How To Design a Mini Succulent Garden

January 1, 2016

Succulents are having a huge moment in the garden and design world. Surely part of their sudden popularity is due to their easy care and water-conserving traits, but these little guys could get by on their good looks alone. Succulents are cool, effortless and interesting. Using them as accents in your home or work will instantly give your space an on-trend makeover, and there are so many succulent varieties and parings to choose from that each arrangement is unique and special in its own right.

Mini succulents are especially fun to work with, as they can be paired in one large planter to create a unique desertscape, or divide and conquer in individual pots. Perched on windowsills, tabletops or at bedsides, succulents leave an impression with interesting textures, shapes and colors that wow guests without demanding much maintenance.

Follow these easy steps to create your own mini succulent garden:

First, choose plants and containers.

One of the most important parts of your succulent garden are the pots or planters that will house your miniature plants! Selecting the right containers will set the tone and layout of your mini garden. Plants arranged in larger pieces will work together to create a cohesive desertscape; while breaking up your mini garden into several little pots will allow you to spread the accents around your indoor dwelling. Here are some suggestions for containers and plants that work well together:

  • A shallow wide-mouthed planter like the Montana Bowl Planter is a stylish and versatile way to display your succulents. The circular shape allows every angle to have a different view. Choosing plants that contrast in color and shape will make for a more interesting exhibit. A mix of low growing succulents like hen-and-chicks in the firebird variety, matched with miniature pine trees for some added height and a string of beads to spill over the side, makes for an eclectic centerpiece.
  • The Marseille Bowl Planter fits the bill for a kitchen island or as a café table topper. Pale sedum with its pinecone look, placed juxtaposition to the spiky flat features of Queen Victoria agave, will finish nicely with a touch of red from echeveria in the Mauna Loa variety.
  • The Mataro Round Vessel has a distinctive and sophisticated air that downloads as high style when paired with succulents. Cobweb houseleeks look like tiny tight pebbles and creeping sedum blooms yellow against the thrill of a dwarf century plant.
  • Organic containers like the River Rock Planter creates a seamless marriage between plant and pot. The natural look of this planter will finish a minimalist theme nicely and breathe some life into the less-is-more approach.

In addition to plant containers, you’ll need potting soil, pebbles, a soup spoon and gloves. Optional extras include newspaper, sand, river rocks, and an unused paintbrush.

Get Planting:

Once you’ve got your container and plants, it’s time to assemble your garden! Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your planters have drainage holes in the bottom. Cover the bottom of the planter with 1″ of pebbles to prevent the holes from clogging with dirt.
  2. Add a thin layer of soil.
  3. Time to get on those gloves! For an extra layer of protection for your hands and the plant, wrap in newspaper while handling. Play around with arrangements, grouping tallest together and leaving about ½” between plants. Spoon the soil to completely cover the root ball.
  4. Level the soil at the base of each plant, cover surface with desired effect (pebbles/sand/rocks).
  5. Water until topsoil is damp. Let soil dry between watering.
  6. Use paintbrush to dust off any soil or sand caught in spines or hairs of the succulents.

How you arrange your succulents up to you, but it’s hard to go wrong. A grouping of small planters in odd numbers is both pretty and pleasing. One variety per pot lets the plant really take center stage. The ease of a succulent mini garden makes it a fantastically easy way to add flair anywhere. Just a warning: this hobby can be addictive!