What To Plant Succulents In

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.

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.


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.

Can I grow succulents in ordinary potting soil?

I’ll address some of the most prevalent queries concerning succulent soil in this section. Ask your question in the comments section below if you can’t find it here.

Can you use regular potting soil for succulents?

For succulents, you could probably use ordinary potting soil. It might work quite well, especially if you frequently forget to water your plants or if they are small. However, make sure the soil thoroughly dries out in between waterings to prevent them from rotting.

What happens if you plant succulents in regular potting soil?

Succulents planted in normal potting soil run the danger of being overwatered. Your succulents may quickly decay if the soil absorbs too much moisture.

What is the difference between potting soil and succulent soil?

The components and consistency of succulent soil and regular potting soil are different. Succulent dirt is permeable and created to drain very rapidly, unlike regular potting soil, which is composed of organic ingredients that hold onto moisture.

Making my own potting soil helps me save a ton of money, plus my succulents thrive in it. Your succulents will flourish now that you are aware of the ideal soil to use and have my formula for creating your own.

Is there anything you can grow a succulent in?

Succulents need a soil that drains effectively because they don’t like to sit in wet soil for very long. The best soil for succulents enables quick water and air exchange in the plant’s root system. I prefer to use a mixture of perlite and cactus potting mix. Perlite is used for increased aeration and drainage. I often use a potting mix to perlite ratio of 1:1 or 2:1. I use an eyeball method rather than precise measurements. For improved drainage, you can also include coarse sand in the mixture (1:1:1 solution of potting mix, perlite and coarse sand). Your soil should be as porous as possible to let all the extra moisture to drain out, depending on how humid your area is.

You can, indeed. In fact, I used a typical all-purpose potting mix when I planted my very first succulent container garden because I had no idea any better. The plants are still flourishing now and have been in the same container for at least seven years as of the time I am writing this. That’s because other factors, including watering practices and sunlight, affect how well your plants do in general.

However, giving your succulents the best potting mix from the start will increase the likelihood that they will survive and thrive.

It is better to amend the soil with drainage when using ordinary potting soil for succulents. Pumice or perlite should be added to the mixture in a 2:1 potting mix to perlite ratio.

Yes. Succulents can be grown in pots without holes, though it is not recommended. Simply put, you need to water your succulents more carefully because there won’t be anyplace for the surplus water to escape, making your plants more prone to root rot. The succulents I have in pots without drain holes are growing and performing well. I also prefer to submerge all of my succulents more often than I overwater them.

If you anticipate a lot of rain, keep in mind to relocate the plant to a shaded area so it doesn’t drown in the water that collects in the pot. When this occurs, empty the pot’s extra water and let the plant dry off. To avoid rot, don’t water again until everything is absolutely dry.

Giving succulents a healthy drink of water and then leaving them alone until the soil feels dry is the general rule when watering succulents. Before you give the plant another drink, the top inch of the soil must feel dry. For the record, I live in a dry area and water my outside succulent plants around every 14 days in the fall and winter and once every 7–10 days in the summer. When it rains a lot in the winter in my location, I completely stop watering. You don’t need to water as frequently if your plants are indoors or if you live in a humid environment.

Visit my post on “How to Grow Succulents in Pots Without Drainage Holes” to learn more about how to keep your succulents alive in pots without drainage holes.

Yes is the reply once more. Succulents have innate survival mechanisms that enable them to endure severe environments for extended periods of time. This is due to the fact that they thrive in environments where the majority of other plants cannot. Succulents will eventually look for moisture and send out air roots if they are planted in merely rocks without any soil or moss.

Succulents are able to survive in this state indefinitely. To allow some of the water to be absorbed by the plant and prevent it from entirely drying out, mist the plants on occasion, aiming towards the base or the roots. No matter how well you take care of the plant, eventually it will look for a better environment to flourish in. Just take the plant out of the rock and place it in some appropriate potting soil.

How To Plant a Succulent Container Garden:

Check to verify if the plants will fit in the pot before you start planting. This also helps you decide which plants will look better next to which or how the plants will blend together in the pot. Before you begin planting, you begin to mentally picture where each plant will go in the pot.

