Tips for Propagating Succulents

by Jan Petrzalka, El Paso Master Gardener

Watch Chain, Kiwi Aeonium and Peanut Cactus

Credit: Succulents–Watch Chain, Kiwi Aeonium and Peanut Cactus by Jan Petrzelka, El Paso Master Gardener

Propagating succulents is rewarding, easy and inexpensive. In addition to raising plants from seed, there are a variety of methods of succulent propagation including cross pollination, division, grafting and cuttings. Since most succulents are winter-dormant, the best time to propagate is in the spring as they begin actively growing and before summer heat intensifies. Summer-dormant plants should be started in the fall.

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Related articles from the Learn » Gardening Topics-Links page:

Propagation – A Variety of Techniques
Propagating Foliage and Flowering Plants
Succulent Gardening – Dormancy Table

Helpful and Fun Propagation Tips from Our Experts

Rooting African Violets

Credit: Rooting African Violets (El Paso Master Gardeners Facebook)

With lecture and demonstrations at a free Saturday class, our Master Gardener Propagation Specialists Jan Petrzelka and Penny Leslie, assisted by Master Gardener Art Corral, taught various techniques to propagate plants at home. The class was well-attended and lots of fun. Watch these helpful videos recorded at the class (thank you, Rosie!) to get some propagation tips:

Video Play GlyphArt Corral gives away parts of this aloe and other cuttings from an elephant bush and sansevieria. Jan gave away bulbine.

Video Play GlyphJan Petrzelka teaches us how to propagate African violets.

Video Play GlyphArt Corral teaches us how to propagate a sansevieria (aka: snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue).

Shade Tolerant Plants for Far West Texas

Salvia farinacea_UdoSchroter

Credit: Salvia farinacea (Mealy Cup Sage) by Udo Schröter (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As you scout the nurseries this spring and the Annual FloraFEST Plant Sale at UTEP in late April for plants, a category of plants you might find desirable are those that are shade tolerant. Compiled by El Paso Master Gardeners Johanna Barr and Sarah Wood, we have a list of some native and desert adapted plants that will tolerate lesser amounts of sunlight. They can be grown in northern and eastern exposures. All of the listed plants are low to medium water use. Click here to open the shade tolerant plant list.

Why We Landscape with Native and Adaptive Plants 

Mtn Laurel + Butterfly

Credit: Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) by Linda Kaip, El Paso Master Gardener

by Lou Ellen Clement, El Paso Master Gardener

Living in West Texas we are all acutely aware of our limited water resources. Many residents of El Paso are rethinking their landscapes to make them more water-wise by using plants that nature put here. “Going native” is one way to achieve a beautiful yet water-wise landscape, help maintain our natural habitats, and conserve our precious resources.  Read more »

Texas Tough Roses 

by Skip Richter, Horticulturist—Agrilife.org

The three roses mentioned in this video, in order, are: Knock Out, Belinda’s Dream, and Marie Daly.

Related Articles

Roses for the Desert
Growing Roses
Earth-Kind® Roses
Coming Up Roses: 12 Classic Beauties that Thrive in the Desert Southwest 
(with photos)

Make the Best of Beneficial Insects

by Connie Walsh, El Paso Master Gardener

Many insects are not pests since they pollinate flowers and vegetables and often feed on pests in our gardens. If you allow these beneficial insects to do their job, you can reduce the need for pesticides and improve local water quality.

There are two basic types of beneficial insects: parasites and predators. Parasites lay their eggs on or in the pest insects’ eggs or in the bodies of the pests. The larvae hatch and eat the pest. Predators work more directly. They eat the pest with powerful chewing mouth parts, or they suck them dry by using a tube-like mouth part.

Who are some of the good guys to be on the lookout for? Assassin bugs, bigeyed bugs, lacewings, lady beetles, minute pirate bugs, parasitic and predatory wasps, spiders, praying mantids, dragonflies, damselflies, and fireflies, just to name a few.

