Pretty As A Picture Succulent Planter

5 Materials
30 Minutes

Colourful succulents, with their beautiful, complex shapes look like mini works of art. Here we show you how to plant a succulent pot to make your own piece of garden art, inspired by the still life paintings of the Old Masters.
This succulent planter is for the garden, so we are using the Sempervivum varieties of succulents (also known as Houseleeks and Hen and Chicks). They are super easy to grow, propagate really quickly and come in a vast range of shapes and colours. The only thing these pretty, colourful succulents really dislike is being waterlogged. We have grown them successfully in all manner of quirky plantings including our succulent hedgehog and our chicken wire, moss and succulent toadstool which you can find on our blog.
What you need to make garden art with colourful succulents.
  • Shallow Terracotta Pot to hold your display
  • Small Terracotta pot or ceramic jug
  • Selection of Outdoor Succulent Plants
  • Succulent Compost
  • Gravel or similar to top dress the pot - we used Coloured Aquarium Gravel
Start by filling your pot with a decent layer or gravel or stones to aid drainage. Succulents are drought-resistant plants, storing water in their fleshy leaves. They thrive in dry, rocky conditions in their natural habitats, and although easy to care for, can rot if kept in too moist conditions.
Fill the pot with compost. I used succulent compost which has lots of grit ready blended in to aid drainage, but you could make your own up using garden compost and adding some grit or sand.
Now it is time to create your piece of garden art. My inspiration came from the old master still life paintings of vases of flowers, so that's what I have tried to recreate. I started by positioning the small terracotta pot which represents the vase for my bouquet of colourful succulent flowers.
Because I want my succulent planter to look like a painting, I centred my arrangement leaving a border to provide contrast. Sempervivums quickly propagate so my bouquet will soon expand with new, baby succulent plants.
I chose a combination of different sized and coloured succulents to be the ‘blooms’ of the bouquet. Once they were positioned, I added a couple of cuttings from a Sedum to complete my succulent art.
To complete my succulent picture, I top dressed my pot with some coloured aquarium gravel to provide a contrast. This step isn’t essential, but I do think it makes the plant colours pop and finishes the arrangement off.
I think a garden art planter made with colourful succulents makes a lovely gift. This arrangement already has pride of place at my mother in laws house.
If you are looking for more unique ways of displaying plants inside your home you might be interested in these two projects...
How to Make Adorable Air Plant and Wire Jellyfish
The key to air plant survival is air circulation. Our air plant wire jellyfish are a great way to display them and are made with a simple household item.
How To Make Super Easy Kokedama Moss Balls
Kokedama is the Japanese art of growing plants in moss balls. Traditionally, Kokedama is formed by wrapping the roots of plants in clay before tying moss around it. The result is a beautiful but high maintenance look. Here, we show you how to create an easy, low maintenance version from old tennis balls and sheet moss. All the beauty of Kokedama moss balls without the mess and constant watering.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 41 questions
  • Tambra
    on Dec 14, 2019

    how do you keep soil from falling out

    • Grandmasue10
      on Oct 24, 2020

      It's me again. I tried this with just 2 succulents. It looked really cute until one of them decided to stretch out along the soil and grow on the side of the pot. Then It just looked like I stuck a pot in a pot for no reason. Oh, well, there's another summer coming in 2021.

  • Leisa Hart
    Leisa Hart
    on Jul 15, 2020

    Can you use a clay saucer instead? Or do you need the depth of a full pot?

  • Patinbr
    on Oct 20, 2020

    Love this idea--but do you know of a way to put Fake chicken wire or something like chicken wire that is not so hard to handle(on my hands) as the chicken wire??? I am making earring holders and putting wire on Picture frames w decorations on top wire. I am asking if anyone knows of a product that is not wire but appears to be Chicken wire type look

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