Jessy's Succulent Gardening Experience

It’s an honor to have many people who are so interested in knowing how I care for my succulents and how I set up my succulent pallets! And I have been answering questions regarding my succulents very often in gardening groups, Instagram, etc! To avoid repeating myself many times, it’s high time for me to set this post, just to answer questions regarding my succulents & succulent pallets. Please take some time read. I’m not an expert just sharing my knowledge! Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: My answers are based on my experience and my way of growing my succulents in Malaysia.

Q: When did you start this succulent adventure?
A : I started in April 2017 when my friend offered to get me few pots of succulents from Cameron Highlands. Just with that, my love for succulents grew!

Q : How long have you planted your succulents in your pallets?
A: My first pallet was set up in June 2017. Pallet no. 2 and 3, last October 2017 and my custom sized pallet was built in Feb 2018.

Q : Where do you get your pallets?
A : I got them from a nearby factory. The custom sized was built by my husband. He got the cutting Balau woods from Hoctrade Sdn Bhd.

Q: Since there is so much variation in species, how do you manage to get them so nice and together ? So you source them all together?
A: 80% of my succulents are purchased at Cameron Highlands. And I sourced from various nurseries. The rest of the 20% are from random nurseries in Klang Valley.

Q : How often do you water your succulents? Any special fertilizer?
A : The rule of thumb for watering succulents is to water when the soil is dry. There is no specific formula to follow. It depends on the weather & humidity at your area. My watering schedule can be from 4-10 days. Just need to check on the soil every now & then by poking your fingers in to determine your next watering schedule.

I always water mine on a hot sunny day in the morning so the water won’t be sitting “too long” in the soil. Succulents love deep watering so having pots with drainage holes really help. To be honest, I hardly fertilize my succulents. I'm the laziest when it comes to fertilizer. Haha. Same goes with my house plants too. I have used both pellets & liquid fert and they worked fine. 

But lately, I have found a fertilizer that I absolutely love. It's called the Sunland Aloe Vera Organic fertilizer. After 3 application onto the leaves, they have plumped up. Can you tell the difference?

Q : Do u have pest problems like mealy bugs?
A : Yes for initial stages because the soil mixture I had was still not porous enough! And over watering also invited mealy bugs too! Try mixing this product called Starkle G into your soil. Google it to learn more!

Q : What succulent soil do you use?
A : Whenever I bring back pots of succulents, I will let it acclimatized in my garden for few days. Most succulents are germinated in the highlands hence you'll find tons of succulents are grew in peat moss. Peat moss is a little moist for lowland condition so I use my own soil mix : 6-in-1 organic potting mix + leca balls + perlite + rainbow rock. As long as it is gritty and porous, it would be good! These can be easily bought from local nurseries at your area. Personally, I prefer porous-gritty mix with soil because I believe there is where the succulents take their nutrients from. The roots will establish better too. And I do not need to water as often too. Plus point for a busy mummy like me! And I have seen a few use pebbles/stones only. They work well for these owners 

Q : How’s the light condition at your balcony?
A : My pallets and succulents in the pots receive adequate amount of morning sun. They get to soak in the sun between 4-6 hours daily & natural lighting throughout the day. Generally, succulents love morning sun. Afternoon will not work for all succulents. They might get scorch. The stress on their leaves will sustain the bright color on the succulents. And again, only water your succulents when the soil is dry. I water mine in the morning so that the water wont sit too long in the soil. It is always better to underwater sometimes than overwater for succulents, in my opinion.

Q: Can you please elaborate on the layering you do in your pallets?
A: Sure! After getting the pallets from the factory. My husband & I removed the planks and repositioned them. So we can have gaps in each tier and create pockets for the soil. We also sanded & stained the pallets.

Q: Since this is wood which means prone to rot. Have u taken any special care like plastic lining below the weed blocker?
A: Yes, it would rot overtime but I do not know when. All my pallets from the factory are not exposed to rain. They only get very little splashes almost to mist like when it rains with strong wind. No plastic is lined at the bottom of the weed blocker.

Q: Can you share your soil layering method in your pallets?
A : Yes. I first layered it with leca balls & stones onto the weed blocker, then followed with the soil mix.



These two pots (white & cement) of succulent babies here are purely from leaves propagation!
Recently, I have graduated some of those pups in the white pot to the wooden pallet.

These are the babies. When the leaves dried up, you can remove and put them in planters.

Here’s my propagating method :
1. GENTLY pluck the healthy looking leaves from the bottom.
It is important to make sure that the leaves you are propagating has a good “u” shape and they are in hard or rubbery condition. The ones that is soft, watery can’t be propagated anymore.

2. Leave them in the cardboard box or on top of any hard surface - shaded area.

3. Once you see pink roots or pups, place them on top of porous soil in a flat tray. Don’t need a lot of soil for this. Make the soil flat and even on the tray. The same soil you would use for your succulents too.

4. Spray/mist your babies once a week or a few days gap.

5. During propagating period, be sure your leaves are not expose to direct sun. Place them in shaded area but still receives lots of natural lighting.If the weather is hot and the soil dried up, you can spray earlier. 

6. Once the leaves are dried, you can remove the pups and place them in your pots/planters.
The keys to succulents are always water when the soil is dry! And also use porous soil.

7. Do not worry if your pups don’t have any roots, just place on top of the soil.Overtime, the roots will form. Those pups in the planters/pots, spray/mist/water lightly when the soil is dry.
Don’t worry about segregating them. I would lump them all together. As they grow bigger, you can identify them again. Make sure just mist for this stage. They are still small for full watering.

Thank you so much for reading!
Xoxo Jessy

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