How To Start A Succulent Garden

Only a few species of succulents can survive temperatures below freezing, so keep that in mind if you intend to plant them outside. Additionally, some desert conditions can be too harsh, even though most succulents enjoy the light and heat. “Exceptions do exist, according to Jesch. “Alpine species like sedums and sempervivums can withstand temperatures below zero. Additionally, most cacti, certain aloes, and succulents like agaves can withstand the extreme heat of the desert.

There are several trustworthy succulents that can withstand outdoor circumstances year-round in mild climes. Echeveria “Sahara,” Agave “Moonshine,” Crassula “Ripple Jade” and “Hobbit Jade,” numerous varieties of Elephant’s Food (Portulacaria afra), and Aeonium “Plum Petals” are among the hens and chicks Jesch suggests planting.

Gather Materials for Your Succulent Garden

You desire a succulent garden since it requires less upkeep, aren’t you? If you have the necessary resources, creating a succulent garden is also rather straightforward.

  • You eagerly anticipate showing off your garden space.
  • The succulents you prefer (but you’ll get those later).
  • a mix of organic matter and coarse drainage elements, such as sand, grit, pumice, perlite, small gravel, or broken granite, that has good drainage.
  • a transplanting trowel
  • gloves for gardening.

Know your plant hardiness zone

Extreme temperatures can be harmful to some succulent plants. For information on which succulents will thrive in your region, see your plant hardiness zone. In your zone, some plants will thrive more than others.

Note: Despite the frigid conditions, some succulents may thrive in your yard since they are more cold-hardy than others. Sedums and sempervivums, like hens and chicks, are extremely cold-hardy ground coverings and do not require indoor storage during the winter.

Find the right spot for your succulent garden

You must first identify the ideal location for your succulent garden before making any plant purchases or getting too far ahead of yourself. You’ll have a better sense of which succulents will flourish in the space and how many to buy after you know the size and amount of sunlight the area will receive.

The needs for sun and shade will change for different succulents. Succulents vary in their preference for shade, sun exposure, and full sun.

While aloe, aeoniums, and agave demand lots of sunlight, snake plants, jade plants, and other similar species may take moderate shade.

Ensure proper soil drainage

Poor drainage will force these plants to spend too much time in wet, soggy soil, which will lead to root rot. Succulents can also grow in rock gardens and demand sandy, well-drained soil.

You might have to go through a process of trial and error and run a few percolation tests in order to get a soil mixture with good drainage. Organic matter, such as compost, and coarse drainage materials, such as sand, grit, pumice, perlite, small gravel, or broken granite, should be included in a healthy soil mixture.

Play with succulent arrangements

While your plants are still in their pots, you should arrange them in the garden. By putting them in place, you can see the finished product and make any necessary design modifications.

While they are still in their nursery pots, moving your plants around for a more appealing appearance will be much simpler than replanting them.

Once you’ve got your plants in place and you’re happy with the garden design, you’re ready to move on to the next step and create your succulent garden.

Transplant your succulents

Succulents might be difficult to transplant, yet they are hardy plants. Succulents often bounce back quickly from minor injuries, such as a few torn roots or a plant that has been moved about a bit.

Tap or brush the roots of your succulent after carefully removing it from the nursery pot to get rid of the soil. The nursery potting mix might occasionally have poor drainage, which can cause the soil to stick to the roots and keep them from accessing the water they require. It’s acceptable if you need to break or cut some of the roots in order to remove the nursery potting soil.

Place your succulents into the soil after letting the roots dry out for approximately a day if they are moist.

Watering and caring for your succulents

Before watering your succulent garden, let the roots a day or two to recover and adapt.

When the earth is fully dry, only water. Examine the first few inches of soil. Skip the watering if the ground is wet. However, if the soil is dry, water heavily and then wait a little before watering again. Every week or two, give your succulent garden a drink.

Root rot can affect your plants if you keep them in wet soil. Since root rot is considerably harder for them to recover from than dryness, it is preferable to submerge than overwater.

Check the leaves, as a pro tip. The leaves of an overwatered succulent will often appear mushy, transparent, and squishy. The leaves of a submerged succulent will appear shriveled or wrinkled.

How can a succulent be started outside?

If you live in a climate where it is always warm, you might want to explore planting some of your succulents in your garden bed despite all the benefits of pots. They are easy to grow in the desert and, as indigenous, can withstand weather fluctuations better than most plants. It’s crucial to give succulents well-draining soil that will stop root rot when planting plants in the ground. Create a six-inch mound of light, succulent-specific soil prior to planting. Put your succulent in this mound after that.

Make sure to leave ample space between plants when planting succulents that prefer to sprawl, like hens and chicks. With time, these small plants spread widely. Succulents require little care once they are in the garden bed. If their leaves start to shrink in really hot or dry weather, you might think about watering them. But remember that succulents that are thirsty are preferable to succulents that are soggy. If you’re unsure whether anything requires water, Hugo advises erring on the side of caution and not watering your succulents.

Building Your Garden

1. Select a vessel. Anything from a mason jar to a glass terrarium to an old tin can be used to grow succulents. Enjoy choosing the container that best fits your decor.

2. Add your ingredients to it! Pebbles should be added first, then charcoal, then moss, and finally soil.

3. Plant your cacti. Be imaginative! Try out several configurations without hesitation.

4. Decorative flourishes Enjoy this portion. To complement the design of your house or workplace, experiment with neon-hued moss and rough pebbles.

5. Conduct tests. Because succulents are so adaptable, don’t be hesitant to experiment with different ferns and plant combinations—the options are virtually limitless!

