Tips for Planting Succulents in a Bird Bath

Find out how to make sure your succulents thrive in a bird bath, as well as advice on how to create a beautiful design with them.

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Last year, I had an enjoyable time transforming my parents’ hollow bird bath into a succulent garden. It was gorgeous, and we found it much more pleasing than the regular bird bath, which was often filled with dirty water.

Succulents are an ideal choice for growing in birdbaths.

Despite some mistakes I made in planting it, the majority of my succulents ended up getting scorched and passing away. Thankfully, I’m adept at gaining knowledge from my mistakes.

I chose to add more succulents to the bird bath and made sure I was taking the necessary precautions to ensure the project was successful. I still suggest consulting the full tutorial for the bird bath as it contains some valuable insights.

I would like to make an alteration to the original tutorial, and I will discuss it here.

The biggest issue with the original planting was the timing; it was done in July, one of the hottest months in Utah.

These Sempervivums and Sedums have the capacity to withstand considerable amounts of heat, however, prior to being planted, they had been exposed to only partial sunlight and had never been exposed to the intensity of the sun during the hot afternoon.

The bird bath is exposed to the sun’s rays for almost the entire day, with the afternoon hours when the temperature is at its highest. As the bird bath is made of metal, this causes it to become quite hot, making it even more uncomfortable for the succulents.

Another issue was the irregularity of watering. The bird bath had no means of obtaining water other than rainfall or manual refills, and we tended to forget about it, only providing it with water once a week. In the hot summer weather, this proved to be far too infrequent for the birds to thrive.

Within two weeks, the majority of my succulents had wilted away due to the intense heat and lack of water. I had used my special soil mixture, which is usually excellent for succulents, but because of the soaring temperatures, the dampness disappeared quickly and the succulents didn’t have enough time to absorb the moisture before it evaporated.

To ensure healthy growth of your succulents, itโ€™s important to allow the soil to become fully saturated with water and then dry out over the next few days. If youโ€™re looking for more information on how to properly water your succulents, please take a look at my post on the subject.

I understood that if I relocated the succulents before the temperature rose in the springtime, it would have a positive effect on them adjusting to their new environment. This would keep them from getting overly warm in the sunlight and give them a better chance of establishing their roots.

How I replanted the bird bath

How I replanted the bird bath

I removed the majority of the soil after I had the dead plants taken away.

I incorporated a soil mix into the bird bath that can sustain moisture more effectively. This soil has already proven successful in other parts of the garden where I have succulents planted, so I’m confident that they should do well in the bird bath as well. And they have been – the succulents are thriving!

I filled the bird bath up to a certain point with soil that takes longer to drain, then I put the soil that has a faster draining rate on top. This will ensure that the top layer of soil remains dry, thus avoiding any rot forming at the base of the rosettes.

I then added a stream of rocks and succulents (which were still cold-tolerant Sempervivums and Sedums) along with a top dressing, similar to what was done in the initial post. I appreciate the look of the rocks in this design – it adds a lot of personality and makes the design a lot more engaging.

It has been nearly two months since the succulents were planted, and they are flourishing.

The intense sunlight and heat do not appear to bother them, and they are thriving!

Key takeaways to make sure your bird bath grows beautifully

    Plant your succulents in the spring when the weather is cooler to give them time to adjust before they are exposed to direct sunlight during the hot summer months. Utilize a soil that doesn’t drain too quickly to help keep the succulents cool in the metal bird bath (if it is exposed to full sun most of the day). Make sure to water it adequately and regularly to prevent sunburn. Follow the watering technique I recommend for best results.

Take note that some bird baths may not experience this issue, particularly if they are positioned in the shade or contain a deeper planting area. Nonetheless, I hope this assists you in understanding the potential difficulties of planting in a shallow container.

As an extra piece of information, two years ago I put succulents around the bird bath. These plants have grown very well. Additionally, a “Johnny Jump Up” has also appeared among them and is now flourishing.

The bird bath adds a special touch to the garden and is now in a good spot for it to flourish for many years.


Can you drill a hole in a bird bath?

If you’re looking to drill a hole in the bottom of your bird bath for drainage, you can use a diamond tip drill bit. To get started, add a small amount of water to the bird bath and make sure to keep the surface and drill bit wet. If you’re new to this task, there are plenty of video tutorials available to help guide you.

How do you make a succulent garden out of a bird bath?

– Ensure the Birdbath is Even. Make sure the birdbath is properly leveled first. …
– Place a Layer of Stones. A covering of rocks on the lower part of the birdbath will help with drainage. …
– Add Succulent Potting Soil. …
– Construct a Central Hill. …
– Put the Rest of the Succulents. …
– Spread Rocks Over the Exposed Topsoil. …
– Make a DIY Succulent Birdbath Garden.

What plants will grow in a bird bath?

Selecting the right plants for your garden can include succulents, sedums, strawberries, and flowering annuals and vines. Alternatively, you can build a mini or fairy garden with minuscule plantings or put in a water-tight container and put in a circulating fountain and water garden.

What can I use to repair a concrete bird bath?

Be sure to choose a sealant that is safe for animals and plants.

How do you plant plants in a bird bath?

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