Looking to add some life to your home without having to put in too much effort? Why not try a succulent garden? These water-storing plants are perfect for those who want to enjoy the beauty of nature without having to put in too much work. Plus, they come in a wide variety of textures and colours, so you can easily find the perfect look.
You can plant succulents in your front yard or create an indoor garden using different pots and combinations of plants. With so many possibilities, it’s easy to find a design that suits your style. So why not give succulents a try?
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What is a succulent garden?
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance garden that is perfect for the first-time grower, succulents are a great option. These fleshy plants store water in their leaves and stems and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. They often have beautiful spirals, frills, and rosette patterns, and some even produce stunning flowers with breathtaking colour palettes.
Most succulent plants prefer mild climates where the temperature doesn’t get too hot or too cold. If you live in an area with frigid winters, you can grow your succulents in containers so you can bring them inside as houseplants. But if you live in a temperate area, succulent gardens can do well outside in your yard.
You’re already familiar with some succulents like plant families like cacti who are stem succulents. There are also the common Aloe and Agave who are leaf succulents and many many more.
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How to create a succulent garden
Take a look at the short list of materials you need to start your succulent garden:
- Choose the garden area you want to transform into a succulent garden.
- Choose the succulents (we will give you more details on how to choose them)
- A soil mix made up of organic matter and coarse drainage materials, such as sand, grit, pumice, perlite, small gravel, or crushed granite.
- A trowel for transplanting.
- Gardening gloves.
Get to know your plant’s hardiness zone
If you’re looking for a plant that can withstand extreme temperatures, succulents are a great option. However, it’s important to check your plant hardiness zone to ensure that the succulent you choose will be able to thrive in your climate. Some succulents, such as Sempervivums and Sedums, are more cold-hardy than others and can tolerate freezing temperatures. These varieties make great ground covers and don’t need to be brought inside during winter.
Choose the right spot
If you’re considering adding some succulents to your home, it’s important to find the right spot for them first. Pay attention to the amount of sunlight the area gets as well as its size – this will help you determine which plants will thrive there and how many you should buy.
Different succulents have different sun requirements. Some do best in full sun, others in partial sun, and some in shade. For example, snake plants and jade plants can tolerate some shade, while aloe, aeoniums, and agave prefer plenty of sunlight.
Choose the right soil
To ensure your succulents stay healthy, make sure to plant them in well-draining soil. Wet or moist soil can lead to root rot, so it’s important to choose a sandy, well-drained option. You can even grow succulents in rock gardens!
Get creative with succulent arrangements
You will want to arrange your plants in the garden while they’re still in their pots. Putting them in place will help you visualize the final result and make any design changes you need. This way, you can also avoid having to replant them later on.
Once you’ve got your plants positioned the way you want them, take a step back and evaluate your work. If you’re happy with the overall look, then congratulations—you’re ready to create your very own succulent garden!
Transplant your succulents
Succulents are a great addition to any home, and transplanting them is easy! Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll have your succulents transplanted in no time.
First, gently remove your succulent from the nursery pot. Tap or brush the roots to remove any excess soil. Sometimes the nursery potting mix doesn’t allow for proper drainage, so it’s important to ensure the roots are free of clinging soil. If you need to cut or break some of the roots to remove the nursery potting mix, that’s okay.
Once the roots are clear, let them dry for about a day. This will help them adjust to their new environment. When you’re ready to transplant, simply place your succulent in the desired location and lightly cover them with soil.
Watering your succulents
Caring for your succulents doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with just a little bit of care, you can keep your plants healthy and happy. Here are some tips on how to water and care for your succulents.
Succulents are different from other plants in that they don’t need as much water. In fact, it’s best to wait a day or two after planting before watering them. This gives the roots time to heal and adjust.
When you water your succulents, ensure the soil is completely dry. Check the top layer of the soil. If it’s moist, you don’t need to water the plant, but if the soil is dry, water deeply and let it dry out completely before watering again. As a general rule of thumb, you should water your succulents once every week or two.
An overwatered succulent’s leaves will typically appear soft, mushy, and translucent; an underwatered succulent’s leaves will look wrinkled.
