I have a confession to make. I am a plant killer. Yes, it’s true, I have murdered many of plants. I wasn’t always a killer though. In fact when I was younger I fancied myself a green thumb, but somehow along the way I became the black widow of gardening. My latest killing spree happened when I attempted to plant herbs and lavender on my balcony. It was pretty for like, a day, and then it all went to hell. I won’t even show you pictures of the crime scene. I’m too embarrassed.
Now that I’ve come to terms with my inability to maintain flowers, and apparently herbs, I’ve decided to attempt and embrace succulents and cacti.
Why succulents and cacti? Because I kill everything else, obviously. Also, because our super cool and hip mayor, Eric Garcetti, suggested it is our civic duty to do so. My hopes are that one day I’ll meet him and bring up my drought tolerant balcony garden and we’ll become friends. *end squiggly line fantasy sequence*
I’m no stranger to native succulents and cacti. I grew up throughout Southern California and in the desert where our lawns consisted of mostly rocks, palms, and some variation of cacti. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think low-maintenance plants will be the key to my success.
As you can see we used window box style planters from IKEA. We have a tiny balcony and we wanted to see the plants through the window, so these were our best bet. (I’ve had these for over a year, so I can’t find them on IKEA’s website to be able to link you.) The only problem was there were no drain holes, and well draining pots are necessary with succulents and cacti. We ended up drilling holes into the bottom to ensure drainage.
We took a trip to the nursery and came home with a variety of plants and a couple of cacti. We also picked up specific “well draining cacti, palm, succulent” soil, because I am not taking any chances this time. Don’t ask me the names of any of these because I have no idea. We’ve just been calling them “the yellow-ish one” and “the one that looks like jellybeans”. So scientific.
Anyway, we just plopped them in and filled any empty spaces with succulent-ish ground cover and prayed to Frank the Flamingo to watch over them all.
One thing I did learn the hard way is if you’re going to handle any kind of cacti, WEAR GLOVES. These little jerks sneak up on you with their prickly thorns.
We’re also attempting “weed like” herbs with hopes that they’ll grow like weeds and not die a horrible, temperamental, death like my lavender and rosemary of gardens past. I’m actually leaving those up to my husband. I can’t be trusted.
Wish us luck!