Can You Plant A Cactus With Succulents

The majority of cacti and succulents need a lot of light. They are appropriate for the sunniest areas of your house. You will be giving them what they enjoy if you construct some shelves across a sunny window. To ensure that every side of the plant receives an equal amount of sunny exposure, you should turn the plants frequently.

Every garden center has a fantastic selection of succulents and cacti that you can grow indoors. Some cacti are offered as seasonal or gift plants in department stores, such as the Schlumbergera x buckleyi (Christmas cactus), a species that grows in forests. Because it takes years for this to happen, it is better to purchase cacti that are currently in bloom. You should inspect them to ensure that there are no signs of rot or parts that are shriveled or dried, and that they are sound overall. When you bring them home, make sure they are not exposed to drafts and that they are the perfect size for their pot.

Make sure the desert cactus you buy are placed in compost that has been well-drained. In the spring and summer, they need to be regularly irrigated with tepid water. However, during the winter, especially if they are in cool temperatures, the compost should be allowed to almost entirely dry. As a result, the cactus can hibernate.

Cacti should be fed around every three weeks when they are actively growing. For this, you can use tomato fertilizer that has been properly diluted. Additionally, desert cactus like wintertime temperatures of 50–55 F (10–13 C). Only when the roots completely fill the pot do desert cacti need to be repotted.

Cacti in the forest are significantly different. Typically, they produce lovely, dangling flowers at the tips of segmented stalks. These stems resemble chains of supple leaves. They have been bred to grow over trees, which is why they grow in this manner. Although they are accustomed to shade, they do require intense light. They require light, well-drained, lime-free compost that is also misted with lukewarm, gentle water. In 50 to 55 F, they can relax (10-13 C.). After the winter, give them a little water, feed them once a week with a little fertilizer, and put them in a room with greater temperatures.

There are at least 50 different plant families that can be categorized as succulents. In the summer, they should receive unlimited irrigation, but only when their compost starts to dry out. They can endure wintertime temperatures of about 50 F. (10 C.). Every few weeks during the summer, you should fertilize with a well-diluted fertilizer because they prefer fresh air to humidity.

Succulents, woodland cactus, and desert cacti can all coexist in the same garden. They provide beautiful presentations for your collection of indoor plants. Even if they don’t require much care, you still need to be aware of their likes and needs.

Growth needs

There are so many different kinds of succulents. A general rule of thumb is to select succulents with comparable requirements if you want to arrange them. They will coexist peacefully and preserve the ensemble’s aesthetic for a very long time.

For instance, Graptosedum California Sunset grows best in the summer, whilst Crassula (Jades) prefers the winter. So planting them together wouldn’t be a good idea. You should take into account the growing season, hydration requirements, lighting requirements, and soil requirements while choosing succulent combos.

Agave, Echeveria, and Sempervivum are several succulents that go dormant in the winter and look fantastic together. Aeonium, Aloe, Graptopetalum, and Kalanchoe may come to mind if you want to group the summer-dormant succulents.


In addition to the succulents’ characteristics, height and color must also be taken into account in order to arrange them harmoniously. You should have a thriller, filler, and spiller in your layout.

Use tall succulents to provide height to the thriller and enhance the overall design. As filler around them, use shorter succulents. To finish the arrangement, add a few “spiller trailing succulents.” The recipe is straightforward, and you can always add your own spin to make it appear appealing to you.


Choosing a theme for your succulent arrangement is simple. There are a variety of succulents that may make your succulent arrangements appear fantastic, whether you want them to be colorful or monochromatic.

Monochromatic, similar, and complementary color combinations are the three most common types.

You must group succulents with the same colors but various shades together for a monochromatic arrangement.

When using similar settings, you will group colors that are adjacent to one another on the color wheel (orange, yellow, and green).

Contrasting colors on the color wheel are required for complementary color schemes (red and green).

Can you pot succulents alongside other plants?

