertical space you wish to have them.
- It could be a fence, wall or even a deck railing. You can consider having free standing support structures to establish a rain gutter in your preferred landscape.
- Besides, you can consider placing a hanging basket to provide support for the gutter too. You need to provide support for the gutter at least every four feet.
- Another way of doing this , If you attach them to walls or to fences, first you should cut them into your desired lengths.
- When you do this, you can use screws. When doing this, you should wear safety glasses as well. You can use hangers to provide support for them to hang on the fence. Further you can use holes in the gutter also if you hang them.
- Further you need to add draining holes depending on how much rain your area will get. If not, you can place the gutter garden in a position where it can drain.
- You can place the gutter on the fence as you wish. You can adjust your hangers and fix them on the fence.
Choose a good rain gutter
You could use either aluminum or plastic gutters for this purpose. If you use metal gutters, chances are that they will form rust.
On the other hand, plastic gutters can last indefinitely. You could practice three main steps to prepare the gutter.
You need to ideally choose a gutter which has an open space. Refrain from using gutters which have rust since it will not be a success if you use them for this purpose.
You can purchase them newly if you wish as they are not that costly. You should have end caps and glue also to keep the caps in the appropriate place. If you wish you may paint them also so that it will look more beautiful.
Choose a good location and how to hang
When choosing a place, ensure that your succulents are getting adequate sunlight. it is a prime requirement to fulfill before you select a spot to place them.
You can hang them on a fence. However, you need to ensure that it is light so that you can hang it without any hassle.
Despite how light your gutters and other material are, when the soil combines with dirt, it will be heavy.
To avoid that, you can use a narrower taller gutter instead of using a wider gutter. If you use wider gutters, you need to add more soil to cover the plant roots. Furthermore, you can use an existing support beam also to distribute the weight of it evenly.
How to fill the rain gutter (soil quality).
You may go ahead with a typical succulent potting medium to fill the rain gutter. It is the same soil mix which you use for the other potted plants.
They would provide optimal growing conditions for the rain gutters. If you feel like there is a tendency for the soil to spill out from the draining holes, you can cut a thin strip of weed fabric and lay it in the gutter and then add the soil.
How to plant the succulents
First you need to fill the gutter with the right soil mix. You can either plant your cuttings or rooted plants as you desire. Ensure that you provide the optimal growing conditions for them.
How to take care of succulent gutter garden
Looking after the succulent gutter garden is the most important part of the gutter garden.
Therefore ensure that you adhere to the following tips when looking after the succulent gutter garden.
There is a high probability for the gutter gardens to wither rapidly as there are shallow roots.
Hence it is important that you water them once a day particularly during summer so that it will stop them becoming desiccated.
You can skip watering if they are getting rainfall. Always make sure that you water them a little without over watering the plants. if you had used succulents cuttings for this Project, you need to water them after two weeks’ time.
Succulents need to have full sunlight to partial shade generally. Hence ensure that you fulfill the sunlight requirements accordingly of all the plants in the gutter.
This will depend on the succulent type chosen by you. Warmer temperatures would work well for the succulents in general.
A loose and breathable potting soil would work well with these. Instead, you may use moss as well since they can wither faster.
When the growing season ends, I recommend replacing the soil with fresh soil mix annually. That will help the plants to stay happy and healthy.
You need to apply fertilizers for the gutter garden frequently than other succulents.
Usually, the nutrients in a gutter garden will deplete faster. Hence why you need to feed them more often. One in two month fertilizer application is enough for your gutter garden.