  • Suitable potting mix should be added to the pot (see above for suggestions).
  • Plants should be taken out of their nursery pots.
  • Take part of the plant’s dirt out. Simply mix up the old dirt a little to release the root ball; you don’t need to remove everything.
  • Work your way down the pot starting at the back. Start by placing the taller plants toward the rear.
  • Plant the sides and center after that, and finally the front. Potting soil should be used to fill in any gaps and should be compacted around the plants to keep them in place.
  • Topsoil. To give it a more polished and finished appearance, you might add topsoil. When I noticed that adding topsoil was keeping the soil too wet and preventing it from drying up quickly, I stopped using it. I also like to keep tabs on how my plants are doing, and without the topsoil it is simpler to see plainly. You can decide for yourself which option is best for you because it’s a personal decision.
  • Until the plant is completely dry, give it a good watering. Some individuals choose to hold off on watering their newly potted succulents for a few days. Some folks immediately water the plants. Depending on the condition of the plants, I personally do both. Some plants are extremely damp when they are first bought because they might have been overwatered in their previous environment. In that scenario, I hold off on watering for a few days. I immediately water the plants if they are dry. Use your judgment.

Ideally, you should leave a small space (maybe an inch or two) between each succulent to allow for growth and expansion. However, you don’t want the plants to be sitting in too much soil or with too much space between them. This may result in issues like the soil becoming excessively wet. The pot can hold more moisture the more soil it has. Therefore, you should take care to avoid using a pot that is too big for the plants you have.

On the other hand, if that is the appearance you are looking for, you can completely fill the pot and not leave an inch of gap in between the succulents. When succulents are packed closely together in a container, they will survive. Although the plants can stay in that configuration for a longer period of time, they won’t expand and grow as much when they are densely packed.

Personally, I prefer to give my plants room in the pot so they may develop and thrive on their own. I enjoy watching my offspring develop and proliferate on their own. But some folks prefer the compact appearance. It truly gives it a lovely, polished appearance. You can place your succulents close together or a few inches apart and they will be OK as long as they are not sitting in too much soil.

With a front and a rear, this configuration works particularly well for pots that are meant to be viewed from one side. These containers are typically placed outdoors next to other pots or against a wall or fence.

The rear would look fantastic with tall plants or plants that grow even higher. Avoid having towering plants block the sun from reaching the smaller, shorter plants. A quick and simple solution is to just pull the plant out and repot it somewhere else, as I did with mine, if you make a mistake and discover later that the plant you planted directly in the center of the planter can grow incredibly tall and block the smaller plants.

My plants here in “Revamping an Overgrown Succulent Fairy Garden” experienced this. Some of my plants began to etiolate or stretch because I had plants that grew to be very tall and huge.

Tall plants can be positioned in the center of your container if it is not against a wall and can be seen from all sides because they won’t be obstructing any of the other plants.

Generally, if they don’t become too big, you want to put your main plant or plants in the middle. Place them in the back if they become tall. The plants in the middle should be a good medium size—not too little, not too tall. For your container garden to have a focal point, you want these plants to have appealing, intriguing, or uncommon appearances. It is entirely up to you to decide which plant you believe should be the focal point.

You don’t want your plants to stretch to get more sunshine, as was previously indicated. Smaller or shorter plants will thrive in the front where the sun can hit them and there won’t be any plants blocking them to prevent this from happening.

If your plants hang, trail, or cascade down the pot as they grow, placing them on the pot’s front or sides will allow them to do their thing and flow out of the pot as they expand as they should.

When describing what kinds of plants to put in container gardens, these three terms are frequently employed. These three elements should be present in the pot, although they are not necessary. In a nutshell, thrillers are plants that heighten the scene by growing tall. The plants that take up the majority of your pot are called fillers. Small and medium-sized plants like these are what fill your planter. Plants known as “spillers” dangle or trail and appear best from the front or sides.

Prepare the plants you intend to utilize and your pot. Test-fit the plants in the pot to check how they fit and seem.

Beginning at the top, work your way down. Taller plants should be placed toward the back of the pot.

Place smaller plants in front and mid-sized plants in the center. Plants that trail or hang should be placed on the pot’s front or sides.

The plants in this container garden are:

Elephant bushes and miniature pine trees, Portulacaria afra and Crassula tétragona, respectively, grow tall, thus they were put in the back.

In the middle of the pot is a Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ (Gollum Jade Plant). This medium-sized plant gives the arrangement interest and drama.

Oscularia pendunculata and Graptosedum ‘Francesco Baldi’ are the plants on the left. These two plants will later look fantastic cascading down the side of the pot because their stems have a tendency to grow long and lanky.

Anacampseros Rufescensa, a low-growing succulent with lovely rainbow-colored leaves, is the plant on the right. This enhances the arrangement’s attractiveness and color pop.

Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor,’ a low-growing succulent with fuzzy leaves, is the plant in the front. looks fantastic from the front and gives the arrangement a unique texture.

You now have it. These are the fundamental factors you must take into account when establishing a succulent container garden. You may benefit from these container gardens for many years to come with just a little work.