There are many lovely succulent arrangements available, but the most only last a short while. Succulents can tolerate confined spaces better than other plants, but if you have a lot of them packed together, they will eventually start to compete for resources like water and soil nutrients. Succulents should not be planted alongside other plants that require different maintenance. A succulent that can withstand drought in the same container as a fern that prefers continuously moist soil would suffer, possibly along with the other plant. Consider a dish garden for long-term succulent arrangements if you want to give your plants ample room to grow while yet being able to plant several succulents in one container.

Can you grow cacti among other plants?

Cacti plants are adored by gardeners for their intriguing textures, drought resistance, vivid colors, and lovely shapes. They are also a joy to have in your house. These succulents can hold water in their stems for longer periods of time, making them suitable for environments with limited rainfall and rather high temperatures. The majority of them are simple to grow and resistant to illnesses and pest issues. However, don’t just stick to these succulents when planning your cactus garden.

What wonderful plants and flowers can you grow with your cactus? There are many different types of flowering plants that can coexist peacefully with your cactus and bring out the best aspects of it. The red valerian, African daisy, autumn sage, hummingbird plant, trailing lantana, and various varieties of Euphorbia are among these plants and blooms. These flowers and plants can enhance the shape and color of your cacti and require practically identical upkeep.

What types of cacti can be grown together?

How do cactus and succulent differ from one another is a question I get asked frequently. All succulents are succulents, but not all cacti are succulents. Cacti are considered new world plants because they all have their roots in the Americas. Although there are some stunning cactus gardens in North Africa and the Mediterranean region, all cacti are actually native to the Americas. Let’s keep things straightforward and claim that there are thousands of different types of cactus, most of which contain spines.

As opposed to the majority of other succulents, cacti require superior drainage and aeration in the soil they are planted in. Cacti also consume less water than other succulents. Double the quantity of amendment you would put to the soil for other succulents in order to achieve this. You will have more success planting the cacti on a raised bed if you are landscaping in the ground in an area that receives 20 inches or more of rain annually.

The cacti and companion plants I have worked with throughout the years are shown in the pictures below.

How are cacti and succulents planted?

I gathered the following materials to create this arrangement and demonstrate how to grow cactus and succulents together:

  • pot with effective drainage
  • lush, quick-draining soil
  • Tape for drywall mesh
  • Scissors (I use these for all gardening tasks and really adore them!)
  • Tweezers (from my favorite set of succulent tools)
  • bamboo chopsticks
  • Newspaper
  • supple-bristled brush (from my favorite set of succulent tools)
  • Suculent vegetation
  • Cacti

The container I chose is fantastic, and you can see it better down below. The pot’s adorable, pudgy feet are the same shade of brown as the bottom, which is a wood-brown with erratic striations. The pot is mostly covered in a stunning blue glaze with green undertones and a lovely leaf design. My decision to use succulents and cacti was influenced by the pot’s hues and leaf texture, as I’ll explain below.


Let’s examine how to plant cactus and succulents together now that we’re ready to get started!

Choosing a Cacti and Succulents Pot

The handmade ceramic pots from Donna Davis Taylor’s Succulent-Pottery are truly gorgeous. Each handmade item is unique and full of charm and personality. I’ve only ever bought one thing, and I can’t wait to buy more. It’s an odd position from which to view her container, but just look at those gorgeous drainage holes! She incorporates numerous ample drainage holes because each of her sculptures is specifically made to support succulents. I seal the holes with drywall mesh tape. It’s incredibly useful since it keeps my succulent soil in the pot while yet allowing water to pass through.

Whether you purchase your succulent pottery from Donna or somewhere else, make sure to choose it carefully for the sake of your plants’ wellbeing.

Planting Cacti and Succulents

The cacti and succulents can be added to the container in any sequence, however there is a strategy that I’ll explain below. I started with an Echeveria colorata, my largest plant, to create my design. Don’t you just love those red points? The roots and dirt stay united in the shape of the nursery pot when you remove the succulent from it. You won’t be able to fit as many plants in the pot if you leave the root ball in place because it takes up so much space.

