While planting succulents seems like an easy thing to do, this step-by-step photo tutorial will help make sure your succulent is happy in it’s new home.
I’m so glad you’re interested in learning how to properly pot succulents!
Before I get to the step by step, I want to make sure you have the proper supplies you need. I have a list for you on my post about essential supplies for planting succulents.
You’ll also want to make sure the pot you select is ideal for succulents. You can see my tips for choosing pottery for succulents in this post.
Ok, now that you’ve read through those and gathered the supplies you need, you’re ready to start potting!
I’m am very much a visual learner and prefer to have someone show me something rather than simply read step-by-step instructions. I want to show you, start to finish, how I pot a newly purchased succulent. It’s easy to do, but I’ve had some people ask about it so I thought a tutorial would be helpful!
Remove Pot and Soil
The first thing you’ll want to do is remove the nursery pot from your succulent and remove as much soil as you can. Generally the soil succulents are planted in at nurseries is really rich and retains too much water for succulents. Removing this soil will help the roots of your succulent to be as healthy as possible. You may not be able to get all the soil off and that is just fine. Just get as much as you can.
If you are planting the succulent by itself (as I am here) you’ll want to leave the roots intact as much as possible. If you are making an arrangement with several succulents you might want to break off some of the roots. It’s not a big problem to remove some of the roots. The succulent will survive just fine either way. The succulent I’m using is a “Gollum Jade“. Also, if you are lucky enough to have babies attached to your main plant, now is a good time to remove them if you’d like.
Place Mesh Over the Drainage Hole
You don’t want your soil to fall out the drainage hole in the pot you are using so use some mesh tape to prevent the bigger chunks from falling out. The mesh tape works well because it allows for water to flow out easily but will hold in most of the soil. You’ll still get some “dust” falling out but that is normal. You can also use a mesh screen instead of the mesh tape.
Fill Pot Almost to the Top with Soil
Before you place your succulent in the pot you’ve chosen, fill it mostly full of succulent soil. Leave a little bit of room at the top for roots and more soil later on.
Put in Your Succulent
Place your succulent in the pot, centered or off center, whatever you’d like. Nestle some of the roots into the soil already in the pot.
Fill the Pot to the Top with Soil
You want the soil in your pot to reach the top of the pot. Leave just a tiny bit of room between the top of the soil and top of the pot. Make sure the leaves of the succulent sit completely above the soil to prevent rotting.
If you’ve purchased soil from Bonsai Jack, you’ll have an awesome chopstick that you can use to poke into the soil over and over to help remove any large pockets of air between the roots. This way your soil won’t sink down after a few waterings.
Add a Top Dressing
To finish off your potted succulent add a top dressing. You might be thinking, but you just told me to fill the pot to the top with soil! As you add your top dressing, press down on the soil to help the succulent stay in place. The top dressing can be something bright and fun or a simple gravel like I used here.
Once your succulent is potted and the top dressing is in place, leave it for 1-2 days before watering. This will give the roots time to heal before they start soaking up water and helps prevent root rot.
So that’s it! Not too bad right? The things I’ve found people often miss are removing the soil from the roots, using a top dressing and waiting a couple days before watering. Following the steps above should give you a good start to a healthy succulent garden.