Tips for Planting Succulents in Containers

Find out the best planting tips for succulent container gardens! You’ll discover common mistakes to avoid when planting succulents in containers!

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While planting succulents is pretty straightforward, there are a few things that will help ensure your succulents grow healthy. This post will point out a few tips that aren’t very well known, but make a big difference.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out parts 1 and 2 of this series covering the basic supplies you need for planting succulents and the step by step tutorial for how to plant a succulent.

These are great tips about common mistakes people make when planting succulents in containers

Aloe ‘Doran Black’, Sedum ‘Burrito’, Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi ‘Marginata’

Plant above the rim

My dear friend Mimi of I Dream of Succulents actually requested I post this first tip on my blog. A very common mistake people make when planting succulents is placing the succulents inside the pot. I don’t mean the roots, I mean the plant itself.

In order to stay healthy, your succulent needs to sit above the rim of the pot.

If your soil is below the rim of the pot, water can easily pool up. The leaves inside the pot will quickly rot from the water and that can cause problems for the rest of the plant.

You may remember in my how to pot a succulent post that I say to fill the pot partially with soil and then put your succulent in. This will help you see if your plant is above the pot or below. Don’t just put the roots in an empty pot. Give it a base to sit on.

See how to plant succulents + get step-by-step help for growing succulents in my course. Click here to learn more!

This is an example of a beautifully potted arrangement by Mimi. See how all the succulents and leaves are above the edge of the pot?

The soil goes to the top of the pot and the succulents are above. She sells her arrangements on Etsy if you’d rather buy a completed arrangement instead of making your own.

I love the variety of plants in this arrangement by Mimi of I Dream of Succulents

Pack it tight… or not…

I’ve had several people ask me lately how much space needs to be between the succulents in their arrangement. The answer is… it depends. You can definitely plant succulents very close together and they will be just fine.

When planting succulents close together they grow more slowly so they maintain the original design of the arrangement better. It can be trickier to water them when they are close together. But, especially if you’re designing the arrangement as a gift or for an event, this is really great way to plant your succulents.

This clam shell filled with succulents at Waterwise Botanicals is a great example of tightly arranged succulents.

Wow! The colors in this succulent arrangement are amazing!

You can also leave a little more space between your succulents and they’ll grow a little quicker (although they are pretty slow growers in general) and over time they’ll fill in. This is a great option if you’d like for your plants to get bigger or reproduce on their own more easily. If you are just starting out with succulents I’d recommend taking this slightly spaced out approach.

Find out more about how much space succulents need in my course!

When there is space between the plants it’s easier to water the succulents properly. There is also better air flow so the soil will dry out more quickly. We know that quick drying soil makes for happy succulents!

Keep in mind that you don’t want the succulents too far apart or in a pot that is significantly larger than they are.

Too much space will cause the succulents to focus on producing roots rather than getting larger. I would say that 1/2″ to 1″ is a good space between plants.

Let succulents hang over the edge of your pot

This is a design tip rather than an absolute necessity for healthy succulents. But, since we talked about making sure your succulents are above the rim of the pot, I thought it would be good to mention it.

To make your arrangement a little more interesting, place some succulents so they hang over the edge of your pot. You can use trailing succulents (such as “String of Pearls“) that actually hang over the side of the pot, or just let the leaves of your rosette cover the edge of the pot. Here are examples of arrangements done both ways.

Add some height

While we are talking design… another great way to make your arrangement interesting is to add a tall succulent or “thriller”. Add some shorter succulents around it, “filler”, and then the trailing succulents mentioned before, “spiller.” I have found this concept of thriller, filler, spiller to be a great “recipe” for creating an arrangement.

This isn’t a hard fast rule, but if you’re looking for a great way to make a statement, this is a good place to start. In this arrangement, I’ve used Kalanchoe tomentosa for my thriller, Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’ and Graptopetalum paraguayense for my fillers, with Sedum ‘burrito’ and Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls) for my spillers.

Use a top dressing and pot feet

I know I’ve mentioned these in other posts, but they are something that most people skip over so here they are again! Be sure to finish off your arrangement by using a top dressing. Your design will look more professional. As always, be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole and if your arrangement is outside, use pot feet to give your plants better airflow.

Do you feel better equipped to create an amazing succulent arrangement? My goal is to make your life easier and help you perfect the art of planting and growing succulents.

These tips should help you grow healthy succulents as well as guide you toward creating a stunning arrangement.

Watch me plant a succulent arrangement, plus get amazing advice for succulent care, in my course! Click here for more information!

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These are great tips about common mistakes people make when planting succulents in containers. There are some things on this list you might not know that will impact the health of your succulents! #succulents #plantlife #succulentaddict #succulentlove #succulentplants #plantingsucculents #planttips

2018-03-28T12:27:25+00:00

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Rulien

Thanks for these useful tips! This will sure help when I replant some of my succulents this week.

Oops, I realised what I’m doing wrong with succulents after reading this! My bad! There’s so many things to remember for each plant and while I’m doing superbly with my outdoor organic gardens I’m failing with my indoor succulents.

Great website by the way, I now have a good resource if I decide to make terrariums with succulents etc 🙂

Jennifer Nini

jetta

…no wonder i have had disappointments. Learned quite a few HELPS! THANK YOU