Just as there is no reason to place as many plants in the container as I shall do here, there is nothing wrong with leaving the soil and roots in tact. It is okay to leave the soil and root ball together as long as the plant is not rootbound, which is defined as having several roots developing in a circular pattern. It is just a matter of taste. I removed the extra soil and massaged the roots because I really appreciate the overstuffed appearance I am about to show you.

Remove excess soil from the roots of succulents and cacti before planting them closely, and massage the roots to help them become looser from the soil. The roots are now ready to spread out and thrive in the new dirt in the container.

I positioned this substantial Echeveria extremely towards the front corner of my pot and tilted it so that it overhung the pot’s lip. This was only done to make my desired design work; it wasn’t necessary for the plant’s health. And planting the plant in this manner does not in any way harm it. I choose this Echeveria colorata since the pot’s azure glaze complemented its pale blue color. Observe how the Echeveria’s leaves closely resemble the texture of leaves.

Dividing Succulents Prior to Planting

I adore Kalanchoe tomentosa ‘Teddy Bear’s soft, hairy brown leaves, and I believe they are the ideal way to complement the brown hue of my new pot. The pot I selected had three plants growing together, so when I removed the extra soil and massaged the roots, they were simple for me to separate. They kind of curled around the enormous Echeveria that I placed them behind.

So that we can see how to plant cacti and succulents together, it’s time to add my primary cactus.

Removing the Cactus from the Pot

To complement the dark brown hue of the pot’s foundation, I chose this Mammillaria elongata variety called “Copper King.” The plant itself is a gorgeous shade of olive green, and all over it are several starbursts of spines that are intricately arranged in coppery brown. The spines of this plant appear to glow when the sun is behind it. Gorgeous!

I’ll be writing a piece soon that is entirely about handling cacti without getting stabbed. Let me present you to one of the things I use to handle and plant cactia newspaper for the time being. Take a lengthwise piece of newspaper and fold it repeatedly.

You can now pick up the cactus, take it out of its pot, and set it down anywhere you like by folding the newspaper length in half. For a larger or heavier plant, use extra paper as necessary.

The plant is well-cushioned by the paper, which protects it from damage when you handle it. What matters most is that the paper prevents you from becoming trapped by their spines! Here is the key to successfully planting succulents and cacti together.

How to Plant Cacti and Succulents Together

The roots of the succulents should be completely buried in the soil when planting cacti and succulents together. But only the lower third of the cactus’ roots should be buried when planting it. Keep the cactus’ upper two-thirds of its roots above the soil line.

The cactus roots above the soil line will be covered with soil, and other plants will be used to hide them from view. However, the plant will absorb far less of the soil’s moisture because the upper 2/3 of the roots are above the soil line. I intentionally overexposed the root zone in the image above in an effort to make it more visible. The roots above the soil line are indicated by the yellow line.

I realize this seems like a crazy notion, and you’re worried about hurting your cactus. I swear by this, it works! See my article on revitalizing a dish garden of succulents and cacti. You can see how the crested cactus I used, which I planted with succulents, developed and flourished over the course of a full year, with the top 2/3 of its root ball above the soil line!

So, with the top 2/3 of the roots visible above the soil level, I placed the Mammillaria elongata ‘Copper King’ in the back right corner of my pot. In a manner similar to how I planted the Echeveria, I positioned it at a slight slant away from the middle of the pot.

Planting Around a Cactus

With an Anacampseros ‘Sunrise,’ I was able to add a splash of color. I really like how the vibrant pink reflects off the E. colorata’s brilliant red tips. And I also wanted to add some “thimble cactus,” or Mamillaria gracilis fragilis, which is a beautiful, white plant. I once more utilized a folded sheet of newspaper to make it possible to safely plant in and around the thorny cactus. As I inserted the Anacampseros, I wrapped it around the “Copper King” cactus that had been planted. This prevented harm to both the cactus and me. I planned to divide the Anacampseros pot and plant it in two locations because I thought there would be two or three plants within. But it is just one, big, vibrant plant. I positioned it to overflow the pot’s rim. Isn’t the color amazing?

