How to Keep Your Succulent Container Garden Alive

How does your succulent container garden grow? Here’s everything you need to know.

It’s easy to understand why succulent plants are such a growing trend in gardening. They add something fascinating and fun to your planters because there are so many varieties, textures and colors — and they are low-maintenance plants that require little water and care. Read below to learn how to make and take care of your succulent container garden. It’s easier than you think.


What You Need For Your Succulent Container Garden:

  • Dish, saucer or another container with good drainage — it shouldn’t be too big or deep as succulents prefer shallow pots
  • Plastic window screening, paper towel, a coffee filter or a piece of newspaper
  • Cactus or succulent potting soil (or you can make your own by mixing potting soil with vermiculite, perlite or pumice)
  • Selection of succulent plants — enough to pack tightly in your container
  • Stones, gravel, sea glass or anything else you want for topdressing
  • Bright sunlight

Ready to Plant? Just Follow These Steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your Container

Cut a piece of plastic window screening into a big enough piece to fully cover your container's drainage hole or holes. This will keep your potting soil in and let the water out. If you don't have window screening, use newspaper, paper towel, or a coffee filter to cover the hole(s).

Step 2: Plant the Succulents

Fill the container half full with the potting soil. Then empty your plants from their nursery pots and arrange them in the container. Add more soil within an inch or half an inch of the rim and pat the potting soil down firmly with your hand. Be careful to keep the soil at the level the plant was in its nursery pot. You don’t want the new soil to touch the crown (the part of the plant that meets the soil). Also, make sure you fill in all the holes and spaces between the plants and the sides of the container. If you don’t, the roots will dry out, which can kill your succulent plant.

Step 3: Add Topdressing

To give your container a finished look, cover the soil with river rocks, gravel, marbles, sea glass or another creative idea for topdressing. A colored material can add zing while a neutral material can give it elegance and allow the colors of the succulents to stand out.


Step 4: Put It In Place

Most succulents like bright sunlight and are content to spend their days outdoors in the baking sun or indoors in a sunny, preferably south-facing window. They thrive in warm or even hot summer temperatures. When first taking a plant outdoors, expose it to bright sunlight gradually to prevent sun scorch. Provide shelter from drenching rains or bring the plants indoors during rainy weather.

Taking Care Of Your Succulent Container Garden

Choosing your succulents and planting your garden is the hard part. Maintenance is easy:

In Spring and Summer (growing season): Keep the soil moist, not wet. It's better to let the soil get a little dry between watering than to overwater. Depending on the succulent plant, fertilize during the growing season with a diluted liquid fertilizer.

In Winter: Move them to a spot that stays around 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Water not more than once a month, and don’t fertilize until you move them back into a warm place and they’re actively growing again.

Once you see how easy it is, you’ll want to make more and more succulent container gardens. No two arrangements have to be alike with all the different varieties of succulents out there. So play around and get creative by bringing a little bit of the desert to your décor.

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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