Tips for Planting Succulents in Containers

Research the best practices for planting succulents in containers to ensure success. Learn what mistakes to avoid that can lead to the failure of your succulent container garden.

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This post will highlight a few lesser-known but crucial techniques that can help ensure your succulents grow healthy and strong. Planting succulents may be simple, but these tips can make a world of difference.

Be sure to take a look at the first two sections of this series. It includes the essential materials for planting succulents and an in-depth guide on how to get it done.

Plant above the rim

Mimi from I Dream of Succulents asked me to share this tip on my blog: Don’t make the mistake of putting the succulent itself (not the roots) into the pot when planting.

To keep your succulent healthy, place it so that its roots are above the edge of the pot.

If the soil in your pot is lower than the rim, water can easily accumulate and cause the leaves within the pot to become soggy and rot, which can create issues for the rest of the plant.

In my post about how to pot a succulent, I suggested adding some soil to the pot before placing the plant in it. This will help you tell if your succulent is sitting above or below the top of the pot. Don’t forget to give your plant a base to sit on, rather than just placing the roots in an empty pot.

Mimi has created a stunning container garden with succulents and foliage spilling out over the edges of the pot.

If you don’t want to make your own succulent arrangement, you can purchase one from her Etsy store. The pot is filled with soil and the succulents are placed on top.

Pack it tight… or not…

However, if you want them to have the best chance of thriving, it’s a good idea to leave a few inches of space between them.

Planting succulents close together can be a great way to keep the design of an arrangement intact; however, it can also make it more difficult to water them. Despite this, this approach is ideal for gifts or for special occasions.

This arrangement of succulents at Waterwise Botanicals, displayed in a clam shell, is a prime illustration of how succulents can be neatly arranged.

If you would like for your succulents to increase in size or spread out more quickly, you can leave some extra space between them. While succulents are not known for growing quickly, this will help them to develop more rapidly. If you are new to growing succulents, it is recommended that you give them more space at the start.

When succulents are spaced out in their planters, it is much easier to make sure they are properly watered and that the soil has good air circulation. This is important because quick drying soil helps to keep the succulents healthy.

Remember that you should not space the succulents too widely apart or use a container that is too large for their size.

If you want to encourage succulents to grow larger rather than focusing on producing roots, it’s best to leave a gap of 1/2″ to 1″ between plants.

Let succulents hang over the edge of your pot

Let succulents hang over the edge of your pot

To give your arrangement a more creative flair, try adding some hanging succulents. “String of Pearls” is an ideal trailing succulent for this purpose, but even regular rosette succulents can be arranged to hang over the edge of the pot. Here are a few examples of these kinds of arrangements.

Add some height

While discussing design, you can add a dramatic effect to your arrangement by including a tall succulent, or “thriller”. This can be complemented with shorter succulents, referred to as “fillers”, and further enhanced with trailing succulents, referred to as “spillers”. This combination of thriller, filler, and spiller can be a great way to create an attractive display.

If you want to create a beautiful and eye-catching statement, consider using Kalanchoe tomentosa as your “thriller,” Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’ and Graptopetalum paraguayense for your “fillers,” Sedum ‘burrito’ and Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls) as your “spillers.” This is a great combination that will certainly make an impact.

Use a top dressing and pot feet

Don’t forget the finishing touches! A top dressing will give your design a professional, polished look. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole and if you are keeping your arrangement outdoors, pot feet are a must in order to ensure your plants get enough air circulation.

The Benefits of Large vs. Small Arrangements

This video will help you decide whether to put your succulents indoors in a small setup or outdoors in a larger one, by outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Do you now have the confidence and knowledge to arrange a stunning succulent display? My aim is to make your life simpler and guide you in mastering the art of succulent gardening.

These suggestions should aid you in cultivating healthy succulents and provide assistance in designing a beautiful arrangement.


What is the best soil for repotting indoor succulents?

Revised sentence: Soil specifically formulated for potting plants, such as sandy soil mix.

Do I need to put rocks at the bottom of a planter for succulents?

Instead of helping the soil to drain better and the plants to be healthier, rocks at the bottom of pots can create a perched water table, leading to plants having their roots in saturated and inefficiently drained soil.

How do you make soil mix for succulents?

I usually make my succulent soil using a simple, straightforward recipe. It doesn’t have to be precise, but the composition is typically 2.5 cups of potting soil, 1 cup of coarse sand, and 1 cup of perlite, making the ratio 2.5:1 for potting soil, 1:1 for sand, and 1:1 for perlite.

What is the best soil for succulents in pots?

Do succulents like to be crowded?

I advise against stuffing multiple small succulents into a single pot, as they will not thrive in such a crowded environment. To ensure they reach their full potential, they should be planted in a larger container or spaced out to give them more room to grow.