Melinda's Gardening How To: Create a Succulent Garden

Succulent wreath

Start with easy care plants that are low maintenance.

Dress up your tabletops, wall or any sunny spot indoors with easy care succulents. Use these drought tolerant plants as living artwork in your home. Just let your imagination guide you to creating fun and attractive succulent gardens.

Gather A Few Ideas

  • Pot them up in unique planters. Purchase planters or scour the garage, visit a thrift shop or turn memories into a planter. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
    • Colander, teacup, teapot, serving tray, can, large shell, old vase…..
    • Any item that can hold soil
  • Go vertical. Convert old picture frames into decorative borders for a wall mounted garden or purchased a ready to plant vertical garden.
  • Create a wreath using a wire frame lined with sphagnum moss filled with soil.
  • Plant a succulent topiary and add a bit of whimsy to your decor. Purchase or form a wire frame in the desired shape, line with sphagnum and fill with potting mix. 

 

Create a Succulent Container Garden

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Purchased or upcycled container
  • Collection of succulents suited to the size and shape of planter
  • Cacti and succulent potting mix

Putting it Together

  • Drill hole in container if needed & reduce the risk of overwatering.
  • Fill container with cacti and succulent mix.
  • Plant succulent at the same depth it was growing in the pot.
  • Water thoroughly. Be careful not to overwater containers that lack drainage holes.

Keep them Growing and Beautiful

  • Grow in a sunny location
    • Turn regularly to encourage even growth.
    • Rotate succulent plantings growing in lower light conditions into higher light locations every few weeks to maintain healthy growth.
  • Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
    • Be careful not to overwater containers that lack drainage holes.
      Excess water collects in the bottom of the planter and can lead to root rot.

 

Plant a Vertical Garden

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Purchase a ready to plant vertical planter OR
  • Make your own vertical planter.
    • Old picture frame
    • Build a shallow wooden box-like base for holding the potting mix.
    • Chicken wire and/or landscape fabric to hold plants and soil in place
  • Cacti and succulent mix
  • Small or trailing succulents

Putting it Together    

  • Build a box to mount your frame upon or purchase a ready to plant vertical garden.
  • Fill planter with cacti and succulent mix.
  • Cover with sheet of landscape fabric and chicken wire, if needed.
  • Cut slits in the fabric and widen openings in wire mesh for planting.
  • Dig small hole in potting mix, ease roots through opening & cover them with soil.
  • Water thoroughly. Be careful not to overwater containers that lack drainage holes.
  • Place in a sunny area in horizontal position & allow plants to root in for a week.
  • Once rooted mount on the wall to display in a bright location.

Keep it Growing and Beautiful

  • Grow in a sunny location
    • Regularly turn containers and topiaries to encourage even growth.
    • Rotate vertical gardens growing in lower light conditions into brighter area every few weeks to maintain healthy growth.
  • Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
    • Remove from wall and water over sink or tub.
    • Be careful not to overwater containers that lack drainage holes.
      Excess water collects in the bottom of the planter and can lead to root rot.

                       

Grow a Succulent Wreath or Topiary

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Purchase or create wire frame in desired shape
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Cacti and succulent potting mix
  • Small or trailing succulents

Putting it Together

  • Soak sphagnum moss and wring out excess water.
  • Line all but one area of the wire frame with damp sphagnum moss.
  • Fill center of the frame with cacti and succulent mix.
    • Some gardeners opt to plant in straight sphagnum moss.
  • Cover exposed potting mix with damp sphagnum moss.
  • Make small openings in sphagnum moss in wire openings.
  • Set roots of succulents in potting mix and cover with soil.      

Keep them Growing and Beautiful

  • Grow in a sunny location.
    • Turn topiaries so all sides receive sunlight to encourage even growth
    • Rotate succulent plantings growing in lower light conditions into higher light locations every few weeks to maintain healthy growth.
  • Water
    • When potting mix and sphagnum moss are dry.
    • Lay wreath flat and set it or topiary in sink or shallow container.
    • Water or submerge wreath in water for several minutes.
      • Allow excess water to drip off wreath and topiary.
      • Return to its display location.

 

Written by gardening expert, Melinda Myers. Melinda Myers is a nationally recognized gardening expert with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She is a wealth of knowledge and we are pleased to share Melinda’s Gardening How-To with you!