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Share to PinterestMaking Your Own Succulent Container Garden Is Easy
GardenOrnamental Plants

Making Your Own Succulent Container Garden Is Easy

  • Time1 hr 30 mins
  • Cost$60
  • DifficultyModerate
Share to PinterestMaking Your Own Succulent Container Garden Is Easy

Succulents are adaptable—they can survive for weeks without being in the ground. The succulent hashtag on Instagram currently has seven million results, a testament to how attractive and popular these sculptural plants are. They're compact and low maintenance, perfect for busy people who want to inject some life into small apartments or add points of interest to patios and backyards. Succulent container gardens and glass terrariums are microcosms of actual gardens. They look spectacular and make a satisfying and straightforward DIY garden project.

What You'll Need


  • Trowel
  • Gloves
  • Drill
  • Low-pressure hose or watering can


  • Broad, shallow container
  • A variety of succulents
  • Cactus potting mix
  • Gravel
  • Water

Decide on your container garden theme

Share to Pinterestwoman choosing ceramic pots for houseplants in the garden center

You can put together a stunning succulent arrangement if you've got a wide container to work with and can pop in quite a few plants. Before you head over to the gardening center, consider whether you want to buy different species that are similar in color, texture, or shape, or if you wish to showcase the diversity of succulents. You could go for coral reef or desert themes, for example.


Prepare the container

Share to Pinterestceramic pots

If you plan on placing your container outside, check the bottom for drainage holes. While holes are not essential if you have appropriate drainage materials, it's better to be safe than sorry. Your succulents can get mushy and die if your pot holds too much H20. Use an electric drill on containers with thin bases. If you have a stone or ceramic container, you'll need a diamond drill bit and to be very careful.


Add gravel and soil to the container

Share to Pinterestperson putting soil into a container

Begin by scooping up gravel to create a layer at the base of the containers. If it has high sides, this layer can be as much as two inches deep. It's essential to include a medium that allows for drainage, or there's a high chance your succulents will develop root rot, and all your efforts will be for naught. Now, go in with a fast-draining cactus potting soil until your container is 3/4 full.


Prepare the plants

Share to Pinterestperson holding succulent plant

Next, you'll need to remove your first succulent from its nursery pot. Cacti and their cousins look a lot cuter than they feel, so put your gloves on if you haven't already. Cut the pot away or hold the plant upside down and pull it off.

Loosen up the soil at the bottom of the plant if necessary. If leaves come off during this step or when placing the succulents in the container, don't dispose of them. Place them in the container, and they should grow roots.


Decide on the succulent arrangement

Share to PinterestFresh mix succulent plants arrangement in a low round cement pot with soil covered by decorative pebbles displayed on wooden table.

Position your succulents in the container by working from the center outwards and packing them tightly. Cascading succulents go on the perimeter. Shuffle each specimen into the potting mix and cover its roots with more soil. The succulents in the middle should be as straight as soldiers.

Turn the succulents at the perimeter slightly outwards so they rest on the edge of the pot. This forms a mound at the center, which produces shade. Alternatively, put tall succulents at the back. Fill in the gaps with stonecrop, tiny succulents, or cuttings.


Find a good location and water

Share to PinterestGroup of Kalanchoe and succulent plants, decorated with rock in the garden tray.

If you didn't place your pot in its ultimate destination before starting the process, you might want to move it now before the addition of water makes it too heavy. You are, unfortunately, not the Hulk or Luisa from Encanto.

Find a spot with good air circulation and bright light. New plants may need to acclimate to direct sun gradually. Finally, give the soil a thorough watering to help the roots settle. Try not to get the leaves of your succulents wet.


Keep your succulent garden happy

Share to Pinterestpotted succulents

Maintain your succulent container garden by watering only the soil once a week or less, depending on your species. You'll keep your arrangement healthy and compact and intensify your succulents' colors by letting the soil dry before you rehydrate.

Confirm thirst level by poking a chopstick in the pot. If the soil sticks to the chopstick, you could probably hold off on watering. Prune your succulents in spring, and bring arrangements with tender varieties indoors for winter.


You aren't limited to the container

From gluing peat moss onto containers to hanging planter trays on walls for vertical showstoppers, there's a lot you can do with succulents if you spend a morning researching and using your imagination. You don't have to stick to just succulents in your container garden, either. Begonias and geraniums, for example, fit right in.

In addition, succulents are gifts that keep on giving, so propagate new plants from your prunings, and your initial investment will pay itself off in party favors and low-cost presents.


Consider a collection of pots

Share to PinterestTop view of various types of succulent plant pot- echeveria, sempervivum, flowering house plants in wooden box

You can go the route of planting single specimens in individual pots and arranging them in a group. The assembled planters can be uniform and enhance your decor. This single plant approach also works well when you acquire less common succulents and want to spotlight each one or realize the succulents you've purchased have significantly different care needs. For instance, it's best to separate tender and hardy succulents.


The best succulents for container gardens

Share to PinterestSucculents of different species grow in a large flat planter

Just about any succulents with similar growing requirements can be paired up in a container garden, but if you're looking for a jumping-off point, consider these low-maintenance beauties:

  • Echeveria
  • Baby toes
  • Pachyveria
  • Kalanchoe
  • Hawthoria
  • Hens and chicks



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