Keep these points in mind to make the best of the beneficial insects in your garden:

Read more »

Related Articles

Earth-Wise Guide to Beneficial Insects (photos + least toxic products)
Southwest Bugs
Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico
Landscape IPM — Beneficial Insects
Your Partners in the Garden: Helping Beneficial Insects
How Insects Grow & Change Form

Two Easy Ways to Contact Our Help Desk

ask us picture

Do you have a question about your plants, gardens or yards? The El Paso Master Gardener Help Desk is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and we’ll be happy to assist you. When you phone the Help Desk (915-771-2354) you will talk with a volunteer who will provide research-based horticultural information. If a Master Gardener is not available when you call, please leave a message and you will be contacted as soon as possible. Or, you may complete the Ask the Help Desk form which accepts photos and gives the option to receive an answer by phone or email.

Necklace Plant, Sedum and Jade PlantBy the Season – Gardening in El Paso

May Monthly Tips
Propagation – A Variety of Techniques
Propagating Foliage and Flowering Plants
The Secret to Growing Tomatoes in El Paso
Tomato Problem Solver
Fertilizing Foliage and Flowering Plants
Pests of Foliage and Flowering Plants
Bug Book-Insect ID and Control
Coming Up Roses: 12 Classic Beauties that Thrive in the Desert Southwest (with photos)
Best Roses for Arizona: Roses That Love Our Heat
Growing Roses
Vegetable Planting Calendar for El Paso County
Vegetable Varieties for El Paso County

Find other helpful articles at Gardening in El Paso – Articles and Gardening Topics – Links.

Good to Grow Radio Shows  (Current and Archived)

Gardening with Family
Garden Safety (also the Rose Garden and FloraFEST)
Jim Hastings and the Native Plant Society
Garden Design Tips
Spring Gardening
Spring Vegetables (and Herbs)
Hummingbird and Butterfly Habitats
Native Plants
Garden Design Trends
Gardening for Health
Irrigation, Part 1 of 2
Irrigation, Part 2 of 2
Garden Weed Control
Watering Your Landscape


KTEP logoListen live on Saturdays at 11:15 a.m. on 88.5 FM or stream from the archives at KTEP Good to Grow.  Read more about our Good to Grow Radio Show, here.

Ready to Start Your Garden?

Bag and watering pailWhether you need to buy garden supplies or household items, when you start your shopping at AmazonSmile you can support the El Paso County Master Gardener Association. Asmile.amazon.com, you’ll find the same convenient shopping experience as at Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of your cart’s value to El Paso County Master Gardeners.  Look for this upper amazon banner page banner when you donate:

You shop. Amazon gives.

Note: Only purchases at smile.amazon.com will support us or other charitable organizations (not www.amazon.com, nor the mobile app). Thank you for your support.

Newcomer’s Gardening Snapshot for El Paso County

welcome  Many new residents arrive in El Paso each year from climates and growing conditions much different than the Chihuahuan desert. This Newcomer’s Gardening Snapshot highlights some main features of El Paso’s climate including our growing season, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, U.S. Sunset Climate Zone, first average frost date, average rainfall and more. It also provides links to informative websites which are helpful for newcomers, identifies some local public gardens, and provides a contact for obtaining a Soil Sample Kit.

Read more »

Improve Your Skills with Our Informative El Paso Gardening Handbook

EPMG Gardening Handbook Cover 2018There are many types of gardeners in El Paso. Some tend to their vegetable gardens, whether in raised beds or containers, while others pride themselves in their yards that feature native and adapted plants. Some have recently moved here and aren’t sure where to start now that they’re in the high desert, don’t recognize many of the desert landscape plants, and wonder if they can have a lawn.   Read more »

Who We Are

The El Paso County Master Gardeners Association, as a member of the Texas Master Gardeners Association, is a non-profit educational and charitable organization supporting the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in providing quality, relevant outreach and continuing education programs and services to the people of El Paso County. Our local volunteers receive extensive training and experience in a wide range of subjects before certification as Texas Master Gardeners.

In collaboration with the County A&M AgriLife Horticultural Agent, Denise Rodriguez, we educate the community through various events, workshops, and demonstration gardens. Our Master Gardeners volunteer through our Outreach programs and community Projects to provide information and recommendations on horticultural topics to all residents of El Paso County.

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Content Editor: Marlene Stalker

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