Have you noticed how a planted container can jazz up a front entryway, back deck or porch? Perhaps you decided against it because of the watering needs…
Cheer up! Plant a container with succulents (plants with fleshy, or thickened, leaves, stems or roots) and you will not have to worry about watering every day. These mini-gardens are nearly carefree. They’re so easy; don’t limit yourself to just one. If one container makes a statement, several create a conversation.
Because most succulents don’t have extensive roots, containers shouldn’t be deep. Decide what sizes and shapes you need, then head to the garden center to make your selections. Let your imagination go wild. Perhaps a strawberry pot could 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 stand or something for elevation. This could be an upside-down pot, a table or shelf. Alternatively, consider hanging your container.
Whatever you choose, it’s important to remember succulents require excellent drainage. Therefore, the containers must have holes. Ask the garden center to drill them for you if they don’t.
All succulents need fast draining soil. Many garden centers sell pre-mixed soil for succulent container plantings. Alternatively, use a general all-purpose potting mix and add perlite and/or sand.
Use a thriller, a filler, and a spiller…and you’ll never go wrong
Succulents come in an unbelievable variety of colors, striking shapes, and sizes from tiny to huge. As when planting any container or creating a bouquet, evaluate plant color, texture and shape when making your selections.
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 gives a more finished appearance and helps retain moisture. 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. Check out your garden center for other materials to add bling to your container garden.