This week we are catching up with a collector from Victoria. I have been following Kelvin on Instagram and he goes by the name of Succulent Love Story. His real name is Kelvin Liew He has been collecting and swapping succulents for over 5 years.
We asked him a few questions to find out more about growing succulents in Melbourne. And in between those questions, I'll throw in some pictures of his drool worthy plant collection. Here's what he had to say:
1. When did you start collecting plants and what was your first plant?
I fell in love with succulents over 5 years ago and I have never looked back. My first succulent was an aeonium.
2. What kind of challenges do you have gardening in Melbourne?
The weather! Melbourne's weather is like a roller coaster and its true we can get 4 seasons in 1 day. Storms are a big challenge. I have had my succulents damaged by hail on a few occasions. But also Summer can get really hot in Melbourne and I have to protect my succulents from getting sunburnt.
Aeonium Big Bang
A transformation of Aeonium Big Bang
Big Bang is not one of the faster growing Aeonium due to the lack of sugar-producing, growth-inducing chloroplasts in the variegated leaves.
Care Tips of Aeonium Big Bang
3. What is your weapon of choice (aka Pesticides)?
I like to use natural remedies instead of chemicals. I use cinnamon a lot to prevent fungus, mealybugs and aphids.
Ants also don’t like to walk where cinnamon powder has been sprinkled so it is great to prevent them from nesting aphids.
Aeonium Mardi Gras
Aeonium Sedifolium looks like a little shrub and has a similarity to the leaves of sedum. It grows in an inflorescence which is actually a stem, taller than the plant.
Care Tips of Aeonium Sedifolium :
4. What is your favourite Propagation method?
I love to use water propagation. It is very easy, clean , natural and saves a lot of time. Here is a video of me demonstrating how to do water propagation:
5. What is the easiest plant for you to propagate?
I find echeveria is the easiest succulent to propagate. They can be propagated with leaves, cuttings or head chop.
6. What’s your game plan to prepare for summer?
I put my succulents under shade cloth or natural shade like a tree to protect them from the hot sun. Also, I water them more often in summer to keep them hydrated. In summer it is necessary to keep a close eye on them to ensure they are not stressed
Thank you for your time, Kelvin. If anyone is interested, Kelvin also occasionally sells his succulents. Follow his instagram @succulentlovestory to find out more.