How To Plant Succulents In A Wooden Box

Once you have all of your supplies available, it will only take you seven simple steps to assemble a DIY succulent planter.

Step 1: Cut Wood Pieces

I divided the four equal-length strips into two for the bottom and two for the sides. We cut two additional 6 strips for the shorter sides as the bottom will be 8 across. That will fit properly because the lumber is 1 thick.

Make sure to cut the wood in a line that is as straight as you can. You can have the lumber pre-cut to your specifications when you buy it at the hardware store if you don’t have access to a saw or don’t trust yourself to cut it. However, most retailers will tack on a little fee for this.

I decided to sand the lumber after cutting it because I prefer features that are extra-polished. Nevertheless, depending on how precisely the wood was cut, this isn’t always essential.

Step 2: Attach the Pieces

You should start by drilling a few pilot holes on the base and on the short sides. These will facilitate even screw installation.

I joined the bottom pieces last after the four sides. Everything should fit together properly if you sized everything correctly.

Step 3: Drill Drainage Holes

You don’t want your plants to have damp feet, as everyone with a green thumb is aware of. Succulents in particular are a good example of this because they use very little water and are exceptional at retaining it.

Turn your box over and make a few small holes on the bottom to stop this from happening. Since my box is small, I just had four holes drilled. You might want 5 or 6 if yours is a little bigger. But don’t go overboard.

Step 4: Consider Your Details

Your DIY succulent planter is now complete and ready to use. But now is the time to make any last adjustments. To protect the wood from the water draining out of the bottom and lengthen its lifespan, many people may place a screen layer there. Cut your screen according to the internal dimensions, then fasten it with few tiny finishing nails.

Step 5: Treat the Outside of the Planter

It’s time to improve the planter’s appearance now. If you chose Douglas fir, as I did, you may have observed that the planter feels excellent and robust but appears quite uninteresting. I stained the box with some simple wood stain, but you may also paint it any colour you choose.

You might just use some clear lacquer or leave it untreated for an au natural look if you invested in some cedar or other higher-quality lumber.

In either case, make careful to only touch the planter box’s exterior. Internal treatment could contaminate the soil and hurt your succulents.

Step 6: Add the Soil

Start with a little covering of gravel. To prevent moist feet and help the planter drain, do that. From there, you may choose from a variety of soil types, but I choose to use cactus dirt. That’s made especially for succulents and will make them flourish.

You might also think about scattering pebbles on top of the dirt to improve aesthetics. These, in my opinion, add a nice touch.

Do succulents grow well in wood planters?

The composition of your pot is the next factor to take into account. Glass, metal, wood, ceramic, and plastic are a few popular materials used to make pots. What is the best material, then? It depends on where your setup is located.

Ceramic and terra cotta are both reasonably permeable materials, so they can be used in spaces that may not get a lot of airflow. In fact, I’ve discovered that they function effectively both indoors and outside.

A terra cotta or ceramic pot can heat up in direct sunshine, which isn’t ideal for succulents but typically isn’t a major issue. But keep in mind that if you leave your soil in the sun, it may dry up more quickly.

Terra cotta and ceramic pots have the drawback of being incredibly heavy. If you decide to grow in a large pot, you could discover that it’s tough to move once the dirt and succulents are in (or perhaps even before).

You have to be careful not to drop or knock over these kinds of pots because they are also pretty delicate.

Another well-liked material for pots and plants is plastic. The fact that plastic is frequently much lighter and less delicate than ceramic is a big advantage. The drawback is that it is less permeable than porcelain or terra cotta. Compared to other types of pots, plastic pots make it considerably difficult for water to evaporate.

However, if you have a drainage hole in your pot and utilise a well-draining soil, this lack of airflow shouldn’t be a problem. Plastic planters are incredibly versatile in terms of colour and shape, which makes shopping for them a lot of fun.

Wood is a pretty intriguing alternative if you’re searching for an unconventional way to plant your succulents. The driftwood planter I crafted last summer is fantastic. Compared to a standard pot or planter, it is significantly more attractive.

Additionally, because it keeps cool and holds water, wood is beneficial for succulents that are kept in direct sunlight or other warm conditions.

