Succulent Garden

Succulent garden in a cracked casserole dish

The cracked pottery dish was too beautiful to throw out. It acquired new life as a tabletop succulent garden.

Easy Pretty: -fill the dish with cactus potting mix.
                      -plant small succulents in the soil.
                      -add some decorative sand and rocks.
                      -water sparingly, place in sunny window.

Succulents in ceramic casserole dish
The plump leaves of succulents store moisture. These attractive plants don't need much water. Keep the soil on the very dry side, especially in winter. Mimic desert rainfall.  Douse the plant with water, like a quick flash of rain, and then let the potting mix dry out completely.

If the planter has no drainage holes, water sparingly only once every few weeks. Spritz the soil at the base of the plants, less in winter, more in summer. The roots of succulents are shallow. Too much water sitting around the roots will kill the plant. The ideal planters for succulents have drainage holes!

Place succulents in a sunny south window in winter. In northern Canada the winter sun is low and weak. Even though the succulents are not growing vigorously in winter, they need the sunshine. Rotate the planter every week, so all sides get sun.

Healthy and happy succulents in a southern window

Planter ideas

Vary heights, shapes and sizes of the succulents- for interest. Many varieties are available in local greenhouses, even in winter. 

Recycle. If using a damaged planter, place the damaged area at the back - or hide it with plants. 

Succulents can be planted close together, but they do like a little room to grow. Add sand, rocks, tiny statues, little pieces of driftwood for decoration. 

Don't use a layer of gravel at the bottom of a planter without drainage. Water pools in the gravel. Soggy roots kill the plants. Some people can grow succulents in pots without drainage holes by rarely spritzing the surface near the roots. I have been experimenting with  drainage stone (Bella Moss brand) in the bottom of planters without drainage. I have had some success. The key is to resist over watering. 

Amend regular potting mix by adding gravel, coarse sand and/or perlite to improve the drainage. A peat based soil alone will store too much moisture and kill the succulents.

Instead of planting directly into containers without drainage holes, modify a plastic plant pot to fit inside. Remove it to drain after watering.

It is possible to drill drainage holes into ceramic - very carefully! Research this if you want to give this a try.

To grow more succulents, gently tear or snap off a full healthy leaf and lay it on dry succulent soil, out of direct sun. Roots will grow from the base into the soil. Spritz the soil once the roots start to grow. 

A better idea - a clay pot with a drainage hole inside the casserole dish.

Succulent circles of beauty.