Pairing arrangements together is a lot of fun! I have a couple resources to share with you and then I’ll talk about how you can determine what will be a good fit.
The first resource is my book, Idiot’s Guide: Succulents. You can find this on Amazon as well as at most Barnes and Noble stores. The last section of the book shows 100 different varieties of succulents and each one has a recommendation for one or two other succulents you could pair with it.
However, I also group those same succulents by their care requirements so you can easily see what succulents will match up and pair well.
Essentially, you can take any of the succulents that are grouped together in a particular section, and they'll work really well together in an arrangement.
Now, let’s talk about some things to consider when figuring out what succulents can pair together. While you can combine most succulents, considering their individual care requirements will help you ensure a happier arrangement and keep the succulents looking their best.
The most important element, as far as I am concerned, is the light requirements. While most succulents will do well with morning sun and bright shade in the afternoon, not all will do well in full shade or indoors. There are also succulents that prefer full sun all day.
If you were to combine succulents that have different light requirements, you may not have any problems initially, but over time you’ll start to see stretching from some or sunburn on others. Listen in to episode 8 to learn about dealing with stretched out succulents.
The next thing you'll want to consider is water needs.
While most succulents are drought tolerant, some will survive much longer without water. The thickness of your succulents leaves are a great first indicator. Portulacaria afra has thin leaves and needs water more often. Sedum adolphii has thicker leaves and can go longer before it needs water.
You can still combine succulents with different water needs, but you’ll likely find that you have to “spot water” or give those thinner leaved succulents a direct dose of water that doesn’t get to the thicker plants. This can be done with a syringe or the water bottle from my favorite succulent tool kit. You can check that out here.
Another consideration for pairing succulents is color. While this won't effect their care requirements, or how they grow, it's definitely a fun part of arranging succulents. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with combining succulents, but using traditional color palettes in your arrangements will make them look really great.
For example, use complementary colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel) such as reds and greens, or (one of my personal favorites) blues and oranges, looks really great.
I tend to plant succulents in analogous color schemes (colors next to each other on a color wheel)… such as blues, greens and purples. You can also do monochromatic combinations, such as all greens but some light, some dark and some in between!
Also keep in mind that the succulents aren't the only part of the color palette. The pot you use plays a big part as well! You may have a red pot and pair it with green succulents to use that complementary color scheme. Or maybe your succulents are mostly blues and greens and you use a purple pot to tie it all together.
While these are all good guidelines for combining succulents, you really can combine just about anything that looks good to you 🙂 It make take a little work to keep it looking it’s best, but it's absolutely doable!