Ideas for gardening with different kinds of succulents
Because of their evolution, some succulents and cacti look very outlandish and you can use this feature to create specific designs and landscapes that approach gardening from a fresh and original angle. Due to the wide variety of succulents and cacti, you have many forms, shapes, sizes and colours to choose from. You can say you have a rich palette of plants to paint your gardens.
Succulents may look great in various pots. These succulents are in a beautiful clay pot providing them with enough space to grow and thrive. Here is a list of the used plants:
- Haworthia cooperi
- Echeveria ‘Violet Queen’
- Jade Plant
- Pachyveria clavata
You can use contrasting shapes sizes to create rhythm and diversity in your garden
Succulents have a wide variety of sizes. From small thorns and shrubs to full size palms and trees. They can be combined in multiple layers to achieve diversity in your garden. Because each plant has evolved to develop water-saving and drought resistant features, their body parts like leaves and stems take on different shapes. You can use that to guide the eyes into the accents of your garden. Additionally, you can create visual rhythm, by alternating the order of your plants.
A combination of rosette plant forms and an upright “tree” results in a pleasing succulent grouping that will last for several years with little care. Here is a list of the used plants:
- Echeveria Blue Cloud
- Dwarf Jade Plant
You can combine succulents with almost any container and pot out there
You can use a combination of plants to create miniature gardens in large planters. If you live in a flat and have little space to spare for plants at home, an arrangement of succulents in your windows box can be an amazing solution.
Succulents have little requirements for soil, except that it must drain well. That makes them a perfect candidate to try out an arrangement with gravel and colourful stones.
Remember where your succulents come from. When designing a landscape with succulents, often establishing a desert feel can make the garden so much more appealing.
Succulent plants can combine well with other garden features and decorations. You can use them on the sides of your patio to frame the pathways around your garden.
Succulents are superb plants for vertical design, hanging or living walls
Most succulents are relatively low-rise plants and are somewhat rigid in the sense that they can support their body weight very well. That factor, combined with the low irrigation requirements, makes them an excellent choice for vertical arrangements.
Living walls have been one of the hot trends in interior design for the last couple of years. Succulent plants play a major role as the common pick for such designs. It’s suitable for large surface arrangements and single, minimalist designs.
How to care for your succulent plants
Here some quick tips on caring for your succulent plants. If you’re just starting with gardening, we suggest a more thorough growing guide by Succulents and Sunshine.
Succulents are amazing plants that have evolved to survive in dry conditions. This means that they don’t need to be watered as often as other house plants and in fact, can suffer from too much water. For most succulents, the rule is to water from spring to autumn only and allow the soil to dry out between watering. However, some succulents have more specific watering requirements, so always check the watering needs of your succulents before watering.
Provide plenty of light
Succulents are known for their ability to thrive in dry, well-lit conditions. However, some varieties do best in full sun, while others, like Haworthia truncata, prefer a slightly shaded position. When selecting succulents for your home or garden, be sure to research the individual plant’s requirements. If the leaves turn brown or you see brown spots on the stem, it’s a sign that they get too much light. And if you find that your succulent isn’t thriving in its current location, don’t hesitate to try moving it to see if it does better elsewhere.
Mulch the compost
Succulents thrive in dry conditions, so adding a layer of mulch to their pots helps create the perfect environment. Covering the compost with horticultural grit, shells, or another dry material will help to prevent the soil from over-drying. This also stops the damp compost from coming into contact with the leaves, which can cause them to rot.
Protect in winter
There are two main types of succulents – hardy and soft. Hardy succulents can tolerate frost and can stay outdoors even in below-freezing temperatures. In fact, they often grow better outdoors than indoors! Soft succulents, on the other hand, are not frost tolerant and must be brought indoors before nighttime temperatures get too low. However, they are happy to go back outside when the warm weather returns.
Use the right potting soil
Most potted succulents you can find will come in a standard soil mix. The problem with the standard potting soil is that it’s too heavy and soaks too much water. That’s why it’s essential to use well-draining, low-nutrient soil. Plenty of succulent-ready potting soil mixes provide the optimal condition for growing.
Choose the right pot
Pots made from terracotta or ceramic are the best choice for succulents. These materials are breathable, allowing proper water drainage and air circulation. Plastic is non-porous and does not allow moisture or oxygen to pass through, meaning that plastic planters retain moisture for much longer than terracotta planters. If you tend to forget to water your plants, plastic may be a safer option than clay.
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