How to Plant Succulents
Some plants are a lot fussier than others: They want food, water, and plenty of sunlight. If you love the idea of having plants in your home, but don’t want to worry about constantly watering or feeding them, you might want to learn how to plant succulents. These mini plants store water in their leaves, which means that they don’t need to soak up very much water from the soil. In fact, they’re used to living in poor soil and desert conditions. The only thing succulents are particular about is the sun: They need lots of it. So pick a spot in your home for your succulent planter that gets plenty of sunlight.
Succulents need lots of sunlight to thrive.
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1. Choose Your Plants
Before you can learn how to plant succulents, you need to choose the best plant for you. Succulents come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. There’s the towering spikes of aloe, the colorful rosettes of echeveria, the spiny agave, and the coral-colored flower spikes of cotyldedon. If you plan on using more than one type of succulent in a planter, you should follow the same rules you would for any container garden, and pick at least one towering plant, one plant to spill over the sides of the planter, and one plant to fill in the gaps.
Along with picking your plants based on shape and size, you also want to look at how healthy the plants appear to be. Skip the ones that have brown or yellowed leaves, look a bit shriveled up or look as if someone tore off a few of their leaves. If you’re keeping your succulent planter inside, you may want to pick green-leaved varieties, which do better indoors, over succulents with purple or reddish leaves.
You can group several succulents together in one planter or space them out into separate containers.
Photo Source: Pixabay/Malida Vigerova
2. Choose Your Container
If you spend any amount of time online, you’ll find people planting succulents in the weirdest of containers. You’ll see everything from cute succulents that grow in teacups to ones that thrive in enclosed glass terrariums. But if you’re trying to grow succulents for the first time, it’s best to keep things simple and easy. There are two features in a container that will help your succulents thrive: a drainage hole in the bottom and an absorbent material, such as unfinished terracotta.
Succulents take up water from the soil and store it in their leaves. They hate having “wet feet,” or soggy roots. Pick a container made from a material that easily soaks up water (like terracotta or another unglazed stone) and make sure that it offers an escape route for the water. This will help you avoid one of the most common problems when growing succulents: too much water.
The size of your container should depend on how many succulents you plan on growing in it. A shallow, unfinished clay or stone bowl can be great for a group of succulents while a petite terracotta pot will work if you’re growing a single plant.
A shallow, unfinished bowl is a great vessel for a variety of succulents.
Photo Source: Pixabay/Jan Haerer
3. Plant Your Succulents
Once you’ve picked out your plants and have a container in mind, it’s time to assemble your succulent planter. Fill the container to within about an inch of the top with a potting soil made for succulents. This type of potting mix is usually described as cactus, palm, and citrus soil, and it drains more quickly than other alternatives.
After you’ve filled the container with soil, you can arrange your succulents on top. If you’re using more than one plant, feel free to play around with the pattern and arrangement until you find one that you like.
Once you’ve settled on an arrangement, you should gently press the root ball of the plants into the soil (you can use a trowel or your fingers to dig a small hole in the soil for the root ball). Water the succulents, and then top the soil off with a layer of gravel or stones to give the planter a finished look.
4. Find the Perfect Home for Your Succulents
If you’re putting your succulent planter outdoors, you should pick a sunny spot, such as on your patio table or on the ledge of your deck. When indoors, succulents also need plenty of sun, so it’s important for you to pick an area near the sunniest window in your home.
When it comes to caring for your succulents, the less you dote on them, the better. Let the soil dry completely between waterings. You might feel guilty or worried if you let your plants go for a week or longer without a drink, but it’s for their own good. With a bit of neglect, you’ll be able to enjoy your succulent planter for several months, if not much longer.
Featured Photo Source: Pexels/Tranmautritam