If you’ve never had a green thumb and tend to kill everything you come across succulents might just be the answer to your gardening dreams. They’re definitely not fool proof (they can die so don’t go crazy just yet!) but they definitely thrive on neglect so they’re perfect for those of us who tend to *ahem ahem* forget to water plants for extended periods of time.
If you’re just started with succulents you might want to read our succulent 101 post first… go ahead. We’ll wait.
Back so soon?! Excellent!
I’ve had quite a few questions lately on actually planting succulents in arrangements… so I thought we’d go over it real quick. Don’t worry it’s pretty easy!
The first step is to pick your plants: I placed an order with Mountain Crest Gardens for this post and I absolutely loved all of the plants I received. Of course, if you’re looking for a list you can check out all of my favorite places to order succulents online right here!
Step 1: Gather your Supplies!
Once you’ve ordered your plants (or picked them up at a local nursery) it’s time to get started. There are plenty of containers made specifically for succulents (well, made specifically for plants) with holes in the bottom for water drainage however you can use just about any container you like.
I picked this large blue bowl to plant my succulents! Remember that succulents store water in their leaves and roots so if you plant them in a bowl without proper drainage remember to water smaller amounts more often so that the roots aren’t sitting in water.
I like to use a bamboo skewer as a water meter for my containers like this… simply leave the bamboo skewer in the pot and use it to check the moisture in the soil! If you pull the skewer out of the pot and it comes out clean then it’s ready for more water… if you pull the skewer out of the pot and it still has dirt clinging to it you’re good to go.
Step 2: Prep your Plants
Now that we’ve gathered our supplies it’s time to prep our plants. Typically if you order plants online they’ll arrive needing a little TLC. These are healthy plants but after being in the mail for a couple days (or even sitting on a nursery shelf) the bottom leaves will be a little… shall we say off?
See how the bottom leaves on the plant in the photo above are a little crispy? Wiggle those little brown leaves from side to side until they come off. It’s pretty easy but it helps the plant to be healthy and have more contact with the new soil… win win.
With succulents I try not to disturb the root ball too much but if there is a lot of loose dirt you can remove the excess before planting your succulent.
Step 3: Start Planting
Now it’s time to start planting your succulents! I have a post that goes into detail on planting succulents if you’re looking for a tutorial from start to finish but it’s pretty simple. Once each plant is prepped you’ll place it in the dirt and cover all of the roots!
Since we’re working on an arrangement think about what it will look like when you’re finished. You’ll want taller plants in the center of a round arrangement or the back of a rectangular one. Then fill in with larger rosettes or ground cover plants at the front.
Tip: If your order has little plant name stakes (like this one does!) tuck them into the soil next to the plant so that you remember the names!
Step 4: Watering
Now that your arrangement is finished the question is water or not to water. If your plants have been in the mail for a couple of days then go ahead and give them a drink. If you just picked them up from a nursery they’ve probably been watered recently (nursery’s tend to water their plants all on a set schedule… succulents included).
See the little leaf in the picture above? It’s yellow and squishy which means that plant has had too much water to drink and needs at least a few days if not a week before it’s watered again. If your plants leaves are brown and a little crispy (like the plant from up above where we did our prep work) then you know it’s dried out and is ready for water now.
The third option is the leaf below… that dark brown/black center in the middle of the leaf means it has root rot (or the beginning of root rot) and you may loose the plant. Root rot usually happens when a plant has way. too. much. water so definitely don’t water this guy. Leave it be for a week or two to dry out and you may be able to save it… it may not be savable though and at that point you’ll want to behead the plant and propagate the good leaves.
If you’ve ordered plants from a succulent specific store this is unlikely but at large nursery’s this is a common problem.
Step 5: Enjoy!
It really is that easy! Now that your plants are planted and watered (or not watered!) you’re all set. You can add a bit of moss to the top or even decorative stones.
Just take a look at all the pretty planters I was able to make with my newest order.
I’m in love!