If you use a succulent kit, which is perfect for beginners since it includes all the elements you will need and comprehensive instructions for creating your own stylish piece, you may avoid the stress of collecting supplies and beginning from scratch.

How should my soil be prepared for succulents?

The requirements for outdoor succulent soil vary by region, however modified drainage soil produces the optimum plant performance. The amount of rainfall your environment receives and safeguarding succulent roots will determine how to properly prepare the soil for a succulent garden. Your goal is to keep the roots dry, thus the optimum soil for your succulent garden will depend on your local climate.

When creating outdoor succulent soil, you can start with the soil you dug up from your garden bed and then add nutrients. In the garden, succulents don’t require fertile soil; in fact, they favor nutrient-poor, arid soils. Take out any sticks, rocks, and other trash. You can buy topsoil to add to the mixture as well. Choose soil that has no chemicals, fertilizers, or moisture retention.


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.

No matter the design, planters with drainage holes in the bottom are the best pots for succulents. 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.

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.

Which succulent is the simplest to grow?

A stylish decorative addition to any home are succulents. For your indoor environment, this wide range of plants offers countless color combinations and low maintenance possibilities. Succulents are able to hold water for longer periods of time than most plants, which require a moist climate to survive. Because of this characteristic, succulents may thrive well in the hot, dry environments of the ordinary home.

Beginner-friendly plants are succulents. Succulents have an alluring charm and come in a range of forms, dimensions, and textures. Here are six succulents that may be grown year-round inside with ease.

Jade Tree. The jade plant, which is indigenous to South Africa, features robust stems and glossy green leaves. Water jade when the soil gets dry and keep it in direct sunlight. Jade is frequently harmed by overwatering, so exercise caution.

Liquid aloe. Since ancient times, this prickly herb has been utilized medicinally. The inner leaves’ sap is used to treat burns and treat wounds. Aloe Vera needs to be kept in direct sunshine and irrigated if the leaves feel parched or fragile. To enjoy the beauty of this medicinal plant every day, keep it beside a well-lit kitchen window.

Echeveria. This native to the desert comes in a range of colors and thrives in dry environments. Once the echeveria has dried out, it should only be watered. This succulent grows best in unglazed clay pots because the clay enables water to evaporate. Echeveria should be grown in full sun with well-drained soil for best results.

The Zebra Plant. The horizontal stripes that adorn the leaves of this eye-catching succulent give it its name. The zebra plant, which is neat, contained, and ideal for any little place, is around 5 tall and 6 wide. A modest amount of sunshine and water are needed for zebra plants.

Panda Tree. This plant has tiny white hairs that give it a fuzzy appearance. Panda plants, native to Madagascar, enjoy the dry winter air inside of heated dwellings. Just enough water, as needed, to prevent the leaves from shriveling

King of Thorns With the help of this lovely plant, add some color to your space. It can bloom all year long if exposed to enough sunlight, producing bracts that are red or yellow and enclosing the tiny flowers. Crown of Thorns prefers low to moderate watering requirements and should be grown in full sun.

Do succulents need direct sunlight?

Depending on the type, succulents need six hours of sunlight each day because they are light-loving plants. You might need to gradually expose newly planted succulents to full sun exposure or give shade with a translucent screen because they can burn in direct sunshine.

Where do succulents thrive in nature?

Succulents thrive in hot, arid conditions and don’t mind a little neglect due to their unique capacity to store water. They are therefore ideally suited to growing indoors and are the perfect choice for anyone looking for low-maintenance houseplants. Follow these instructions for successful plant care if you’re choosing succulents for the first time.

Select a succulent that will thrive in your indoor environment.

The majority of succulents need direct sunshine, however if your home only has a shady area, choose low light-tolerant plants like mother-in-tongue. law’s A trailing variety, like string of bananas, is an excellent option if you intend to grow your succulent in a hanging planter. To learn about your succulents’ requirements for sunlight, size, and spread, always read the plant labels.

Give the plants a good draining potting material.

You should repot your succulent as soon as you get it home since nurseries always plant their succulents in soil that is overly rich and holds too much moisture. A coarse potting mix with sufficient drainage and aeration is a good place to start. You can use an African violet mix or unique cactus and succulent mixtures that you can purchase at the nursery. Add perlite or pumice to the cactus or African violet mix (up to 50% of the total potting mix, depending on your particular succulent’s moisture requirements) to further increase drainage and prevent compaction. To make sure the mixture is moist throughout, always moisten it before using.

Decide on a container.

When repotting, use a container that has a drainage hole and is at least 1 to 2 inches larger than the nursery container. Avoid using glass containers (such mason jars or terrariums) for long-term potting since they prevent roots from breathing and over time may result in root rot. Place your plant inside the container and backfill with extra pre-moistened potting mix after filling the bottom one-third of the container with pre-moistened potting mix.

Put the succulent plant in a pot somewhere sunny.

Try to arrange your succulents close to a south or east-facing window because most succulents need at least six hours of sun each day. Insufficient sunlight may cause your succulents to become spindly or to extend toward the light.

Between waterings, allow the potting mix to dry out.

Overwatering succulents is the most common error people make with them. Watering more deeply but less frequently is preferable. Before the next watering, completely saturate the potting mix (while making sure the water drains out of the drainage hole properly). The plant can finally perish if the potting soil is left moist every day.

Succulents should be fertilized at least once a year.

Fertilizer works best for plants in the spring (when the days lengthen and new growth starts) and again in the late summer. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer (such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) that has been diluted to half the strength indicated on the container. Since succulents are semi-dormant in the winter, there is no need to nourish them. Because they are not actively growing, they do not require the nutrient boost.