Have you noticed how a container garden can really jazz up a front entryway, back deck or porch? Perhaps you’ve thought twice about including this addition to your plantscaping because you just don’t have time every day to water.
Cheer up! You can plant a container with succulents (plants with fleshy, or thickened, leaves, stems or roots) and you will not have to worry about watering frequently. Succulent container gardens are relatively carefree. They’re so easy that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. Remember, if one container makes a statement, several will create a conversation!
Full sun is a must for all succulents! If your viewing location has less than adequate sun, place your succulent garden in a full sun area for the majority of the day and move to your desired location when you have company or time to enjoy it yourself. Remember to move it back out into the sun when company leaves.
Because succulents do not have extensive root systems, your chosen containers may be shallow. Too much soil can hold excessive water causing the succulent’s roots to rot. Perhaps a strawberry pot would make the perfect focal point at your front door, although many front doors look great with a single shallow round planter sitting on the stoop. If you have several steps to the door, try a pot on each step. How do you want your front entrance to say “hello?”
Think about varying the heights of your containers. Perhaps your containers will require a pedestal or something else for elevation. This could be an inverted pot, a table, shelf or even pot feet. You may even consider hanging your container. Whatever you choose, it’s important to remember succulents require excellent drainage. Therefore, the containers must have holes.
All succulents need fast draining soil. We carry pre-mixed soil used specifically for succulent container plantings. You may also use a general all-purpose potting mix and add additional perlite and/or sand.
When making your plant selection, let your imagination go wild.
Use a thriller, a filler, and a spiller…and you’ll never go wrong
Succulents come in an extensive variety of colors, striking shapes, and varying sizes. As when planting any container, or creating a bouquet, evaluate plant color, texture and shape when making your selections. You may feel overwhelmed when choosing your plants. If you can’t decide, here is a simple “recipe” for planting one 16″ container to be seen from all sides. Maybe it will give you some ideas:
- 1-thriller (Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire‘) planted in the middle.
- 3-fillers (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) to surround the thriller and provide texture or color contrast
- 5-spillers (Sempervivum arachnoideum) to drape over the container’s edge.
As an extra bonus, many succulents bloom, adding extra beauty.
After planting, gently brush off any soil from the leaves. Add more interest by “topdressing.” This layer of material will give your container garden a finished appearance. Desert type plants look great with a thin layer of light tan-colored gravel. Create sparkle with sea-glass toppings or add a clean contemporary look to Zen-like or Asian inspired plantings with smooth black river stones. Stop by and look for other materials to add bling to your container garden.