I have a secret. I used to hate succulents. With a passion. I think I was influenced growing up in the ’70’s in California, where succulents were usually half dead hen and chicks filling a yard people thought was “no maintenance”… So when succulents began to gain a resurgence in popularity, I scoffed. Until I opened my eyes and saw the truth. The truth is that succulents and sedums are gorgeously colored, textural, easy to grow and offer an amazing amount of variety. These are not my childhood hen and chicks! So what is my next move? Sedum projects and DIY succulent planters are the perfect way to showcase these beauties, without them getting lost in the garden.

I’m still trying to sell Steve on the succulents, though I think he’s seeing the light… (He’s more of a cactus guy… another area to which my eyes were a little closed at first). But I’ve come to love sedums so much that half my yard is covered in my fav, Sedum ‘Angelina’ –  it is proof that succulents can be lush and green, too! In fact, we used mostly sedums to fill our recent DIY cinder block planter. (And they are filling in nicely!)

Sedum Projects & DIY Succulent Planters

DIY Succulent Planters & Sedum Projects

So here are our picks for gorgeous planter projects that should have you all rethinking succulents, and possibly cause you to run, not walk, to the nursery. Did I mention these plants are easy? Come on people, jump on the succulent train! Note: If you want you succulent planter to stay outdoors all year, make sure you buy them from the nursery’s hardy stock, usually kept outside. The succulents you find in the greenhouse are not hardy, but can be used outdoors in the summer and brought inside for winter. They make great houseplants too! Photo by Billy Goodnick.

Sedum and Succulent Planters

Talk about simple… this succulent planter from ‘BHG‘ is simply pvc pipe cut into rounds, tucked in to a tray filled with stones, and planters with succulent starts. (Starts are tiny new plants, usually less expensive, too.)


Here’s another great DIY succulent planter project from BHG that’s just gorgeous! This succulent tower planter is basically made up of painted terra-cotta pots. It’s like having a fountain of sedum & succulents!

Sedum Projects & DIY Succulent Planters

This DIY succulent planter with vertical brick is in the book ‘Design Sponge at Home‘. Need to get my hands on a copy and find out exactly how they did it!


These are various succulents planted in a trunk. Cute! Keep in mind, succulents need excellent drainage, so make sure there is a good layer of rocks in the bottom of any container that does not drain well, and use soil mixed with sand. Photo by ‘ABC das Suclentas‘.


From ‘Gardenista‘, by Baylor Chapman, this DIY succulent planter made from a log is beautiful and natural… And would have good drainage for these plants. An easy DIY project! (Ok, simple, maybe not easy! That’s a lot of plants!) Baylor Chapman is the owner of Lila B. Design, and has a book out I’m dying to get my hands on, called ‘The Plant Recipe Book’. Their motto is “we make beautiful statements with living things”… Wow, do they ever! Wish I still lived in the Bay Area, just to go visit that shop!


DIY Succulent Planter Box Ideas

Another project from ‘Lila B.‘,  this succulent planter from window shutters is a perfect example of using starts, since they are tucked into the slats of the shutters. You can create your own small plants from many succulents just by breaking off a piece. Most will root easily.


Sunset Magazine‘ shows us how to make our own living art from succulents. Be sure to check out all the steps, because it shows variations and different parts of the project.



From ‘Ciao! Newport Beach‘, one of their readers created this DIY succulent garden with a beach theme. Don’t be afraid to add other elements to your succulent container to give it the right feel for your garden.


Sue Brown took this photo at ‘Cottage Gardens Nursery’ in Petaluma, California. Using an old water fountain gives this container garden real character! What other types of upcycled containers would work well?


Sunset‘ has another idea for us, this water wise succulent garden was planted in an old chicken trough…

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From ‘Gardening Gone Wild‘, these succulents pots are grouped together for impact.  I like the concrete pots with the sedums, and they add an organic feel that really works.


Finally, this last one I just had to throw in to highlight the beauty of these plants and their versatility. SG Plants in Castroville, California (I spent time in Castroville as a a kid, great growing area! Artichokes everywhere!) has perfected these succulent vertical planter panels. They use these large scale panels to create garden art. Could a DIY’er do this same thing on a smaller scale? Beautiful and inspiring!


