How to Plant Succulents in a bird bath

If you have a bird bath that is broken, doesn't usually have water in it, or just needs some jazzing up, try planting succulents in it! 

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My mom has had this bird bath in her garden for a long time. Last fall I thought it would be fun to plant some succulents around the base.

I didn't do a great job planting them and, since they only get watered when it rains, some of them died. Quite a few survived though and they are looking good.

I've always thought it would be fun to fill a bird bath with succulents and have seen some beautiful photos of them. So, I asked if she'd let me fill the bird bath with succulents and she said yes!

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Sempervivums and Sedums

This was a really fun project and I'm happy with how it turned out. The only things that made it difficult were drilling a hole in the bird bath and being outside for a while in the hot afternoon sun (probably not the best time to plant).

Here's what you'll need for this project:

Here's a step by step of what I did to fill up this beauty!

First I drilled a hole in the bottom of the bird bath for drainage. I used a diamond tip drill bit. If you haven't done this before, here is a video tutorial to show you how.

Start by filling the bird bath with a little bit of water to keep the surface and drill bit wet. Start at an angle and straighten out the drill bit as you get deeper.

This was by far the hardest part of planting this bird bath. Having at least one drainage hole is crucial.

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I only did one hole because the bird bath is so shallow and will dry out relatively fast. The one hole will prevent water from pooling for too long.

After the drainage hole was in I added the soil. I recommend mounding the soil in the middle to create some height.

Since I'm using mostly cold hardy Sempervivums and Sedums (which don't get very tall) I didn't want the design to be flat. Mounding the soil allowed me to create a nice hill of succulents.

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I purchased a larger Sempervivum to be the focal point. I bought it locally so I was able to pick out a large specimen surrounded by lots of chicks.

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After that I added in some cold hardy Sedums around the edges.

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I filled in most of the rest with more Sempervivums.

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Once I had all of my plants in, I covered the exposed soil with a top dressing to finish it off. I always like adding a top dressing, but this definitely contributed to the composition and helped the design look complete.

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finished bird bath succulent planter sempervivums sedums cold hardyPin
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I'm loving how this turned out, plus it makes a great early birthday gift for my mom! Hopefully this inspires you to add some extra fun to your garden decor. Have you filled a bird bath with succulents? If so I'd love to see it!

UPDATE: See how this succulent filled bird bath survived and what I did to help it thrive in this post.