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How to Press Succulent Plants

Succulent Plants are Thick With High Water Content

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"How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers" - a cute little book from my collection. Over a century old, fully scanned. scans are copyright annepost 2008

 

 

 

How to Press Succulent Plants

Various succulent plants such as cacti, hens-and-chicks, sedums, and mistletoe retain water so they can thrive in arid conditions. But we can get around that.

By their very nature, succulent plants will remain alive for an excessively long period whenHens and Chicks - Succulent placed directly in your press, because they are water-storing plants. The water in their leaves and stems make them resistant to drying but, with patience, you can press them quite successfully.

To overcome the problem of water retention and the plants' ability to stay alive for long periods, you must kill your plants before pressing. Succulent material is 'dead' when it has a flaccid appearance.


Here's how to kill a succulent plant - pick one:

  • Freeze the plant over night

  • Dip the plant in boiling water for a few minutes

  • Use your microwave for about 3 minutes... do this without a press; just set it on a plate.


Once the cell tissue has been killed (by freezing, scalding or radiation)
the plant will still require special attention until it has dried completely. Pressed Hens and Chicks - Pressed Succlent Plants

  • Fillet the think parts, between the front and back, then scrape off as much of the flesh as you can.

  • Microwave in a press for a minute on low.

  • Let cool, repeat, repeat, etc...

  • When almost dry place them in your press to finish drying.

  • The papers must be changed at least twice daily for the first few days

  • Drying in the press can take 2 to 4 weeks... maybe more, this is where patience comes in!

 


Prickly Pear Cactus Before Pressing

Since you will rarely see pressed succulents or cacti, you've just created some very unique pressed specimens to frame, display, and amaze your friends. You can even skeletonize cactus since it has a great veining structure beneath the flesh.  Have fun!

 


 

When God blesses the harvest, there is enough for the thief as well as the gardener.

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