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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - December 16, 2007

From: Pensacola, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Care of a sedum indoors
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a coworker who has trusted her Sedum Burrito plant into my care because it is not doing well in her office. It appears to need repotting, as it is very crowded in the pot it came in and is difficult to prune off the dead, dried tails. What is the best soil to repot this plant? Also, I have researched this plant and it is a sun-lover, but it is inside all the time; is there a type of light bulb I can put in a small desktop lamp to give it more light?

ANSWER:

Sedum burrito, Donkey's Tail is a succulent native to Mexico. The best soil to use to repot sedums is a cactus/succulent mix, which is coarser and with more sand than the standard potting mixes. It can, however, stand to be crowded in its pot, and makes a spectacular hanging plant. Succulents usually need to be allowed to get pretty dry and then watered, every one to two weeks. If you wish to repot it, you can easily take it out of its existing pot, break it apart into several plants, if you wish and then put in a larger pot. Succulents are all easily propagated, by placing a broken piece of the plant, after it has dried for 24 hours, onto a moist potting mix. In a few days, it will have begun to sprout roots and can be potted normally. While it does require sun, it generally prefers diffused sun, light shade, as opposed to the full glare of the sun. It does not automatically follow, however, that it can exist solely under artificial light. In fact, just about every resource we went to strongly recommended some bright sun every day. Surely in Florida you have a window somewhere that will get some sun coming through the glass. Even if it's not all day, it will be much better for the plant, and the plant will have better color, to get real sun.

 

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