DIY Succulent Planter

Check out Monica Blackburn’s latest newsletter below!

What You Need:

  • A container with good drainage
  • Succulent plants – enough to fill your container
  • Plastic window screening, paper towel, coffee filter, or newspaper
  • Cactus or succulent potting soil
  • Stones, gravel, sea glass or marble for top dressing – optional

Step 1: Gather your items needed! A great local place to buy succulents is at Tillery Street Plant Co. located on the east side of Austin. We purchased the Cryptanthus – Earth Star, Euphorbia – Hot Pink Crested, and Monadenium – White Variegate.

Your container choice is key. Succulents have a shallow root system and prefer shallow pots. They can thrive and look fabulous in a bowl or dish. Just make sure that your pot has good drainage or that you can put holes in it. We purchased a container from West Elm for this project. Cactus potting soil can be purchased at any nursery, hardware store or big box retailer such as Home Depot.

Step 2: Prep your container or planter. If your container has drainage holes in the bottom, place a window screening over the hole. You can also use newspaper, paper towel or a coffee filter to cover the hole. This will keep potting soil in and let the water out, ensuring proper drainage.

Step 3: Fill your container with cactus or succulent soil. Add enough soil to the bottom of your pot so that the top of your plant will sit below the rim of your pot. This makes it easier to water without soil and water overflowing the sides of your container.

Step 4: Add your succulents or cacti. Place your plants in the container to get an idea of the container design and where they should go. Gently remove the plants from their pots. Tap the pot on the sides and bottom until the plant slides out and place the plants in the container. Take the potting soil and pack it around and in between your plants. Make certain that you have filled in all the holes and spaces between the plants and the sides of the container. If you don’t, the roots will dry out and can be detrimental for the plants.

Step 5: Clean up. At this point remove any loose dirt on the plants and the container by using a soft brush to sweep excess soil off. You can also blow gently on the plants to remove dirt.

Step 6: Add finishing touches. To give your arrangement a finished look, choose a topdressing to cover the soil. This is a step that people often overlook. It provides a finished look that will take it to the next level and can make your plants stand out. We did not use a topdressing for this arrangement since the plant leaves are covering the top soil.

Step 7: Care for your succulent garden. Contrary to popular belief, most succulents do best if they are in the direct sun for only a few hours a day. Many need protection from getting scorched in the mid-day sun. Be sure to clarify the watering needs when purchasing the plants. It is better to let the soil get a little dry between watering than to over-water.

And then enjoy! Creating arrangements in not your standard containers is so much fun. Just look around your home to find – anything from a tea cup to a wagon! It is up to your imagination!

Want to receive content like this in your inbox? Sign up for Monica’s newsletter here!

Related Articles
Maintenance and Home Improvements That Don’t Cost an Arm and a Leg
Time to Take Out Those Gardening Gloves
Space-Saving Tips for Small Laundry Rooms