Succulents make splendid container plants because of their wonderful drought tolerant nature. They are tough plants and make watering and container care much easier. This makes succulents the perfect container garden choice. Types of succulents include fleshy-leaved species such as agave, aloe, Echeveria, sedums, Senecio, sempervivums, stonecrop, and cactus. Read below to learn how to plant a succulent container garden.
1. Light – Most succulents do very well with part-shade to part-sun, however, be sure to check labels and do research so you place the right succulents in the correct sun spot for best performance.
2. Soil –Kellogg Garden Organics Palm, Cactus & Citrus All Purpose Indoor & Outdoor Mix is what I used to plant up my succulent container garden. Outdoor succulent planting mediums should not be overly rich and should also provide excellent drainage. Ingredients in this potting soil from Kellogg Garden Organics include recycled forest products, pumice, sand, bark fines, dehydrated poultry manure, and hydrolyzed feather meal. This combination of ingredients helps your succulents develop well in a containered situation. Fertilize when planting in the spring or summer, but do not over-fertilize the plants as it causes them to grow leggy and unwieldy.
3. Drainage – You absolutely MUST HAVE good drainage for your succulents and cactus to perform well. This means having a hole in the bottom of your container. I’ve found that soil sometimes leaks out of the drainage hole. This situation can be overcome by placing a large coffee filter over the hole and gently placing soil on top of the filter to hold it in place. The filter prevents the soil from falling through the hole, yet allows water to drain out easily.
4. Plants – Succulents come in a wide range of colors and with interesting architecturally structured leaves. Find plants that like the same level of sun and water and group them together. Be careful when planting your succulents as some have delicate leaves which easily break off. If they do break off, simply push the broken piece into the soil and it often takes root. Dig a hole, gently loosen the roots, and place root ball into the soil.
5. Water – Use caution when watering your succulents. You want to water regularly, but watering too much can kill the plants. Succulents often require more water during growth spurts such as in the early spring. Keep your plants on the dry side; water a small amount, let it drain through, wait a week or so, check to see if there’s any moisture left, then repeat the process.
Succulent Plants included in this Garden Container
1. Pussy Ears Kalanchoe – This particular kalanchoe is soft, fuzzy, delightfully silver, and full of personality. Fantastic in a container garden which might be close to a seating area so that people can touch it.
2. Painted Echeveria – Echeveria are known for having delightful rosette shapes with beautifully colored selections. I love the pastel selections of Echeveria in shades of pink and lilac. Our container plant brings hints of burgundy to our design.
3. Coppertone Stonecrop – A true show stopper, this plant has coppery-orange foliage that can often be trailing. It performs best in full sun, developing bolder colors in the light and heat.
4. Jade Plant – This plant brings back memories of my childhood as my grandmother used to have a giant jade plant in her picture window with a full-on view of her garden outside. Plump leaves and tree like mature growth makes jade plants good candidates as specimen plants. Our plant today has a little pink around the edges.
4. Senecio – Senecio comes in many shapes and sizes, but typically has the most amazing architectural blue leaves. I fell madly and truly over this plant’s unusual design and trailing habit.
It can be difficult to dig up succulents that are planted in the ground, but planting succulents in container gardens allows you to move them into the house in front of a sunny window for the winter. Learn how to plant a succulent container garden can save money and enable you to enjoy the plants year round.
About the Author:
Shawna Coronado is a successful author, blogger, photographer, and media host who focuses on wellness by teaching green lifestyle living, organic gardening, and anti-inflammatory culinary. Most recently Shawna has written the books, “The Wellness Garden” and “101 Organic Gardening Hacks”. Shawna campaigns for social and community good – her garden, food, and eco-adventures have been featured in many media venues including television news programming, radio broadcasting, and PBS television. You can learn more about Shawna at www.shawnacoronado.com.