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The succulent garden has quickly become the interior garden of choice. Why? Well, they’re simple, easy to setup and maintain, and they don’t take up a lot of space. I love them because I often forget to water indoor plants. Ooops! And besides that, I travel often and indoor plants kind of need water when you’re away. I’m also too lazy to spend money on one of those self-watering jobbies. Anyone else find they don’t work?
Anyhou, back to the matter at hand! Creating your own simple and chic succulent garden is super easy. When I first thought about doing this, I was all over Etsy trying to find the perfect shallow ceramic bowl to create my garden in. After searching for hours, not finding what I wanted, or the price was way too high, I finally said screw this, I’ll find a cheaper way to do this! So I did.
How to create your own simple & chic succulent garden
Ready to have your own cute garden that fits with your lifestyle and décor? All right then, let’s do this! First, decide on your color palette and how many plants you’re going to have. Instead of doing a traditional succulent garden, where you cram six plants into one pot, I decided to do a collage of individual plants. I also wanted to create visual variety, so I not only chose different plants, but I chose different planters of varying sizes and heights.
What You’ll Need
- Bowls and/or teacups
- A platter (if you want a garden similar to mine)
- A variety of succulent plants
- Cactus Soil
- Decorative stones
- Garden shears or kitchen scissors
Total cost $48
$28 for cups, bowls and platter (I raided the clearance rack at Homesense)
$6 for soil (sadly, full price)
$2.50 for stones (used 50% off coupon at Michaels)
$2-4 each for succulents, $14 for all four.
FREE garden shears and moss I already had on hand.
Choose your planter(s)
I took an afternoon and headed to Homesense to find myself some bowls and teacups. I wanted a minimal look, so you’ll notice that they’re all around the same color with only the one teacup that has color and a pattern. I wanted elegant, chic and minimal. When choosing planters for succulents, it all depends on what type of arrangement you’re going for. Are you planting single plants or creating a visual display with multiple plants in a pot. Succulents love a drier environment and don’t take up much space so you can choose a shallower planter.
As you can see from the pic below, I raided the clearance section at Homesense for my selection of pots. I made sure to take my time and found a spot to set them up side by side to make sure they looked good together. You can find similar items from stores like Amazon, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, CB2 and so on. Just remember that you’re putting plants in these and don’t spend too much money!
Select Your Plants
There’s many places to get your plants from – online, florists, and greenhouses. In the end, I opted for a local greenhouse and florist to find a few different looking plants. The plants I ended up selecting are the more popular Hens and Chicks variety (Sempervivum tectorum, Pachyveria “Royal Flush” or Echeveria elegans). Most succulents are very hardy and can withstand you forgetting to water them now and then. Here’s a list of the top succulents to grow at home.
If you prefer a fuller arrangement, be sure to grab a few extra plants than you think you’ll need. Succulents don’t mind being crammed together and, as you’ll find out, one bowl I planted looks a little sparse. Nobody’s perfect!
Do a test run
What do I mean? Well, while the plants are still in pots, put them into your pot or teacup to “test” what they’ll look like. Decide whether the size of the plant works for the bowl or cup. You may find that one succulent will do (as I’ve done), or, you may need to add a few more plants to fill out your planter. It’s ultimately your choice. I decided on a less cluttered look and only one plant per bowl or cup.
Get Your Plants Ready
Start by gently removing your succulents from their pots. If a few leaves break off, don’t worry, this can happen. Then, gently break up the soil being careful not to break off the roots of the plant. Next, remove the dead leaves (if there are any) from the underside of the plants. A few extra leaves may need to come off, which is perfectly fine. Those more alive leaves can be used to propagate new plants.
Set aside your plants for now, we’re going to get their planters ready next.
Prep your planters
Succulents don’t like to sit in water. They’re from the cactus family and prefer dry sandy soil with lots of drainage. Start by putting a layer of decorative stones or filler in the bottom of your planters. Next, add a layer of either moss or sand. Finally, top off with cactus soil. You can fill the soil almost to the very top, as the plants don’t take up much space. If you prefer, you can add a layer of decorative stones to the top (once you complete the next step of course).
Plant your succulents
Next, with your fingers, dig a small hole or well where you want the plant and place the plant in the hole. With your fingers or a spoon, fill in the dirt around the plant. If necessary, sprinkle some more dirt around the plants and pat down gently.
DO NOT WATER!!
Freshly repotted succulents need a day or two to acclimate to their new soil and pot, so please, don’t go crazy and water just yet. Give them a day or so and then water. Now’s the time you can add your decorative stones to the top if you like. And yes, I made a mess!
Voila! You have your own simple & chic succulent garden!
Sadly, that one plant on the bottom left had a lot of dead leaves and didn’t take up as much of the bowl as I thought. I may find it a companion to share its bowl so it’s not so lonely. 🙂
Taking care of your new succulent garden
For me, plants are a form of self-care. It’s a way to bring nature inside. But, sadly, I have difficultly keeping many plants alive indoors. You too? Thankfully, succulents are very forgiving and hard to kill. Now that you’ve got your mini dream garden planted, let’s help you take good care of it and keep them happy.
Here are some basic tips for succulent care (plus more here):
Give them natural light. Succulents love bright light, so a sunny south facing window will do well for them. However, if you put them outside, avoid direct sunlight. Just like us, they’ll get sunburned. If you have them indoors in direct light and notice brown spots appearing, move them out of direct sunlight as the spots indicate sunburn.
Water, but not too much! Succulents prefer to have a good soaking then be left to dry out. Too much water is not good for succulents. They don’t like sitting in water and will be prone to their roots rotting.
Trim, propagate, and replant occasionally. Succulents actually enjoy being crammed together, but they will eventually get overgrown or cluttered with dead leaves. It’s okay to take them out, clean them up and replant. If you need to trim off the stalk, go for it! But, and this is a big but – wait one to two days before replanting. The plant needs time for the freshly cut stem to dry up and heal. If you plant right away, it will simply rot. Think of it like a cut on your hand – you want it to scab over to heal. If a cut stays open to water and dirt, it gets infected and rots. Same deal for succulents.
By the way, this succulent garden is a perfect mother’s day idea! Sweet, simple and you can match the teacups to your mother’s personality and style. Does she like old English cups? Go for it! Or, maybe something brighter.
Have you planted a succulent garden? Share your tips!
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