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Tuesday, 29 August 2017 14:15

Aug 30, Containers for Succulents - rustic, classic, rugged, funky or salvaged

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Ideas, Inspiration and Imagination

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Containers for succulents can range from the unique to the common, rustic to classic.

Build your own creative succulent containers, or search out rustic salvage or garage sale finds to use as fun and funky planters.  Or choose sleek modern designs - succulents go well with every type and kind of decorative planter.

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Your succulents will look fabulous on your deck or patio in groups as an accent, or in a fantastic huge concrete or faux stone urn as a focal point.

A large rugged hypertufa planter suits a country garden perfectly.

A more refined version such as an elegant cast concrete planter will blend into the style of more formal garden designs.

Imagine how this would look; a rustic moss covered plant pot planted with a mixture of gorgeous succulents spilling over the side placed at the top of some stone steps, or a unique root planter filled with Sempervivum (hens and chicks) or rare hardy Orostachys.

Terra Cotta Clay Pots in a rustic basket

Some of my favorite containers for succulents are terracotta clay pots like my favorite old strawberry pot which gets replanted every year with a different theme - whatever I'm trending and testing.

Clay pots are great for succulents, because of the porous nature of the clay. 

This allows air exchange for the roots, and also allows excess moisture to escape. It's preferable to plant succulents (and most other plants) in an unglazed ceramic or pottery pot for exactly this reason.

Do succulents like Hypertufa?

As you can clearly see, the answer to that question is a resounding 'Yes!'

Hypertufa planters and trough gardens are heavy enough to counterbalance the weight of the top growth. The rough surface suits the roots of succulents perfectly, giving them something to grip to.

One of my projects that's looking particularly good right now is the Faux Wood Hypertufa Pot - sometimes it takes a while for the plants to get established, and the pot to age a bit.

Faux Wood Hypertufa Pot

See more of the pots that I've created below; click on the pictures;

Hypertufa pots are made from a mixture of concrete, peat moss and sand and formed using cardboard or plywood boxes, a piece of plastic draped in a depression in a sand pile to make a free form pot or even a sacrificial basket collected from the recycle center at the local landfill.

If real hypertufa is too much for you, try making a Styrofoam trough instead.

These are 'faux' hypertufa, if you like, and just imitate the look of a heavy stone trough, but in reality, they're just made from lightweight Styrofoam, painted in an imaginative way.

The added bonus; they protect the roots of sensitive plants over long cold winters.

Think outside the box when gardening in containers, keeping in mind a few key points such as drainage, soil type and sun exposure.

Also be aware of how top heavy large succulents can be, especially when allowed to dry out between waterings, as I recommend.

Nothing is worse than coming home after a wind storm to find your whole collection in tatters on the deck.


Succulent Container Tip

For a display in full sun, metal gets too hot even for the roots of heat loving succulent plants; display these containers where they'll get early morning sun only.

Try some of these ideas for planters and pots:

Containers for Succulents can range from sublime to rustic

Can you plant succulents in metal containers?

Absolutely! Some great metal pots for plants are zinc planters which have a silvery finish, iron wall planters that come in all shapes like animals, lizards and roosters with a rusty patina and copper planters, either left to tarnish and turn green with verdigris, or coated with some kind of finish to keep the shine.

One cool and unique planting idea that I repeat as a motif in my garden is recycled satellite dishes painted my signature 'Blue Fox' blue.

They make perfect shallow dishes for Sempervivum which can thrive in a tiny amount of soil - look at where hens and chicks originate; in high mountain crags in crevices right in the side of a cliff.

Looking out for salvage to use for containers to plant your favorite succulents in is fun - I always go to the local recycle center, the thrift store run by our local hospital auxiliary, and stop in to as many garage sales as I can.

You would be amazed at how much I find that has the potential to be a really fun and funky succulent planter.

Click the picture to see more metal planter ideas (and some tips and tricks):

I always watch out for twigs with a twist to use for handles on old tool boxes, tin can planters and hypertufa baskets. Find these at the curb when someone has trimmed an old fruit tree, as they'll have interesting shapes.

Above all, have fun, and don't hesitate to take any idea you see and run with it.

Unsure which plants will do well in containers?

Containers for Succulents, and the plants to go in them

I mix and match, sometimes keeping tender succulents together, but quite often a combination of Sedum, Sempervivum and tender succulents looks great in unique planters like these succulents in a wheelbarrow or succulents in enamel ware.


Please note; hardy Sedum and Sempervivum are not happy inside your house during the winter, so leave them outside in the garden instead.

I write this from the perspective of Zone 5a on the Canadian Plant Hardiness zone map so use your own judgement.  Trying to grow these hardy succulents indoors is the main cause of Sempervivum problems.

The beauty of succulents is their willingness to adapt to any conditions (except excess wetness) and if the planting gets overcrowded, simply take it apart, and start again; fresh soil and a trim will do wonders for an overgrown container of succulents.

Don't just abandon your containers when winter approaches:

Take your containers apart for the winter...

