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Gardening With Succulents

Updated on February 27, 2015

Gardening With Succulents

Gardening with succulents is a wonderful way to add attractive, low maintenance plants to your backyard garden and landscape. They come in an amazing array of colors and forms. Low-growing types, spreading varieties and larger specimens all lend to add interest to your sunny spot!

Succulent is a term that classifies a very large group of plants that have developed the ability to conserve moisture. They are able to survive extended periods of drought, or your accidental neglect. Plants in this category are able store water a number of impressive ways.

Moisture is stored in the succulent plant’s stems, their roots, or their leaves. Their motto: We Thrive on Neglect! Succulents have gained in popularity simply because they are so easy to grow and care for. They are as beautiful as they are indestructible!


Succulents Survive!

These plants survive harsh summer conditions that would prove fatal to other plant varieties. From the arid deserts of North America, to the vast remote plains of Africa ~ succulents survive! Not only do they endure . . . they thrive!

Succulent plants sport a variety of leaf forms and growth habits. Thick canoe paddle-like leaves, small teardrop leaved plants that cascade, and tall or spiky leafed focal point plants, even little rosettes that spread for groundcover. Each is so interestingly individual, and may be planted to stand alone on its own, or combined for a carefree combination garden planter.

Many succulent varieties are widely known to many backyard gardeners already. Agave and Aloe are probably names that readily come to mind. Sedum is another plant family that may be placed in this category as well, but research your specific variety’s cultural information to verify its hardiness.

Succulents In A Dish Garden

Succulent Dish Garden ~ Mixing Color and Leaf Forms.
Succulent Dish Garden ~ Mixing Color and Leaf Forms. | Source

Succulents in Containers

Succulents Are Low Maintenance Plants

Their ease-of-care make succulents a great choice for hard to grow full sun areas. They need not be limited to a garden location. Trailing varieties make wonderful hanging baskets. They can enjoy life as a stand alone specimen, or gathered together sharing a combination garden planter. If space is a concern . . . try mixing just a few succulents together in a smaller planter and create a colorful dish garden.

Keep in mind what they require, and sit back and admire!

A Jade In The Pansies

A mini Jade planted among Pansies.
A mini Jade planted among Pansies. | Source

Potting Mix

Dranage is the key to succulent success. Select a soil mix that allows water to drain well. You may also amend standard potting soil with additional components that aid in draining the water away. Perlite, sand and pea gravel will increase aeration of the roots and allow the pot to drain better. If your planter lacks drainage holes, add them. I prefer to use containers that have large drainage holes, and I place coffee filters at the base of the pot prior to filling it with soil. This helps to contain the soil within the pot. The water escapes while the soil remains!

Potted Succulent

Lazy Lizard Planter ~ Sempervivum ~ Hens & Chicks.
Lazy Lizard Planter ~ Sempervivum ~ Hens & Chicks. | Source

Light Exposure

Succulents prefer nice bright light. They love a sunny place with direct sunlight. Monitor their progress after transplanting into a sunny garden spot or windowsill ~ if the move was sudden. They are susceptible to scorching if not tempered to adapt to it’s new well-lit home. If it can’t be a gradual moving out, then provide semi-shade until your succulents become accustomed to their new surroundings. Once they shake off a bit of transplant shock, they should settle in right at home in their new location.

Close-up Of Sempervivum - Hens And Chicks
Close-up Of Sempervivum - Hens And Chicks | Source


Succulents are not heavy feeders. However, during summer’s growing season succulents do benefit from receiving a diluted liquid fertilizer. The feed given to houseplants is perfectly suitable for your succulents. Cut out the feed during the winter months - entirely. They need to rest during the winter, and don’t need to be stimulated with plant feed at this point in time.

Grouping Of Sempervivum Ready For Market
Grouping Of Sempervivum Ready For Market | Source


Summertime succulents flourish. Water them regularly. Proper drainage will eliminate pooling of water . . . the kiss of death to succulents. Rot may occur, and once established, will signal the demise of your lovely plant. Wintertime succulents go dormant. Restrict watering to only once a month, or even every other month.

Beautiful Plant Grouping For Succulent Dish Garden


Succulents Are Drought Tollerant Plants

Succulents are not demanding, fussy, nor difficult to grow. Their drought tolerance is unsurpassed in the plant kingdom! Succulents rule!


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    • NotTooTall profile image

      NotTooTall 4 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      Hi Riviera Rose,

      Yes, me too now that spring is just about here. Succulents are like potato chips though, you can't have just one!

      I thin them out and they get new homes all over the yard. They really love stone as mulch, too.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub.

      N T T

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

      I have a lot of succulents (have even hubbed about them) but I need to have a major repotting session now. I've been wondering whether to pop in some bulbs to add a bit of colour. Love your idea about coffee filters - brilliant! Voted up and beautiful.