Sloat container designer Jennie Strobel heads up our custom planter program. She creates many of the succulent containers available in our stores. After years of planting up thousands of succulents, Jennie offers a few creative tips for putting together a lovely succulent container.
Will you plant an accent piece, centerpiece, small container, or teacup? Answers to these questions will help determine what size, and how many plants to include. See large succulent focal accent plants on pg 7. Will the container be kept indoors or out? Some plants do better outdoors, and some better in. We find that crassulas, sempervivum, haworthia senecios, and kalanchoe are more adaptable to indoor growing than others.
Does the container have drainage? If not, layering charcoal and gravel at the base will be needed. If you’re placing a non-draining pot outside, put it in a location where it won’t catch rainwater/sprinkler water.
2. Design ideas
Think about tones. A blue colored pot with blue-toned succulents is a very soothing and peaceful combination. Vibrant designs, such as a white pot with all bright green succulents are eye-catching. You can also mix it up by combining tones to represent many types of green.
Contrast textures. Combine large-leaved succulents with smaller leafed ones. They can complement each other. Every part of a succulent can regenerate. Jennie likes to break apart sempervivum or sedum, and then spread them throughout the pot, tucking the smaller pieces into small spaces to create a fuller look. See our suggestions (at left) for rooting succulents.
Succulents do not need much root space; Jennie recommends packing them tightly into a pot for a fuller look so that they resemble a bouquet. You can also pick 1-3 succulents per pot for more of a minimal look.
3. Caring for your container
All containers need to be assessed every 4-6 months. If plants are dying, yellowed, diseased, or not thriving, you may need to remove, replace, or prune them back.
E.B. Stone Cactus mix and E.B. Stone Sure Start for plantings. Grow More Cactus Juice Liquid Plant Food provides calcium and other nutrients to cacti and succulents. Mix 1 tsp plant food with 1 gal. water and drench the base of your plants to help keep them healthy. Succulents do best in part-sun (especially in hot regions).