How To Make Your Own Succulent Garden
As a self-described plant hoarder, I will jump on just about any chance to add more plants to my house. A succulent garden is fairly easy to keep alive with minimal watering and not a lot of care. So, if you are a notorious plant-killer, this one may be a great starter project for you! They look great, and as an exciting bonus, they grow like wildfire in bright sunlight. So, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on large succulents! I planted my garden in May and now that it is September, it has more than doubled in size already!
1. Choose a Size and Container For Your Garden
There are endless possibilities here, so spend some time thinking about where your succulents will live once you’ve given your plants their home! Will they be inside your house on a table? Outside on a patio? Maybe you would love a vertical succulent garden that can hang like artwork in a frame! The possibilities are truly endless, so give this some thought before jumping in. Of course, you can always scrap an idea you thought you wanted if you decide you need to change course! You’ll just save yourself some time (and maybe some money) if you don’t have to do that. My favorite planter right now is this one from West Elm, it’s the perfect size for the succulent garden we made for our house!
2. Next, You’ll Want To Choose Some Succulents That You Love
Succulents are found in all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures, so it is really easy to make a beautiful garden out of a collection that is exclusively succulents! That is probably part of the reason succulent container gardening is so popular. That, and they are gorgeous! For the best-looking array, you’ll want to choose a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures.
For example, let’s assume that your container allows room for 5 plants (an odd number is always best.) You might choose one tall, green spiky succulent like aloe or agave to give some architectural interest and height to the garden. Next, choose 2 plants that are softer and more round, perhaps something in a rosette shape in subdued hues of pinks or greys to give some contrast. Graptopetalum or aeonium are 2 good choices for a softer shape and different colors. Next, go with something that will add volume and coverage to your garden, possibly even a strange or unique shape. For example, Donkey’s Tail ( I love Donkey’s Tail succulents, and I’m pretty sure you will too ) and String of Pearls are 2 uniquely shaped succulents that will spill over the edge of the container for some depth and coverage, adding a sense of fullness and luxury to your creation!
For a pop of color, you could try a holiday plant, like the Christmas Cactus, which is both red and green. Or perhaps add a colorful moon cactus, which is both round and angular at the same time, and comes in a variety of eye-popping spheres atop a green stem, for a splash of red, orange, yellow, or even purple in your garden.
3. Choose a Soil Mix That Drains Well
The healthiest soil for succulents is one that drains well and therefore prevents rot that can be caused by roots that remain too wet between waterings. Because succulents actually get their water from molecules in the air, they do not thrive in regular potting soil alone. The easiest and most economical idea is to mix a regular potting soil with some type of particulate that is larger in size, like horticulture sand, or a product like “perlite,” which is available online. If you prefer to spend some a little bit more and buy your succulent soil already prepared, you can buy a mix from a website like Bonsai Jack’s Succulent Mix, which is what we did.
4. Choose a Sunny Spot For Your Succulent Garden to Thrive
Place your garden in the sun indoors or outdoors and enjoy the months (and years!) of beauty it provides as something you created to nurture yourself. Don’t be afraid to move it around if it does not thrive in your original chosen spot. You may also need to move it when seasons change. In some climates, succulents thrive outdoors all year round, while in others, they must be moved indoors during harsh winters. Remember they need lots of sun and comfy temperate climates!
5. Water the Garden When The Soil is Dry
This will probably be no more than once a week. In more humid climates, you may need to stretch that to every 10-14 days. Get to know your garden, and be responsive to its needs. After all, after creating and planting the garden, tending to it is half the fun!
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