Take the tender succulents indoors...

Cherish your tender succulents with a home indoors...

...and let the hardy succulents have a dormant rest outside.

...and leave the hardy ones outside

As the cooler weather of fall approaches, take apart your containers that have a mix of tender and hardy succulents; the tender ones need a winter home indoors, the hardy Sedum, Sempervivum and Jovibarba prefer their cool dormant period in a garden bed until spring.

Succulent Planter Gallery

How do you contain your succulents? Share it! Do you have a crafty way to display your collection of succulent plants, Sedum, Sempervivum or other gorgeous Drought Smart Plants? Add your favorite planter to the Gallery for inspiration and ideas.

See other Succulent Planter ideas below... on the links to get inspired...

I love succulents
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Succulents in Enamel Ware
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a handful of hypertufa hands

A Handful of Hypertufa Hands
I had so much fun with these hypertufa hands - they're tricky to make, because they break so easily, but boy, are they effective. If you have some …

Tin Can Succulents
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Weird shapes...

Cactus Planter
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Terracotta Strawberry Planter

Everything and the kitchen sink!
Terra cotta strawberry planter,and a large lava rock, and an old crane wall mounted porcelain bathroom sink. Hi Daryl - those are fabulous! Thanks …

Gorgeous mixed succulents

What's Louise been up to?
Louise is a good customer of mine, and she's got some wonderful ideas on how to use succulents of all kinds in her Alberta garden. If you're in a …

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You know sometimes how you have a real conglomeration of excess plant pots and some of them get used once in a while when you have nothing else because …

The twig handle, in place but not wired

Twig Handled Hypertufa Basket
I love finding wiggly twigs on my walks in the woods, but finding ways to use them that will set off their beauty is another matter. Here's one way …

JM Succulents fabulous succulent planter

Too hot for flowers
I want to replace my annuals with something to take it through to fall. My annuals never did really bloom and look pretty this year because of extreme …

Guerrilla Gardening with Elmo
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metal basket with Sempervivum

Burnt Metal with Sempervivum
I found this little odd metal basket in the thrift store, which although it was painted black was really not quite my style. I routinely check to …

Rancho Reubidoux coil pots

Rancho Reubidoux Coil Pots
The potters art is highly underrated for planting succulents in - look at these gorgeous coil pots that make the best planters for succulent plants. …

Rustic Birdcage

Succulents in a Rustic Birdcage
I've had this little metal birdcage for a long time - originally it had a tea light candle in it, but I decided to burn the paint off it in the bonfire, …

Crystal Cove
We have a very creative maintenance fellow who made 2 of these planters from his scrap pile! I think this combination of plants are the perfect topping …

Succulent Flower Arrangement in a blue kettle

Succulent Flower Arranging
Succulents aren't just for planting - you can also use them for making incredible flower arrangements - in some cases, these displays can last for weeks …

My Aloe collection in Terra Cotta Pots

My favorite - Terracotta pots
I love growing succulents in terracotta pots - they have the perfect blend of weight to stop the heaviest of my plants from tipping over, and permeability …

Driftwood planter

Driftwood and Old Roots
I love using found objects for planters - the funkier the better. Nature provides the most unique and wonderful things to plant into, like this gorgeous …

Succulents in a glass fish tank terrarium

Succulents in a Glass Fish Tank
It's been said that you can't grow succulent plants successfully in a container without a drainage hole - I beg to differ! Here's a way you can plant …

Click here to write your own.

Backyard Succulent Gardener
I love succulents!! So this summer I decided to do a succulent tray using up a bunch of small eclectic pots to feature a variety.

Hypertufa made in a basket

Hypertufa Basket
Finding lots of old baskets in the thrift store and garage sales left me trying to find a use for them. If I planted my collection of succulents …

Rustic Garden Art Lantern

Rustic Salvaged Art
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My collection in a nutshell - ahem, dish

Succulents in a Pottery Dish
I have a collection of plants in a pottery dish and if you can tell me what they are, I promise I'll give them the right kind of care.

Antique Wicker Window Box
This is actually a very old wicker window box, it's been in my family for three generations. I wondered if I can find out what the plants are, now that …

Gift from the Volcano
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What's in this gorgeous succulent planter - I want one!
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Bonsai succulents
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Old Rusty Kettle with Hens and Chicks

Hens and Chicks in a Rusty Kettle
I love old rusty funky stuff, and this kettle just begged to be planted with hens and chicks - some people call them houseleeks, or sempervivums - whatever …

The Frog Prince

Kiss this frog!
My husband bought me this really ugly green ceramic frog for my birthday one year, and I didn't have the heart to tell him how much I disliked it. After …

Click here to write your own.

Want more inspiration?  Check out my Pinterest board;

> Containers for Succulents

Want your succulents to survive the winter?  Learn how to bring them indoors and be happy and healthy with this free e-course;  Fill in your name and email address on the form below to enroll!

Winterizing Succulents E-Course

Winterizing Succulents E-Course - click here to sign up...

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