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 39 questions
  • Sharon Nanney Wells
    on Oct 3, 2019

    where can you purchase these flowers from? Can you get them from Lowes??? Do these spread or volunteer?????

    • Grandmasue10
      on Jan 26, 2020

      To the original "artist". I have done this, and every time I see my little succulent garden in a pot within a pot, I smile. I had it by my front door, but It has been inside for the winter (Colorado) To all be sure to use succulent or cactus mix in your pot. They hate to be over watered.

  • Olivia
    on Oct 3, 2019

    Can these plants be put in the outside sun? I live in Savannah, GA and it's very very hot and humid. I tried having succulents inside but either they didn't get enough light or too much water. Please help. Thanks, Olivia

    P.S. How deep is the big planter on the bottom?

  • Tambra
    on Dec 14, 2019

    how do you keep soil from falling out

    • Grandmasue10
      on Jan 26, 2020

      She also showed some stones or bark chips in the bottom of the pot. The soil stays put, but the water can drain out. I also use egg shells and a coffee filter.

Join the conversation

3 of 375 comments
  • Beret Woodworth
    on Jan 16, 2020

    Thank you! Inspired to try succulents again.This arrangemnt is very appealing.

    A good excuse to play in the dirt while we are waiting to get outside again.

    • Grandmasue10
      on Jan 26, 2020

      You say you are trying again. Go the "Sunshine and Succulents" for excellent advice on growing succulents. Most need lots of light, but can also get 'sunburned' from a Gro-Lite that is too close or hot summer sun. A little shade may be needed for hot dry areas (Like Colorado where I live). They need to be soaked, let the water drain, let them dry up. A week or even 2 or 3 between soakings. The "babies" or chicks need watering more often, maybe every other day, until the roots get established. Save the plant stick so you can look up which suc needs a lot of sun and which likes some shade.

  • Jenny
    on Feb 7, 2020

    Oh I’m going to do this! It’s a lovely really original idea. Thank you so much for sharing 😊

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