Succulent plants are a fast and easy way to add life to a room, patio or backyard. Succulents don’t need a lot of work or know-how to keep alive. They do well inside your home, in a flower pot or outside in a porch planter.
The more popular larger succulents include cactuses, aloe vera and agave and are great to grow outside because they tend to be larger plants. Smaller succulents are lesser known like Plush Plants, clumping Sedums, Hens and Chicks and Stonecrop. These range from pale yellow to deep purple and all the colors between and just as easy to care for.
These plants add charm to your home with very little effort. With some flower pots or a raised flower bed, you can add a unique appeal to the front porch or a private retreat in your backyard.
Create a unique succulent garden
You can have a raised garden bed or box planter filled with succulents. They will greet your guest at your front walkway or right outside your backdoor. With a raised garden bed you can give your succulents everything they need. But, there are a few things that you have to think about to help them survive:
- Protection from weather – A lot of succulents have a hard time with extreme hot and cold, high humidity and too much rain. Also, succulents can get sunburned! They only need 4-6 hours of sun each day. It could be harmful if the sunlight is too direct for too long. A covered patio or a greenhouse might be needed.
- Insects and pests – Mealybugs and aphids are known to destroy most plants, including succulents. The leaves on a succulent have a lot of water and nutrients which makes them an easy target for pests.
- Mineral deficiency and disease – Because it is so easy to overwater succulents, root problems happen often. Cochineal scales are white patches that can destroy your succulent if not caught fast enough.
This means that a little more time and energy is needed for the care of succulent gardens in a box planter or raised bed. But, if that is something that you are interested in, wonderful! Your next step should be to Aventura Nursery to get professional advice and all your basic needs to get started. Here are a few other things you think about:
- Do you have a boring space?
A succulent garden does not need much room. You only need 4” of soil and ½” to 1” apart from other plants.
- What succulents do you like?
Some succulents, like cactus, are easy to identify. Some look like flowers. Some are different from anything that you have ever seen!
- What colors do you like?
Are you looking for pops of color? Putting a purple succulent next to bright yellows and pinks can work wonders! Colorful rocks, sand or mulch at the base of the plant can also provide the wow factor.
DIY to a unique container garden
Trays, bowls, pots or decorative planters
If a planter box or raised flower bed seems like too much work, you could keep succulents in pots and place all the different pots in the same area. A container garden would allow you to create a similar look and fill an empty space.
First step is to look for attractive containers.
Terracotta-The Gold Standard
Terracotta pots are better suited for succulents because they hold the right amount of water inside and have a large hole in the bottom to drain extra water. Since too much water can be harmful to succulents, terracotta pots are helpful in making sure there is enough water in the pot. Just water once in a while until the soil is damp if it feels too dry. The pot will do the rest of the work!
Glass and ceramic-Touch of color and class
Glass and ceramic pots work well if you are careful not to over water. These containers might not have holes on the bottom to drain water. Also, since glass and ceramic are smoother they can hold more water compared to terracotta pots. With enough skill and the right drill bit, you may be able to drill a hole in the bottom yourself. The holes on the bottom are important, but not necessary. If that is not an option, special care will have to be taken to only water when the soil is dry. One noteworthy ceramic is talavera pottery or a spanish pot. It has a lot of detail and stunning colors that will brighten any area!
Other materials-Let your creativity run wild!
With some preparations, you could also use stones, steel or even driftwood. Reused glass bottles, jelly jars and used candle holders look great. Even aluminum cans could be used because they don’t rust and are easy to add holes! If you happen to find an adorable plastic bottle, great! With a small budget, you can go visit a local thrift store. You will find things like small teacups and antique containers and large pots.
Are you an extreme money saver?
You can keep the plastic grow pot that came with the plant and decorate the outside of it with bits of rope or cloth, leftover wallpaper, or recycled materials. Having different containers with different plants can easily fill small areas with dazzling colors and textures. Mixing and matching different colors, shapes and sizes make larger ordinary areas very appealing.
Use size to create a unique container garden
Here are some ideas for container planting:
Different shapes and sizes of succulent plants
If you have a large enough space, you can make something amazing with all of the different varieties of succulents and their colors. Larger arrangements tend to be better looking. With the exception of cactus, most succulents don’t grow very tall, but some can get really wide. Using a larger plant as a centerpiece and smaller succulents around it is very eye-catching.
Different shapes and sizes of containers
Porches and patio areas can also be filled with planters of different heights. A taller planter brings the succulent up closer to your guests. Having two or three tall planters with different heights will easily brighten any dark space or corner. If your succulents have different needs you could repurpose ordinary water bottles to separate them in a larger pot.
Bakers racks or shelves are a great way to display succulents in a limited space. One thing to consider when using shelves is the weather when placed outside. A porch or a patio would be a great place for a shelf because of the amount of protection from the elements and weather. Old birdbaths and fountains are other cool ways to create a unique garden.
Hanging planters is another way to use the higher unused space on your front patio. Many of the Sedum variety of succulent plants like String of Pearls or Donkey Tails are able to hang nicely from a hanging planter. Hoyas also work well in hanging planters and they bloom!
Don’t be afraid to trust yourself. There is no wrong way to arrange a succulent garden. The key to creating a container garden is to find succulents that share similar needs, make sure to avoid overwatering and, like all plants, make sure to give to light. The moment you start you will see how easy succulent gardens are and it will be an arrangement unlike any other.
All of your succulent plants, soil and containers are available at Aventura Nursery! They have knowledgeable nurserymen who can help you find what you need to make your unique arrangement for your Florida home and they are always ready to help.