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! 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 are a little closed… Hey, I’m a work in progress, ok? :)) 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!)
So what is my next move? Sedum and succulent planters are the perfect way to showcase these beauties, without them getting lost in the garden. 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!
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.)
This DIY vertical brick succulent planter is in the book ‘Design Sponge at Home’. Need to get my hands on a copy and find out exactly how they did it! Anyone have a copy and want to share the basics?
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.
From ‘Gardenista‘, by Lila B. Design, this succulent log planter 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!
Another project from “Lila B.’… this succulent planter from window shutters is a perfect example of using starts, 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, it shows variations and different parts of the project.
From ‘Ciao! Newport Beach‘, one of their readers created this 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.
This photo was taken by Sue Brown 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?
Another idea from ‘Sunset’, this water wise succulent garden was planted in an old chicken trough…
From ‘Gardening Gone Wild‘, these succulents pots are grouped together for impact. I like the concrete pots with the sedums…
This last one I had to throw in, just 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!Image Credits: Gardenista, Edhat/Billy Goodnick, BHG, Design Sponge/Bela Thee, ABC das Suclentas, Sunset, Ciao! Newport Beach, Sue Brown, Sunset, Gardening Gone Wild, SG Plants