Rain Gutter Succulent Garden Tutorial

If you’re looking for a way to store a lot of succulents in a small place, try creating a rain gutter garden! This step by step photo tutorial will make it easy for you!

I tend to accumulate a lot of succulents over the summer. While I use most of them for projects on the blog, I sometimes have extras that don’t get used. I was trying to figure out an inexpensive way to plant all of them that would look nice and have a lot of space so I didn’t have to have a bunch of little pots everywhere.

While picking up some other supplies at Lowes, I came up with a brilliant idea: rain gutters! They would be large, relatively inexpensive, not take too much soil but have enough room for succulents. As it turns out I was not the first person to think of this, but I still think it’s a great idea!

Learn how to use a rain gutter as a succulent garden!

These were really easy to make! One thing to think about before making your own is where you’ll be displaying them. I think they’d look great on the side of a shed, under a window, along a fence, on the railing of a balcony, etc. The location will determine what shape you get and how you’ll attach them (which will likely need to happen before you start planting).

Aloes and echeverias in a rain gutter succulent garden

Since we are in a rental right now I couldn’t attach mine to anything, but I had them sitting on my wire rack of succulents so I knew I needed the shape of the gutter to be flat on the bottom rather than rounded.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Start by cutting down the rain gutter to the size you’d like it. I used one rain gutter and cut it into 3 pieces using my multi tool. I love the multi tool! I’ve used it for a lot of projects. It’s one of the best tools I own.

Drill holes all along the bottom of the rain gutter, every inch or so, to allow for proper drainage. I’ve found the 1/16″ bit is large enough to let water through easily while still keeping the soil in. After the rain gutter is cut to size, place an end cap on each end.

Use the caulk to seal the gap between the gutter and the end cap. If you’d like, after the caulk dries you could paint the rain gutter to make it even more interesting!

Use caulking to seal the endcap on your rain gutter planter

At this point, you can attach the rain gutter to a wall or prep it with wire to hang. Like I said earlier, I didn’t end up hanging mine as we won’t be in this house permanently.

Once the caulk is dry and the gutter is attached to the wall, fill it with soil.

Use succulent soil to allow for the best drainage in your rain gutter garden

Then let the fun begin! Arrange your succulents however you’d like in the rain gutter. Most of the succulents I used in this example were cuttings that didn’t work for another project I did. I love the combination of red and blue-greens.

If you need more space for your succulents, try planting them in a rain gutter!

This turned out to be the perfect solution for storing miscellaneous plants. Plus, I don’t feel quite as bad when I pull plants out of the arrangement to use for something else. I also filled one of the planters with cold hardy succulents. They did extremely well in this over the winter. You’ll see those in my post next week about fertilizing succulents.

I think you’ll find rain gutters to be a fun, yet practical way to plant a lot of succulents in a small space! I’d love to see what you create! Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.


Learn how to use a rain gutter as a succulent garden!
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This would be a great idea for a wedding or dinner party, outdoor dining table, etc. I am currently building a playhouse for my girls and I wanted to add a window box of some kind so this might be a good solution!

emilia winding

This is a great idea! I can’t wait to try it/