On the other hand, you might discover that wood can rapidly rot or keep your soil damp for too long if you’re planting in a place with less sunlight and airflow. The wood may split from being watered or degrade over time.

Wood pots might not endure as long as others due to all these factors. However, wood may look incredibly lovely if you put it in the appropriate place.

For planting succulents, metal is often not a fantastic long-term option. You can use it, but be mindful that because of the rapid temperature variations, the soil may become overheated.

Additionally, if you don’t use a metal container made expressly for planting, it may ultimately rust, which is bad for succulents. It’s best to prepare to move your succulents to a new container after a while if you choose to use a metal container.

There is no denying that succulents look stunning when planted in glass. Glass containers, however, typically don’t have drainage holes (although the wine bottle planter below does!).

Glass is not very breathable, thus your soil will have a difficult time drying out unless your container has a big aperture and allows for a lot of wind, in addition to the drainage issue.

Additionally, glass is quickly filthy and tends to accumulate deposits from hard water. You must be careful where you position your arrangements, especially if, like me, you have young children running around your home, as it is highly breakable.

How deeply should succulents be planted?

You can add additives to up to three-fourths of your succulent plant soil. Pumice has been used alone in some tests with successful outcomes, however this is in the Philippines, where regular watering is required. Those of us who live in less ideal climates might need to try new things.

Along with coconut coir, pumice, perlite, and Turface, coarse sand is frequently employed (a volcanic product sold as a soil conditioner). For this project, use Turface, and purchase the medium-sized stones. For outdoor succulent beds, expanded shale is used to improve the soil.

Additionally, pumice is a component of the intriguing product Dry Stall Horse Bedding. Some people use this directly into the ground when making a bed for a succulent garden. This product should not be confused with another one named Stall Dry.

Although river rock is occasionally added to the soil, it is more frequently used as a top dressing or decorative element in your garden beds. As an amendment or mulch, horticultural grit or a variant is utilised, just as aquarium gravel.

Consider the layout and have a plan when setting up a succulent garden bed, but be flexible once you start planting. While some sources advise preparing the soil three inches (8 cm) deep, others advise doing so at least six to eight inches (15 to 20 cm) down. When adding outdoor succulent soil to your bed, the deeper, the better.

Create hills and slopes where you can plant various specimens. Elevated planting not only provides your garden bed a unique aspect, but it also elevates the roots of your cacti and succulents even more.


Choose a pot that is just big enough for the plant to grow in, but not too big. The circumference of the appropriate pot is 5–10% greater than the size of the plant. Choose pots with a maximum excess space around the sides of an inch or two. The delicate roots will spread if the pot is too big before the plant has a chance to develop. There won’t be any room for the roots to spread in a pot that is too tiny.


The ideal pot should not only complement your style and decor but also the physical properties of the plant. Tall pots look excellent with upright-growing succulents, like aloe. Low-growing cultivars, like Echeveria, look fantastic in little pots. Not to mention spillers with trailing growth tendencies like String of Pearls. Spillers in shallow pots or hanging plants look fantastic and grow well.


There are many different types of materials for pots. The most prevalent materials are wood, terracotta, metal, ceramic, and resin. Terracotta or ceramic pots work best for succulent plants. Both of these materials allow for proper air and water circulation because they are both breathable. Just keep in mind that both ceramic and terracotta are weighty, especially after adding soil and plants.

Pick resin or plastic pots for larger plants, especially ones you plan to move around. Your back will thank you for using those lighter pots as you move or reposition plants.


Before you plant and cultivate succulents, the most important thing to understand is that they don’t like a lot of water. Even before you develop a watering schedule, this is relevant. Without adequate drainage, water that accumulates at the bottom of a container without anywhere to go may cause root rot in your succulent.

The ideal pots for succulents, regardless of design, are planters with drainage holes in the bottom. Since many succulent planters lack drainage holes, you can use any of them as long as you keep in mind to water succulents sparingly and keep an eye on them frequently.

Where ought to succulents be planted?

Succubus Plants in the Proper Soil Regular potting soil from your yard won’t work for succulents since they need soil that drains. Select cactus soil or potting soil that has been mixed with sand, pumice, or perlite. Be gentle when repotting because succulent roots are extremely brittle.

