January 03, 2018 7 min read
Some artists are even selling these beauties for hundreds of dollars on Etsy!
Don’t get me wrong, they are amazingly intricate and incredibly detailed.
But guess what, they aren’t hard to #DIY and you CAN make one of these babes yourself to save a few bucks.
Read on for a full tutorial to learn how to plant your own succulent garden masterpiece and afterward, get the scoop on caring and maintaining your succulent sanctuary.
What you’ll need:
It’s typically best to plant small hens and chicks or other rosette-forming succulents in concrete, resin, ceramic, plastic, wood or terra-cotta pots.
Concrete or cement provides an appropriate setting for ornamental succulents like sedum, echeveria, and sempervivum.
Keep in mind that glazed or sealed pots will not have the water-absorbing and aerating properties as terra-cotta and unsealed concrete, and they’re less likely to have problems in winter if left outside.
Last but not least, we recommend closing a pot or container that drains as most succulents don’t like living in wet soil. Chose a container that has a slot or two for drainage to prevent overwatering, rot, and/ or disease. Also, if you’re just starting out…with succulents, a drainage hole will make a huge difference! (Trust us).
When choosing a container, also be sure to select one that is tall enough to hold your plant’s root ball and also gives some room for the plant to grow. A happy plant will grow strong roots and might even give you babies! Selecting a container that is too large for your plant(s) can actually stunt growth! However, if you’re going for an arrangement, it’s totally fine to put several smaller planter into a larger container.
Now that you’ve got a clearer idea of which container might work best for your succulent planter, the real fun begins! There are hundreds, if not thousands of succulent plants to choose from.
When choosing your plants, be aware that many have varying light and care requirements. When selecting succulents for your container garden, be sure to check the plant tag for specifics and make sure that plants in the same pot have the similar needs.
You can take two different approaches at this point:
This is a fun project, but can sometimes become tricky when the different plants have varying sun and water requirements.
What kind of soil should I plant my succulents in?
Succulents love well-draining soil. Use a quick-draining soil blend that’s well-drained and not overly rich. The standard mix consists of one-half organic matter and one-half grit (crushed rock or sand). You can find cacti and succulent mixes already bagged at your local hardware store or nursery.
In the dryer summer months, if your soil dries too quickly or isn’t retaining water long enough, you can mix your cactus soil with a bit of regular potting soil to increase the water retention.
Designing your succulent garden in your chosen container requires attention to a few details.
First, with your plants still in their nursery pots, place your plants into the container to get a general idea of the container design and where you think they should go. Don’t be afraid to move the plants around until you are satisfied with the arrangement. It’s a lot easier to do this while they are still in their pots to protect the fragile root systems then after the fact.
Once you’re happy with the arrangement use the steps below to plant your succulents in their new container.
To achieve a well-balanced landscape follow these 4 easy steps to safely transplant your succulents into their new container:
Go ahead and create your own unique little world inside your container or planter garden!
Follow these simple tips to care for and maintain your succulent sanctuary:
Succulents aren't cactus, and they do require consistent moisture. We’ve found that watering about once a week during the hotter, spring and summer months of the year for us here in California works great. During the cooler “winter” months, we’ll typically water about once every week and a half to two weeks. The key indicator that your succulents need water is to check with your finger and touch the soil to feel the moisture level of it. Making sure the soil is totally dry in between waterings will prevent your succulents from becoming overwatered.
When watering, water the SOIL, not the succulent itself. Watering the actual leaves of the succulent can cause rot, in addition to leaving unsightly markings.
It is also crucial to keep in mind if your plater or pot has drainage holes or not when watering. For plants with drainage holes, you can give these a good soak in a sink or bathtub so that the water runs out of the bottom of the pot. For plants without drainage holes, instead of soaking, give them more of a "sip" and remember to only water the soil.
In terms of location, succulent container gardens fair well just about anywhere that is accessible to sunlight - but more on that in a bit. First, we want to discuss elevating your container gardens about an inch above the surface you plan to place them. Leaving space under the container helps them drain properly and encourages air circulation. It also helps prevent water stains if they are placed on decks or patios. To elevate your plate, you can use plain or decorative pot “feet,” small stands, or wood trivets. You can also try bricks, pieces of wood, or even other flowerpots.
To sun or not to sun? That is the question. The answer is that succulents thrive incredibly well hot, dry climates and plenty of sunlight. Although many varieties will go dormant in the winter and require less sunlight, most succulents like at least a half day to a full day of sunlight depending on what type of plant(s) you have chosen.
Maintaining a warm temperature in the area where your succulent garden is located is also important. Succulents like about 70-80 degrees in summer months and 50-60 in winter months.
Every few months, check your succulent and remove the dead petals/leaves on the underside of the plant.
If weeds grow, pull them out. If you don’t like weeding at all, invest in some rocks, pebbles, gravel or sand to put on the topsoil to prevent weeds from growing. Doing this helps keep the plant’s vital energies directed into producing new leaves instead of wasting nutrients in the dying ones.
Depending on the succulent plant, fertilize during the growing season with a diluted liquid fertilizer.
The good news is that there’s really no “wrong way” to create your own succulent garden. As long as they have similar light and watering needs and are planted with well-draining soil, you’ll have a beautiful conversation piece that you made yourself (you just need to remember to water them every week or so!)
We hope that you find creativity and inspiration with this project and that you follow our tips to arrange and combine your own succulent garden.
If you’re looking for a stylish concrete planter for your planting needs, be sure to check out our assortment of cool concrete planters that are a perfect way to start your succulent garden.
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