We hope you loved these DIY Succulent Planters & Sedum Projects! So now jump right on over to our posts on Unique Garden Containers You Never Thought Of and Hanging Baskets: Secrets the Pros Use! You also might want to check out our post on indoor vertical garden planter ideas over on our sister site OhMeOhMy!


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  1. Kean Tan November 7, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Beautiful creations. Love all of them.

  2. Paul Lekang October 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I LOVE succulents – and I have a question, especially regarding some of the examples you show above: Although the pics look FANTASTIC at the time it was taken – what do you do when the “outgrow” the setting? Can you somehow “trim” them to keep them the right size?

    1. Kathy Woodard October 31, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      You can trim succulents just like other plants… in fact, many succulents you can grow new plants from the cuttings really easily!A pair of scissors or shears will work just fine.

  3. Bessie September 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I am trying to find out what the difference is between a succulent and a sedum . can you help me .

    1. Kathy Woodard October 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      A succulent is a description of plants with fleshy leaves that hold moisture within those leaves, Sedums are simply a genus of plants that happen to be succulents. So all sedums are succulents, but not all succulents are sedums! Hope that helps clear it up!

  4. Lea June 17, 2015 at 7:09 am

    is there a region better than others or worse to grow these? I have a plant hens and chicks and live in Florida. I heard some contraversary about full sun partial sun and watering. I bought some and went off someone’s post thinking they knew what they were telling everyone reading. I killed the plants. Had them in a strawberry container and found out so did some other people but that wasn’t the bad part. I put them in the sun and the ones in the top container burned up. DEAD I have 3 left as they were on the sides and maybe not so much sun???? Glad they lived because I put them back under the porch and wondered a few things now. Can I cut them to make more and would you say keeping them on the porch out of the sun will keep them alive? I’m nervous now, I love them and would hate to see them go. They remind me of my mom as she use to grow them, she had a green thumb. I hope I don’t have a black thumb, I’d love to grow them in planters too.
    Thanks for your help in any way you can give me

    1. Kathy Woodard August 27, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Lea, Florida can be a tough environment for any plants, especially afternoon sun. Try making sure they get some afternoon shade, and while most succulents like hen and chicks like to dry out a bit between waterings, don’t let them go bone dry, especially in a terra cotta pot. (They tend to dry out faster!) Also, poor drainage can be fatal to succulents as well, so make sure the pot drains well at the bottom. You can take little cuttings and just root them in soil, they root really easily. Keep them a bit moist (but not wet) while they are rooting, then cut back to allowing them to dry a bit like the others. Hope that helps!

  5. Patty May 26, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Where’s a good place to buy these plants

    1. Kathy Woodard June 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Most nurseries carry a good variety!

  6. Bea April 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I love succulents! Last year I discovered a “succulent carpet” groundcover with a variety of mini sedums. Beautiful colors, texture, and some even bloomed. The carpet is dense and will choke out weeds. Found it at Lowe’s. It came in the size of a small baking tray.

    The vertical brick planter; you can buy the bricks for a Dollar or less. I have some in brown and red. My guess is, they attached the bricks to the wood, AFTER the succulents were established. You glue landscaping fabric on the bottom of the brick, add soil and the succulents. Keep them flat until they are rooted. You can also secure them by gluing chicken wire on top. Plant small succulents in the holes, and secure them with flower pins if necessary. Once established and secure, you can hang them vertically.
    I have a separate board just for succulents on Pinterest if anyone is interested. My user name is InfoHound. The board is under “Gardening”, “Crazy for Succulents”.

    Have a lovely day!

    1. Veronica Luna July 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      ok here is my question: you have your succulent vertical garden, it is beautiful and even, but after certain time plants grow in different sizes. How you keep the vertical garden in the same way as you started?
      thank you for any info you can give me!

      1. Kathy Woodard July 14, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        If necessary, you can trim succulents easily, just break off a leaf or branch… Most succulents are compact growers, but the ones that aren’t can be controlled with a little pinching!


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