Succulents: Can they grow without soil?

Because they can retain water in their leaves, succulents can grow without soil. As a result, they may go for extended periods of time without having access to surface moisture.

But in order to do so, they need to have access to a sizable quantity of water and nutrients from the environment.

Succulents can typically grow in rocks without soil or water. The goal is to have a rock that makes it simple for water and nutrients to absorb.

The inability to continuously providing succulents with what they require when they are grown in rocks without soil is one potential drawback.

There are several advantages to soil, such as the provision of air spaces that can absorb excess moisture or dryness more effectively than would be possible with merely rocks.

Because there are no open spots on top where insects could enter and destroy this plant’s root structure, it also safeguards against pests and illnesses.

Another problem with growing succulents in rocks devoid of soil is that they might not be able to resist drastic changes in weather.

When there are no other plants nearby to provide shade, this plant has nothing to shield it from environmental variables like wind or water that could blow sand into its leaves.

We advise staying with potting soil unless you are certain of the environment your succulent will thrive in.

It offers all the advantages required for this kind of plant, which cannot be achieved by just utilising rocks as a substitute.

Can succulents be grown in just rocks?

It should be obvious that succulents will thrive when planted in rocks given these circumstances. They drain very well and do not retain water, which eliminates the possibility of root rot. This does not include another component of soil, though, since all plants need nutrients.

Although succulents are not particularly hungry plants, they do need certain nutrients to grow. Other micronutrients like zinc or iron are needed in smaller levels, whereas macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are essential. The plant won’t grow at all or last very long without these nutrients.

By their very nature, rocks don’t release nutrients quickly enough to keep the plants alive. They are composed of minerals, but since they decompose so slowly over time, they are not appropriate for growing on their own. Additionally, they often don’t retain enough moisture, allowing the roots to quickly dry out after draining practically instantly.

Sadly, this means that succulents cannot thrive permanently without soil in rocks. If not given regular care, they may survive for several weeks or even months on the nutrients found in the stems and leaves.

Are drainage holes required for succulent planters?

It is feasible to utilise a container without drainage holes, but it shouldn’t be kept in a location where it could get wet or drown. In these kinds of containers, watering needs to be regularly managed as well. Because succulents’ roots are shallow, a shallow bowl or pot is ideal. 2.

Succulents: Can they flourish in pots without holes?

Whether you’ve planted succulents before or not, you probably already know that the subject of drainage holes comes up very frequently. What makes drainage holes crucial? They help prevent moisture from accumulating at the pot’s base by allowing extra water to seep out of the container.

Because succulents store water in their tissues, leaves, and stems, this is a significant concern. They are vulnerable to root rot if submerged in water for an extended period of time. Some folks are rigid about all planters having drainage holes.

Some people don’t care as much about holes. Here are some things to think about if you have a container that you really want to use for growing succulents and cacti but you’re worried about drainage problems.

To Drill or Not to Drill?

You can certainly drill a hole into the planter, and you don’t need to be skilled with tools to do so. How to start drilling a hole in ceramic, glass, etc. is covered in a tonne of free video tutorials. Please click on “How to Grow Succulents in Pots without Holes” for detailed instructions on how to drill a hole in glass or ceramic containers.

Things to Consider Before Drilling a Hole

What would drilling a hole cost you? Would it be more expensive to buy a pot with drainage or to drill a hole? Most households already have a drill.

Most likely, all you need to spend money on are some reasonably priced diamond drill bits. When you consider how much use you will get out of a drill, even if you don’t already own one and must buy one, you might view the purchase as a wise financial decision.

You must decide which item you value more, the plant or the pot. You might want to think twice before drilling a hole in a particularly expensive pot that you spent a lot of money on or perhaps an antique. Additionally, once a hole has been made in something, there is truly no going back; it is irreversible.

So think about which is more essential to you: the plants’ value or the container’s value. Succulent plants are fortunately inexpensive and simple to replace. The reason we adore them so much is that they are extremely simple to cultivate and spread.

Do Succulents Need Drainage?

