How to Plant a Succulent Container Garden

Enjoy plenty of succulent success in your next container gardening endeavour

A succulent container in full bloom is a sight to behold

Create your very own stunning succulent container with these helpful tips

Succulents, or fleshy plants that retain water in their leaves, are valued because they are easy to maintain and have a striking, architectural appearance.

Here, Todd Holloway, owner of container and landscape design company Pot Incorporated, shares a few simple tips on how to create your own luscious container.


Succulent Container Gardening Tips

  • Hardy or Tender: Succulents fall into two categories – hardy or tender. For the beginner, try hardy genera, such as Sempervivum, Jovibarba and most Sedum. Certain types of Agave, Aloe and Opuntia are also a good choice if plants are outdoors yet under cover (and out of the reach of slanting winter rains) between October and April.
  • Ensure you have proper drainage: Select a container with several holes in the bottom. Use a 30/70 mix of drainage materials and high porosity, all-purpose potting soil. Drainage materials can include coarse sand, ¼-inch gravel, perlite or pumice. (A mix of several materials is best.) This ensures that your desert dwellers don’t sit in water – a sure succulent killer.
  • Pay Attention to Positioning: When planting, pack plants close to together to guarantee a full container in the first season. Pull or cut out flowered portions after blooming. This allows for other plants to fill in. In future years, prune or remove straggly plant parts in early spring to keep things neat and tidy.
  • Know Your Fertilizer: Use granular fertilizer at the time of planting. After the first year, use a diluted dose of liquid, all-purpose fertilizer two to three times in early to mid-spring to keep your plants looking perky during the March-through-September growing season.
  • Water Sparingly: Water your container once to twice a month during the summer months.
  • Give Your Container Vitamin D: Be sure to keep your container in at least moderate sun most of the year.

Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.