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.

pretty as a picture succulent planter
pretty as a picture succulent planter

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.

pretty as a picture succulent planter

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.

pretty as a picture succulent planter

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.

pretty as a picture succulent planter

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.

pretty as a picture succulent planter

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.

pretty as a picture succulent planter

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 interested in unique ways of displaying plants inside your home check out our wire air plant jellyfish and our super-cute mini succulent tin can planter which can be found on our blog..

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Craft Invaders

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 21 questions
  • Kathy
    2 days ago

    What a great idea! It’s sooo pretty! Could this be done with a shallow pot? How much soil depth do the succulents need please? And thank you so much for sharing this beautiful idea and your expertise!

    • Craft Invaders
      21 hours ago

      Really shallow is fine, succulents will grow in just a couple of cm of soil but whatever you use must have drainage holes. I'm growing some like this and there's hardly any soil in it

      With regard to rain. Succulents are fine getting rained on (I live in the UK and we get plenty!) as long as the pot has good drainage so they don't get waterlogged. Hen and Chicks don't seem to mind the snow either so they are perfectly ok left outside in the elements :)

  • Janis
    2 days ago

    I can’t wait to do this project!!! I love it and I love succulents. What size pots did you use? I will send you a pic of my creation. Thank you for sharing.

    • Craft Invaders
      2 days ago

      Oh please do Janis, I'd love to see it! The big pot is 26cm diameter by about 10cm and the little one is 7cm in diameter and 6cm high :)

  • Leilla
    18 hours ago

    At the risk of sounding is this planter displayed? Is it sitting flat on ur porch or would I display it with a slight angle?..

    • Jewellmartin
      31 minutes ago

      Leillia, Craft Invaders used the phrase, “pride of place”. I think that’s as much a direction of where to display this planter as it is the pride her mother-in-law has for her daughter-in-law ‘s creation. You need to try this and be sure to post it on Hometalk, even if your steps are very much like hers. And display the pot in a prominent place!!

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