Succulents in pots—can they thrive without drainage? In light of this, you’ve made the decision to plant the succulents in a container without holes. How long will they be able to survive? Succulents can live and even flourish in pots without holes, so yes, they can. Everything hinges on how you take care of the plants.

The main issue that individuals have is with irrigation. Succulents can suffer from people overwatering them, which is bad for the plants. Succulents can flourish for a long time in pots without drainage after you understand how to properly water them.

Here is evidence that succulents can thrive in containers without drainage for a long time. In this instance, the container failed much earlier than the plants. The containers of these plants have outlived them. The plants are still flourishing, as you can see. They spent around two years in this container. How did I manage to keep them around this long? primarily from utilising the right potting material and adequate watering practises.

I’ve attempted to repair this in the past with hot glue. I decided to repot these plants after around two years.

How to Plant Succulents in Pots without Holes

You can make a layer for drainage in the bottom of the pot by adding a layer of rocks, pebbles, stones, or pumice (or a combination of these). By allowing extra water to flow out of the soil and into the rocks at the bottom, this can help prevent root rot. By enabling the water to drain from the soil more quickly and keeping the roots from spending too much time in moist soil, this helps prevent root rot.

Think about how big the pot is. You will primarily need pebbles, pumice, or smaller rocks if your pot is small. You’ll need bigger and more rocks the bigger the pot.

You can incorporate pebbles, boulders, pumice, or perlite into the cactus potting mix in addition to the drainage layer. Adding larger particles to the soil, which is typically highly compact, generates more space between them, allowing water to drain out more quickly and preventing the roots from soaking in damp soil for an extended period of time.

The aid of activated charcoal aids in water absorption. Additionally, it has inherent antibacterial qualities that can inhibit the growth of germs and fungi. A layer of activated charcoal, about 1/2 inch thick, can be added over the rock layer or in the bottom of the pot.

Although it is optional, activated charcoal is a nice choice to have if you want more drainage and absorption. It might not be possible to utilise activated charcoal if the pot you’re using is small. Please visit my resource page to learn where to buy activated charcoal online.

You’ll need extra dirt as the container gets bigger. More soil indicates that the soil can hold more water. Consider the plants you are utilising while selecting the pot size.

Large containers are unnecessary for small plants. When repotting, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the new pot shouldn’t be more than 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the old one. Succulents don’t require a lot of extra space because they prefer a small pot anyway.

How to Water Succulents Without Drainage

Your watering strategies are the key to the plants’ survival in pots without holes. Keep in mind that extra water cannot drain from the pot, so water the plant sparingly. You should take particular care when watering plants without holes if you tend to overwater your plants. In between waterings, let plants dry out, then check the soil for moisture.

Use a syringe, a spray bottle, or a squeeze bottle if you want to better manage the water you put into the containers. Make sure to spray the soil, not the plant’s surface, while using a spray bottle. You want the water to reach the plant’s roots so that it can be absorbed there.

The size of your container, the growing season, and the environment where you reside all have a significant role in when and how often you should water. The dry and growing season tends to increase the need for water on plants. Plants require less water during the slower growing season and cooler months. I normally observe the plant to determine when and how frequently to water it. In general, I water once every 7 to 10 days throughout the summer and less frequently, once every 10 to 14 days or more, during the cooler months.

My plants receive plenty of sunlight because I keep them outside the entire year. Additionally, my area is rather dry, and the midday sun may be quite warm. You don’t need to water as frequently if you reside in a humid climate.

Water the plants sparingly to begin with and then increase the amount as necessary. Until you determine the plants’ watering requirements, it is preferable to underwater rather than overwater.

If you mistakenly added too much water, you can carefully tilt the pot over while holding the plants in place to prevent them from falling out to drain the extra water. To dab the extra water, you can also use a dry towel or paper towel.

If you keep your plants outdoors, be sure to transfer the pots without holes to a shaded area when it looks like it could rain. Pour away the extra water as soon as you can if you forget to move the pots and it rains on them.

When your plants begin to shrivel, that’s a strong indication that they need more water. Usually, the leaves are the first to do this. You are typically underwatering if you touch a plant and it feels soft and unfull of water.