Succulents For Beginners – Part 2

The Right Pottery and Soil for Succulents

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Soil and pottery play a major role in how succulents grow -- find out what the best options are!

Choose the Right Pot

The right pot and the right plant can make a great marriage. The essential feature the pot must have is a drainage hole. While some experienced succulents growers have success without a drainage hole, it’s not the best option for succulents.

Succulents thrive in well-drained soil and do not like to sit in water. Using a pot with a drainage hole will allow water to flow out of the pot quickly and help the succulent roots to dry easily, giving the plants a better chance to thrive.

Avoid the terrarium trap. Glass terrariums can be beautiful, but rarely have a drainage hole. Succulents can survive in such a container, but save that project until you are a more experienced succulent grower.

Where to Buy

Arrangement created by Cindy of The Succulent Perch - Pottery by Susan Aach - Photography by Cassidy Tuttle

If you love the look of artisan made pots, I highly recommend pottery from Susan Aach. Her planters are beautiful and are specifically designed for succulents–they all have drainage holes.

Click here to buy a Susan Aach Pot
Looking Sharp Cactus -- Pre-Planted Succulent Wine Bottles

A more unusual option is a wine bottle planter from Looking Sharp Cactus. Unlike most glass containers, these have a drainage hole so they work well for succulents.

Click here to buy a wine bottle planter from Looking Sharp Cactus
This circle succulent planter by Dalla Vita works well on the wall or on a table!

Another fantastic option, especially if you’d like something somewhat small is Dalla Vita. They sell pots with or without succulents.

Click here to buy pottery from Dalla Vita

Selecting the Right Soil

Succulents flourish in well-drained soil. That is why a drainage hole is so important. Likewise, using the wrong soil can kill a succulent. In fact, I have killed more succulents using ordinary potting soil than anything else. As I’ve said before, succulent roots don’t like to sit in water–they will rot.

The Perfect Succulent Soil Recipe

As a general rule, you want to plant succulents in a well-drained soil that has relatively large particles, about ¼” or 6mm. The best soil I’ve used for succulents combines equal parts pine bark fines, crushed granite and turface. Most of these ingredients can be found at Home Depot or Lowes, or at a local nursery.

If you’d like to purchase soil pre-mixed and ready-to-go, you can order your soil at Bonsai Jack. While I used to make the soil mix myself, I not get it exclusively from Bonsai Jack as it is great quality and convenient.

Click here to purchase succulent soil from Bonsai Jack

If the above recommendations don’t work out for you, as an alternative you can purchase pumice, or a course grain sand (as opposed to fine grain beach sand).

Click here to purchase pumice from General Pumice Products

Succulents simply have different soil requirements than most plants. The large particle size is essential for succulent success.

A Word About Roots

The reason succulents prefer well-drained soil with large particles is because it allows for airflow around their roots. Water is able to drain through the soil and dry out quickly. The roots are able to get the moisture they need without becoming waterlogged.

Each of the recommended components for the gritty succulent soil mix above absorbs water easily, so they will store just enough water for the roots to get what they need before the soil dries out.

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Cassidy Tuttle and Family Succulents and Sunshine Blog

A little about me…

My name is Cassidy Tuttle and I’m a professional photographer turned succulent addict. I teach wonderful people, like yourself, how to grow succulents through this course, my book — Idiot’s Guides: Succulents, and on my website — Succulents and Sunshine.

My adventure with succulents started with three small plants on a window sill of my basement apartment. Within a year I had propagated them and purchased more, totaling over 100 plants!

It’s been a fun adventure since then as I’ve drowned, burned, frozen, and starved my collection of succulents. In this course I teach you how to avoid all those mistakes I made or help you recover from them.

While I’ve killed plenty of succulents in the past few years, I’ve also kept hundreds alive and thriving, and I know you can do the same!

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