About those darling succulents…

Remember these?

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Back in February, inspired by lo the many, many images of cunning little succulent pots I’ve seen online…

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I decided that turning these sweet little 70’s coffee cups into such planters would give me justification for buying them.

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Here’s what they don’t tell you in all those blog posts:  If you do even a half-way decent job of nurturing your succulents, they will grow out of those adorable little pots:


And it will happen far more quickly and spectacularly than you ever thought it could.




As you see new shoots budding, you realize that the charming vision you had about those pots is going to have to be abandoned. You are going to have to let it (and them) go. If you want those succulents to keep living, you’re going to have to find a new place for them to grow. Because–of course!–they have to keep growing. The only way to not grow is to die.


And you don’t want that:


So you look for new pots, ones with more space. You prepare to transplant. You let their old life, in the little cups on the kitchen window sill, go. It’s hard. They were so sweet, and you loved them even more than you thought you would. You know how empty the sill is going to look without them.

In not unrelated news, this song–released the year my daughter was born (yes, that was really 18 years ago!)–has been playing on repeat in my head the past few days:


4 thoughts on “About those darling succulents…

  1. Marian says:

    I DO remember those! What a lovely, poignant post, Rita …

    On the metaphorical side, I think the hardest thing about watching my now nearly-grown up, once-little “plant” has been recognizing how utterly root-bound he’s been feeling over the last few months. It’s not just a matter of, “hey, I think I could benefit from a bigger pot”, but rather, “this pot is way too constricting and really, it pretty much sucks, and if I don’t get out of this pot soon I’m going to shatter it.”

    On the literal side, I didn’t know succulents grew SO fast! I’ve never had to research this, but is it possible to take cuttings off them and root them (and thus have cute little succulents all over again (grandchild plants 😉 ) or is it simply a matter of re-potting into a larger pot and accepting that the legginess is part of what they are?
    Marian recently posted…Randomly, On a Summer’s DayMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Oh, Marian. I’ve lived with that kind of “plant” in my past. So hard for all concerned. If it’s any solace, things will be much better when he can have a little more room for his roots to spread out. What’s been helping with my son is giving him more room. Less constriction. It’s a hard dance this one (to switch metaphors).

      And I didn’t know that about succulents, either. Feel a little duped by all those images/posts of cute little succulents. I just assumed they were slow-growing, but all of mine have been flourishing like weeds. I haven’t thought about making cuttings. That would require even more pots of plants to tend, so I don’t know. Seems like it could get like rabbits really quickly. 🙂 I’m more inclined to accept the legginess.

  2. May says:

    Darn those succulents for choosing this exact moment in time to bloom into a visual reminder of the need for wide open spaces in order to grow into all they can be. On the upside, they are a celebration of what a successful nurturer you are.
    Big, huge, crazy Dixie Chick fan here. Own the CD and would play that particular song every time I drove away from Memphis, TN, Georgetown, TX and Manhattan, KS leaving one of my kids at college. Just kept hitting the replay button over and over and getting misty-eyed as I would go! Helped me cope to sing at the top of my lungs and pray all the while.
    May recently posted…Modern Day Mulberry BushMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      I love this picture of you! I’ve always liked the Dixie Chicks, too. When I checked the date of that song’s release, I couldn’t believe it had been that many years. Was so sad about the way they disbanded, and really wish I’d been able to see them when they played here just a month or so ago.

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