For a good reason, succulents are wildly popular with beginning gardeners and seasoned horticulturalists. They come in a dazzling diversity of forms, colors, and varieties and do not need to be fussed over with frequent watering. Potted as patio accents or living centerpieces, succulents in containers can enhance your living spaces inside and out. Here are five ideas to help get you started.
1. Green Centerpiece
Lasting much longer than cut flowers, succulents planted as a green centerpiece can add interest to a room for years. Choose a shallow container and plant with various small-scale succulents like Echeveria, Sedum, and Sempervivum. Cluster your containers for greater impact.
While it is never recommended to plant in a container without a drainage hole for outdoor use, you can get away with it for low-water indoor container displays of succulents. Remember, you will need to be diligent about watering frequently but lightly, never allowing the soil to get soggy. Finally, to set your plants up to thrive, position your finished centerpiece in an area of your home that receives bright indirect light.
2. Jewel Box
Like a bowl of jewels or brightly colored candy, a container with various colorful succulents crowded together irresistibly tempts visitors to get a closer look. Start with a neutral-colored container and then plant a mixture of succulents together, keeping the spacing tight. Next, anchor larger ones like Echeveria and Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta) toward the center, allowing Sedum to trail over the edges. As succulents grow in and become more crowded, gently break off the succulent "pups" to use in other containers or areas of the garden.
3. Living Screen
The tiered planting troughs were constructed using wood boards lined with a pond liner (punctured with drainage holes) to prevent rotting. Easy-care succulents are an excellent choice for living walls and difficult-to-reach vertical applications, given that they are drought-tolerant and need little care. Here, the designer used a mix of Aeonium' Sunburst', Purple Rose (Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum), and trailing String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus).
4. Long-lasting Rosettes
Set in a tabletop container in an outdoor living room, Blue Rose Echeveria (Echeveria 'Imbricata') looks as decorative as a bouquet. Native to Mexico, Blue Rose Echeveria has a chalky coating over silvery-blue to pale pink and purple rosettes. It is much tougher than its appearance might suggest and needs only occasional water once established.
Keep it simple by planting a single variety of Sedum, like Golden Sedum (Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'), in a low bowl or a trio of shallow containers. Arrange the trio down the center of an outdoor table or along a sunny windowsill inside the house. Bright green Sedum looks as fresh and spring-like as moss but is far less fussy about growing, needing only occasional water to thrive.
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus