How to Make a Mini Succulent Garden for a Portable Potted Display

You can enjoy your own succulent pocket garden regardless of how little space you have. Here's how to create a mini succulent garden in a pot.

Succulents are known for their vibrant colors and delicate textures. Use these drought-tolerant plants to create a miniature garden that mimics a full-size desert landscape. This succulent garden DIY is perfect for an outdoor centerpiece. We used a few rocks, dozens of succulents, and surface covers with various textures and colors to create this bright container garden. Because this display relies on succulent plants, it's easy to care for, too!

Mini succulent container
Ed Gohlich.

Supplies Required

  • 18-inch-diameter, 8-inch-deep pot
  • Cactus mix potting soil, small bag
  • Five fist-size rocks
  • Dwarf Euphorbia milii (half gallon)
  • 25 succulent cuttings, assorted
  • Crushed black lava rock
  • White pumice (to go under blue tumbled glass)
  • Light blue tumbled glass
woman holding soil in container on table at garden
Ed Gohlich.

Step 1: Prep Pot

Fill the pot nearly to the top with cactus mix potting soil—it provides the amount of drainage succulents need. You can find a cactus mix sold at any nursery or garden center.

woman placing stones on soil in container at garden
Ed Gohlich.

Step 2: Place Rocks

Place an odd number (three or five) fist-size rocks on the surface of the soil. Put them close to each other and off-center to suggest natural terrain.

woman standing by potted plants on table in garden
Ed Gohlich.

Step 3: Start Planting

Add a high plant, also off-center, into the container garden. We recommend a dwarf Euphorbia milii cultivar, but there are plenty of other options you can try.

woman trimming succulents to put in planter
Ed Gohlich.

Step 4: Fill Container

Tuck in small rooted succulents and cuttings so they appear to have grown among the rocks. Vary the plant colors and textures, and arrange so no soil shows.

woman pouring gravel in container with succulent plants on table
Ed Gohlich.

Step 5: Finish Succulent Garden

Add contrasting hues of black lava rock and white pumice to cover remaining bare soil, then add crushed, tumbled glass atop the pumice for sparkle in the topmost layer.

Succulent Plant Care

Give the succulent container garden half a day of sun in all but desert areas, or keep it in dappled shade. Water it thoroughly twice a month and protect it from excessive rainfall lest the plants rot. Overwinter the potted succulent garden indoors if temperatures in your area drop below freezing. Gradually introduce it to greater sunlight in spring to avoid sunburn.

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