The lovely small thimble cactus plants followed. Again, the plant itself is an olive green, but it is covered in numerous starburst-shaped bristles that are small, semi-soft, and pure white. It creates countless round offsets. The young succulents that grow at the base and resemble a cluster of white bubbles are known as succulent offsets. It’s a fantastic addition to a succulent and cactus arrangement, adding dazzling white color and texture.

Each of the tiny plants in these thimble cactus pots made them simple to divide. Learn more about cactus division. I separated the cacti, arranged and planted them, removing the extra soil as I went, holding the base of the plant in place with the tweezers from my toolkit.

Cover Cactus Roots with Extra Soil

The cheerful little thimble cactus was something I kept adding. The white gives the arrangement great accents and gives the impression of sparkling. I added soil precisely where I needed it to cover the cactus roots that I had left exposed above the soil line using the scoop that was included in my tool set. The cactus itself conceals the roots from view, and the earth shields them from harm.

After placing the majority of my plants, I saw that my enormous Echeveria colorata was out of proportion with the pot’s size and the cactus and succulent arrangement. So, in order to make it a little bit smaller, I cut off a few of the lower leaves. Naturally, I saved those leaves to spread more Echeveria!

Then I put a small division from a Cotyledon pendens behind my Echeveria to act as a trailing plant.

Cacti and Succulent Arrangement (Nearly) Finished

At this time, I believed my cactus and succulent arrangement was complete. I had adhered to the design guidelines and components Cindy Davison of The Succulent Perch teaches in our Facebook group for succulent arrangements. I got started by drawing inspiration from the stunning Donna Davis Taylor pot. I used the pot’s colors again in my composition, paying close attention to scale and balance. I showed Cindy since I am so happy with it.

Cindy provided a very reassuring assessment and was really encouraging. She has incredible design talent! She urged me to make a few minor adjustments. I’m curious whether you can locate them because I did.

Caring for Cactus and Succulent Arrangement

The finished cactus and succulent arrangement is shown here. My package of succulent tools included a squeeze water bottle with a long, slender neck, and it is quite useful! It flawlessly enables me to water a very dense arrangement like this and directs the water where I need it. I anticipate that the entire setup will thrive in direct, bright sunlight.

I chose Cotyledon pendens as the trailing plant, going from left to right. The Echeveria colorata is in the front, with the Kalanchoe tomentosa “Teddy Bear” poking out from behind it. The arrangement features white Mammillaria gracilis fragilis, sometimes known as the “Thimble Cactus.” The vibrant pink, yellow, and green Anacampseros “Sunrise” ups the ante, in my opinion. Then, at the back right, the Mammillaria elongata “Copper King” provides height and drama.

Cindy had advised me to slightly further tuck the trailing Cotyledon in to keep the entire arrangement balanced. She also recommended that I emphasize the Kalanchoe a little bit more. She also advised me to tuck the tiny cactus into the Anacampseros’ curve rather than place it straight next to the “Copper King,” where the textures were similar. I am overjoyed with the outcomes!

In our Facebook group, you can find out everything about designing AND caring for succulents. We would adore for you to join us!

Design a Cactus and Succulent Arrangement from All Angles

My succulent and cactus arrangement has a distinct front, but I still wanted to make sure it looks excellent from all sides. As you plant, keep turning the pot so that you can fill up any gaps. When Cindy plants, she uses a lazy Susan, and I’m thinking I should do the same. As you can see, the ‘Teddy Bear’ variety of Kalanchoe tomentosa has shorter, rounder leaves than the more prevalent ‘Chocolate Soldier’ kind.

Isn’t Donna Davis Taylor’s handcrafted ceramic pot amazing? I adore her art so much! The pot is wrapped with the edge exposed, and the tiny feet are just too adorable. very clever Additionally, there is a cute button next to the Anacampseros. I ought to have given it some thought and kept that from being covered. I suppose I’ll need another of her pots for a redo.

Visit Donna’s company page on Facebook to see more of her work. Every few weeks, she introduces new pots, and they sell out quickly! You can find more of her stunning work on Instagram as well. Invest in a tiny business while growing your hobbies. Win-win situation!