Our Favorite Ways to Display Succulents
No flowers? No big deal. These plants have color and texture.
Summer heat can be hell on patio planters, but you can still have a drought-tolerant display. Use succulents! These distinctive plants tolerate conditions that would fry ordinary annuals. What's more, you can carry them over as houseplants in the winter. Get inspired with the photos below; learn the techniques in a related article, Growing Succulents in Containers.
Each of the succulent planter ideas below are designed by Lisa Brown, who manages our garden center in Burlington, Vermont.
Shallow containers flatter succulents
This chicken wire planter with coir liner is ideal for succulents due to its free-flowing drainage. If you use a solid, shallow container like a terra cotta plant tray, place a layer of gravel at the bottom and place it where it won't fill with rainwater.
Create an outdoor centerpiece
Even a small container can support a variety of interesting succulents, including two types of kalanchoe, echeveria and a spiky dudleya. Decorative gravel covers the soil surface.
This planter has a drainage hole, so it's OK to leave it out in the rain. During periods of extended rainfall, consider moving the planter to a protected location until dry weather returns.
Use terra-cotta pots to create a playful pyramid of drought-tolerant plants. "I actually used a Christmas cactus in this one," Lisa says. "I hope it will bloom." Though not technically a succulent, this planter includes peperomia. "It likes to dry out between waterings — similar conditions to succulents."
Consider hanging baskets
Include some plants with a cascading habit, such as some types of sedum, string-of-pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) and donkey tail spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites). To ensure that the plants thrive, this Sedona Hanging Basket is filled with fast-draining succulent mix instead of regular potting soil.
Pack 'em in
Because most succulents are relatively slow-growing, you can plant densely and have an abundant look right from the start. Featured plants: haworthia, echeveria and peperomia. This River Rock Planter is sold with and without drainage holes. If you opt for no drainage, be sure to line the bottom with a layer of gravel.
Even office-dwellers who are forgetful about watering can nurture a succulent planter. The spiky dudleya in this planter can withstand a little neglect and remain perky.
No time for DIY?
This handsome planter comes planted and ready to grow. This shallow planter, created by Beds & Borders, features sedum, echeveria and a near-black aeonium. A sunny site is all it needs.
Last updated: 12/13/2022
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