Q&A with Succulent Expert Mifune Matsuura

About Me: Japanese. Married. Mother of two. Artist. Living on the North Shore. One day I found a Kawaii looking plant at a small grocery store. It was labeled as “cacti” but it wasn’t prickly. It seemed safe for my children who were 1yr and 4yr back then, and perfect for me since I could forget about watering. So I bought this white powder coated fat leaf “cacti”. Soon after I learned about succulent plants, and that cool looking plant’s name was Pachyphytum oviferum. It has been nine years since I fell in love with succulents.
Photos by Mifune Matsuura

Q: What is your favourite succulent and what do you find the most interesting about it?

A: Haworthia obtusa. It looks like a little gem.

Q: What succulent plant do you recommend the most for the home?

A: Outdoor year-round – Senpervivum (hens & chicks). South facing bright room/outdoors in summer – Sedum rubrotinctum (Jellybeans), Echeveria, Kalancoe. North facing room/indoor year-round – Haworthia fasciata (Zebra plant). *** Buy dense sturdy plants, avoid spindly grown.

Q: What stands out to you the most about succulents in comparison to other types of plants?

A: Succulents always fascinate me with their geometric shapes and their dainty flowers from the rugged plants. Most of them can be multiplied easily by leaf cutting. It is fun to see miniature plants popping out from the cuttings.

Q: Can you give one important piece of advise to a new succulent-grower?

A: They don’t need much water but they do need light. They may look weak in rainy Vancouver winter days here, but they will come back alive and kicking in the next summer season. You can cut back and re-shape or restart with cutting a leaf, so don’t throw them out!

Be sure to check out Mifune’s new Facebook Artist Page here! Her blue succulents painting will be shown at the group exhibition at the Harmony Arts Festival and you can also find a variety of her work at Limelight Floral Design in Dundarave from July 31-Aug 9.

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