Succulents are all you need to create easy-to-care-for container gardens. Tough desert species like Echeveria, Agave, Sedum, and Kalanchoe are colorful and resistant to heat, drought and neglect. Almost any vessel can be used to create a cool succulent container garden. Just make sure it provides good drainage. A leaky birdbath, colander, a rusty bucket, or even an old lunchbox will do. Vintage and salvaged finds pair perfectly with the funkiness shapes and colors of succulents. If your container doesn’t have an escape route for water, drill or puncture several holes in the bottom. Cover the existing or added holes with wire screen to keep your soil from washing away. Follow the simple steps below to create your own succulent container garden today.
To get started, fill your container with potting soil, or a mix made for cacti. It’s important to use the right soil for your plants to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients and drainage to keep them healthy. Cactus potting soil is designed to keep roots from sitting in too much moisture, which can cause rot that will kill your succulents. You can make your own potting soil for succulents by mixing potting soil, course sand and perlite (a soil amendment that looks a bit like crushed foam) in a 3:2:1 ratio.
Dig a hole the depth of the nursery pot, remove the plant, and set it in the hole pressing down the soil with your hands to eliminate air pockets. Succulents are slow growers so go ahead and fill the container space by putting plants shoulder-to-shoulder if you like a very filled look, or give them some breathing room and fill the empty space with rocks or glass pebbles.
Once you’ve finished planting, go ahead and give your succulents a good drink, but don’t overwater. Always let the soil thoroughly dry out between waterings and then soak them. A simple finger test will tell you when it’s time to water again. The great thing about succulents is they can go a week or more without water so you don’t have to worry about them dying while you’re on vacation!
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