How To Arrange Succulent Plants

The fact that succulents come in almost every hue of the rainbow is one of my favorite things about them. Because of this, arranging succulents according to popular colors and patterns can be a lot of fun. Since I have an artistic background, I am constantly drawn to arrangements that really highlight color palettes.

There are certain succulents that are monochromatic, meaning they have just one dominant color (often green), but they may have several different shades of that color.

You can look for groups of succulents with comparable colorshades that are close to one another on a color wheel if you want succulents in a few distinct colors. You could, for instance, use orange, yellow, and green or green, blue, and purple.

I usually focus on greens, blues, and purples when making arrangements, but bolder combinations with reds, oranges, and yellows can be incredibly striking!

My preferred color schemes are built around complimentary color combinations, or color shades that are directly opposed to one another on the color wheel, such as red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple.

My favorite color scheme for succulents is blue and orange, presumably because these hues are so uncommon and hard to find in plants while also being incredibly vibrant. However, this combination of red and green is also quite energetic and vibrant.

In the video down below, you can see more instances of these suggestions:

How do I arrange my succulents?

Succulent arrangements are one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy seeing the project come together and then finished. The plants are frequently grouped together by type in the arrangements you see in stores. Here’s where I like to mix things up by dispersing the various plant varieties across the design.

I begin by selecting every plant I intend to utilize. I occasionally just take a few from my yard or buy some fresh ones from the shop. Usually, I try to limit it to 4 or 5 of the same kind of plants, with a center larger beauty.

You should roughly 3/4 of the way up with succulent soil in the container you’ll be using. As you add more plants, you will need to keep extra soil on hand to keep the container filled. Put the largest succulent in the center. Create a hole with your fingers, insert the stem and roots of the plant, and cover everything with earth. If at all possible, try to leave the roots on all of the plants, since this will speed up their transition to their new environment. If you’re planting cuttings, make sure to wait a few days for the ends to callus before setting them in soil. A new cutting may absorb too much moisture and perish if you place it in soil.

Start putting plants on either side of the central plant after that. The same plants are added on both sides with the idea of a mirror in mind. Remember to dig a small hole, place the plant, and surround it with more soil each time you add a new plant. This can be a little difficult than it sounds with succulents. To prevent unattractive scratches and markings, make every effort to handle the plant by the stem rather than the leaves. Additionally, be careful not to get soil on the plants when adding it. Use tweezers to remove soil that has mistakenly been placed on top of a plant or gently blow it off to avoid damaging it.

To ensure that no soil is visible, try to completely fill in the container’s empty spaces. You can use tiny plants, which are usually lovely, to fill in the narrow places. It can be challenging to drill holes for smaller plants at times. In that instance, try making tiny holes using a pencil.

Do succulent plants prefer to be planted in groups?

Recently, I’ve received several inquiries from folks wondering how much room should exist between the succulents in their arrangement. The reply is, “It depends.” Succulents are perfectly capable of being planted quite near to one another.

Succulents grow more slowly when planted closely together, helping the arrangement to better maintain its original layout. When they are close together, watering them can be more difficult. But this is a really fantastic approach to plant your succulents, particularly if you’re creating the arrangement as a present or for an event.

A nice illustration of succulents that are firmly packed together is this clam shell planter at Waterwise Botanicals.

Succulents are generally slow growers, but if you give them a bit extra room to spread out, they’ll grow a little faster and eventually fill the space. If you want your plants to grow larger or reproduce more readily on their own, this is a fantastic alternative. I suggest using this slightly dispersed strategy if you are just getting started with succulents.

It is simpler to water the succulents correctly when there is room between the plants. The soil will dry up more quickly due to the improved air flow. We are aware that succulents thrive in rapidly draining soil!

Remember that you don’t want the succulents to be too close together or in a pot that is much bigger than they are.

Succulents will prioritize generating roots over growing larger if they are given too much room. A good distance between plants, in my opinion, is between 1/2 and 1.

Are succulents tolerant of crowds?

Speaking with individuals about succulent care or watching succulent care “in the wild” has made me aware of some of the misconceptions around succulent plants in the horticultural community. Just stroll through the nurseries in garden centers, where staff members are highly qualified. There are numerous excellently kept ornamental plants, fruit trees, and beautifully managed bedding plants, all of which have been nourished, watered, and maintained. then go for the section with succulents. You’ll find plants that have been improperly labeled, overwatered, underwatered, and generally neglected. In response to requests for assistance from merchants and landscaping contractors, I pondered this for a long time.

Successful succulent care is a synthesis of numerous elements, just like taking care of other plants. soil, water, fertilizer, exposure, control of pests and diseases, upkeep, and most importantly, observing and asking questions about the health of the plants.

Observing the plants and wondering what is going on with them. Yes, I believe that this is the most crucial element in keeping succulent plants healthy and beautiful. Applying what you have learnt to this group of plants will go a long way toward success with them if you are a gardener with prior success cultivating other types of plants. A plant is most likely not healthy if it does not appear to be so. Like any other plant that does not appear to be healthy, a plant that is unhealthy is likely dealing with challenges relating to soil, water, fertilizer, pest and disease control, upkeep, or a combination of these issues.

