Succulent arrangements combine color and texture into an organic, natural focal point and create a perfect centerpiece for a beach theme party or everyday home decor. These fleshy-leaf plants thrive in sunny, dry conditions, so they are as low-maintenance as they are pretty. In fact, succulents hate to get their roots wet, which is why it’s important to mix sand in with the potting soil: the sand makes the mixture more porous. Here are 5 easy steps to show you how to create your own succulent arrangement, including tips on choosing the ideal combination of plants.
What you’ll need:
- (1) Large, shallow pot or bowl
- Enough small clay pots to fill the bowl without crowding (we used 8). If the pots don’t already have a hole in the bottom, drill one.
- Potting soil mix
- Sand (you can buy white sand from a hardware store or, if you can, use clean sand from a beach)
- Decorative pebbles (available at craft stores; you can also use aquarium stones)
- One succulent plant for each small pot
How to Choose the Right Succulent:
Your local garden center will likely have an area devoted to succulents. Choose your plant based on your personal preference: to create a varied succulent arrangement, choose different heights, textures, and colors. To create a succulent arrangement with a more uniform appearance, select plants that resemble one another. Don’t worry about mixing styles, because pretty much all succulents will require the same type of care.
- Crown of Thorns
- Christmas Cactus
- Pincushion Cactus
All three of these succulents can blossom in the summer. When in bloom, be careful not to over-water them or the flower will droop. These succulents are all fairly tall, so they might be good choices for the middle of the arrangement.
- Burro’s Tail
- Aloe Vera
Both of these succulents have leaves that hang over the side and can grow fairly long, depending on the size of the plant. They’re a good choice for lining the edge of the succulent arrangement.
- The Jade Plant
- Panda Plant
- Hens-and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum or Echeveria elegans)
These succulents are among the most common choices for DIY succulent arrangements. They are compact plants with flat leaves of interesting shape and texture.
How to Create Your Succulent Arrangement
Step 1: Add Soil & Sand to the Small Pot
Fill each small pot 3/4 full with potting soil. Then, fill the rest of the pot with sand, leaving 1/2 inch on top for decorative pebbles.
Step 2: Mix the Soil & Sand
Mix the soil and sand thoroughly – use a tossing motion to increase airflow; then moisten lightly with water.
Step 3: Plant the Succulent
Remove each succulent from the nursery container and plant in the prepared pots.
Step 4: Add the Pebbles
Make sure the decorative pebbles are clean: you can rinse them if you need to, but make sure they are dry when you add them to the pot. Scatter the decorative pebbles over the top of each succulent pot to cover the soil/sand mixture. Not only do the pebbles add visual interest, they also keep the soil from splashing onto the leaves, which can scar if water touches them.
Step 5: Place the Pots into a Large Container
Place the tallest succulents in the center to create a nice focal point and surround them with the compact plants. Place your succulent arrangement in a sunny spot: succulents need 6-8 hours of sun per day.
Watering Tip: Water the succulents only when the soil is dry and concentrate the water at the base of the plant, not on the leaves.