Succulent Garden

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Beauty shot of succulent garden

Succulent gardens are easy to create and maintain during the winter months when you can’t go outside to garden.  Their low-maintenance status is attributed to their leaves, stems, and roots where they store water so their upkeep is pretty minimal.  As a table centerpiece or a unique addition to your collection of house plants, these container gardens certainly add character to any décor.

Choosing Your Planter

When shopping for items to create your succulent garden, choose a container that isn’t too big in height.  Low bowls are best for succulent plants and their shallow root systems.  Our ceramic Gracie Bowl measuring at 10″  x 10″ x 3.5″ (length x width x height) is the perfect width to hold a variety of plants and the perfect height to accommodate the shallow roots of succulents.

10 inch Gracie Bowl
Southern Patio’s 10″ Gracie Bowl

Finding Succulent Plants

Choose plants of varying heights, colors, and textures to add to your succulent garden.  For our Gracie Bowl Planter, we chose a Panda Plant, Hobbit Horntree, Scheideckeri, Baby Jade, Dark Red Tolimanensis, Grafted Moon, and a Wave Cactus.  Like most succulent plants, these require partial sun.  Only water your succulent garden once the top portion of soil has completely dried out.

Add Pebbles for Drainage

Begin by adding about 1/2 an inch of pebble to the bottom of your bowl or planter.  Succulent roots don’t like to sit in water so this will keep them at a nice level.  If you have drainage holes in the bottom of your planter, you can skip this step completely.  Just be sure to sit your succulent garden on a tray to catch excess water.

Add rocks to bowl
Keep succulent roots from sitting on water by adding a layer of drainage rocks

Add Soil

Add a layer of potting soil on top of your pebbles, about one or two inches below the top of the planter.  It’s important to choose potting mix over any other type of soil because it typically contains other important ingredients such as composted bark, peat moss, and other things that will allow a succulent garden to thrive.

Add a layer of potting soil
It’s important to choose potting mix over any other type of soil

 Use Gardening Gloves

Be sure to use a good pair of gardening gloves if you are adding any type of cactus to your succulent garden.  These plants bite!  Remove the cactus plant from its original container and shake away some of the excess dirt from the root ball.  Carefully position the cactus toward the back of the container.

Shake off excess dirt
Shake away excess dirt from the root ball
Position cactus plant
Place your cactus or tall succulent in the back
Cactus plant in bowl
Make sure the taller plants are nested in soil

For this particular succulent garden we focused on placing taller plants in the back of the planter and shorter plants in the front.

Top view of succulent garden
Place tall plants in the back and short plants in the front

 Finishing Touches

Leave a couple inches of space between the plants and add soil by the spoonful in between to keep them sturdy and in place. Add a layer of drainage rocks to the top of the succulent garden to give it a more finished look.

Add rocks on top as a finishing touch
Adding drainage rocks on top of your succulent garden gives it a more finished look

Enjoy and Don’t Forget to Water!

Now you can enjoy your new garden and add a decorative element to any room! Be sure to water your garden only when the soil dries out completely. You should only need to add about an inch of water to satisfy these plants.

Main image of succulent garden
Be sure to water when top soil is completely dried out

Check out these other Container Gardening 101 lessons:

The Succulent Care Guide

How to Plant Succulents