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.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Brilliant Things You Can Make From Cheap Thrift Store Finds!
3 Fantastic Step-By-Step Ideas What To Do With Pallets!
15 Amazing Projects To Help Make Your Home Look Fabulous
30 Stunning Ways To Display Your Plants
15 Amazing Craft Projects That You Can Do Under 15 Minutes
21 Ways To Use Those Pickle Jars You've Been Saving
Check Out These Wonderful Ways To Decorate Your Plain Mugs
15 Unique Father's Day Crafts
3 Gorgeous & Easy Projects to Help You Decorate for Fall
Spruce Up Your Plain Lamp With One Of These Great Ideas
3 Gorgeous And Unique Ideas To Display Your Plants
30 Fun Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
32 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
Turn A Cake Pan Into A Shelf + More Clever Repurposing Ideas!
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
Craft Invaders

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 40 questions
  • 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?

    • Nona Plummer Dennis
      on Jul 20, 2020

      I did this several years ago, I was so proud how it turned out.

      i live in South Texas, on the coast. They do very well in these hot sunny humid weather. I guess too well. Because it loses shape in no time. I plan on doing another but with So Faux succulents!

  • Tambra
    on Dec 14, 2019

    how do you keep soil from falling out

  • Leisa Hart
    on Jul 15, 2020

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

Join the conversation

2 of 390 comments
Your comment...