Due to their adaptation to places where water is scarce for extended periods of time, succulent plants differ somewhat from normal herbaceous perennial plants. As a result, their relationship with water plays a significant role in what makes them special. When it comes to gathering and preserving water, succulent plants are particularly effective. Additionally, they are more vulnerable to issues if exposed to excessive water. One of the most important determining aspects in maintaining the health of succulents is water management.

Here are some general care instructions for succulents, including everything from water to soil to sunlight.

Soil

The secret to soil mix in containers and in the landscape is good drainage and aeration. The majority of commercial soil mixtures are a little too dense and hold a lot of water for succulents. Adding coarse perlite, crushed lava, or pumice to conventional potting mixtures will usually be sufficient to transform them into effective succulent potting mixtures. Normally, I advise mixing 1 part amendment with 4 parts potting mix. For succulents like cactus that require even more drainage and aeration, the proportion of amendment can be increased.

There are a number of high-quality choices available on the market if you want to purchase pre-mixed soil, including the E.B. Stone Cactus mix that we carry at the nursery.

Water

Thick stems and leaves that effectively gather and store water are characteristics of succulent plants. Traditional plant varieties have thin leaves and require more frequent hydration and watering. Even though the soil is damp, a plant like a coleus may wilt on a hot day. For the coleus to have more humidity and water availability, more regular watering is required. The succulent is less prone to wilt since it has water stored in its leaves and stem. Before being watered, succulent plants prefer to get close to being dry. The plant’s root ball stores the rest of the remaining moisture when the earth dries out. It’s time to water when this area is almost completely dry. Water the plant thoroughly so that the soil is completely saturated and some water runs out the bottom of the plant. Watering a succulent is very much the same as watering any other plant, only not as frequently.

When the environment is unfavorable, there is an exception to how you water a succulent. Poor air circulation, cloudy, dark days, and inadequate lighting may be examples of this. The plant will dry out extremely slowly in these conditions, so it will require controlled watering—giving it tiny doses of water—to prevent being overly wet for an extended period of time. Again, keeping plants healthy requires paying attention to what they need.

Fertilizer

Like most plants, succulents like being fed. Succulents vary from other plants in that they require less fertilizer less frequently since they are so effective. I do not suggest giving succulents any particular fertilizer. As you develop your plant-growing skills, experimenting with various fertilizers may improve the quality of your plants and/or blooms. Use a balanced fertilizer in the interim, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. To maintain a healthy, growing plant, a fertilizer that is well-balanced is essential. There are a variety of all-purpose fertilizers that will work; at the nursery, we carry and advise Maxsea All-Purpose Plant Food.

An overabundance of fertilizer will promote excessive growth, which gives the plant a weedy appearance. Insufficient water will cause the plant to go into suspended animation and appear to be motionless. I advise halving the stated dosage rate and fertilizing no more frequently than once per month. Since most succulents become dormant throughout the winter, it’s usually not required to fertilize them.

Exposure

Succulent plants, like the majority of plants, prefer a climate with plenty of sunlight and clean air. Many people have misconceptions about succulents. One of the topics that people misinterpret is sunlight. When the topic of succulents is brought up, many people immediately think “desert.” In actuality, succulent plants grow most attractively when given a little sun protection. Succulent plants can develop good color and form without being dried out by the heat of the midday sun if they are grown in a few hours of early sun throughout the warmer months of the year. Shade fabric, lattice, or even the partial shadowing offered by a tree will help break up the heat of the sun in a southern exposure when the sun is shining on the area all day. More light exposure will aid the plant in preserving its good shape and color as winter draws closer. The plant will seem parched and burnt out if it receives too much sunlight. Too little sunshine causes the plant to extend out in search of more light, losing its beautiful compact structure.

Cold Tolerance

Information on the cold tolerance of several succulent plants was lacking until recently. If you don’t know a plant’s resistance to cold, I advise thinking it will freeze or suffer harm if the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or freezing. Plants can be protected from light frost using inexpensive materials like frost cloth. These materials work well to increase your level of protection by 4 to 6 degrees.

Pest and Disease Control

Aphids are always going to be aphids. Like other plants, succulents will be attacked by insects. The idea is to observe your plants, look more closely, and explore anything that seems abnormal. Like any other plant, succulents require the ideal exposure or location, as well as decent soil, appropriate watering, and fertilizer. You are less likely to encounter bugs if these factors are properly balanced.

Succulent plants are susceptible to the same bugs and diseases that affect other plants, which is a fact of life. Succulents require the same level of pest and disease monitoring as other plants. As with other plants, aphids typically target the blossoms and new growth on succulents. Like other plants, measly bugs live on the roots of the plant and lodge between the leaves near new development. They can also infest the soil. Earwigs and snails both eat on the leaves. Succulent leaves may get powdery mildew, especially after extended periods of bad weather. Not to mention the ants, of course. Farmers are ants. Ants use plants like succulents to develop bugs that will help feed all of their ant companions, just as you may rototill the dirt and plant carrot seeds for your habit of drinking carrot juice. Any ants you see on your plants, get rid of them.

Therefore, these so-called succulent plants are not bug-proof. Although they are hardy and can endure an infection for a long time, healthy, attractive plants must be watched over, and when an infestation does arise, it must be treated with.

You decide how to handle an infestation. To help identify the bug or disease, you may speak with someone at your neighborhood nursery or your acquaintance who is an avid gardener. You decide whether to utilize organic materials or nuclear weapons, water, soap, q-tips, or chemicals. The most important thing is to address the issue as soon as you become aware of it.