How to plant succulents
Whether you have received a beautiful succulent as a gift, or you have ordered one on-line (in this case you will come home with the plant roots cleaned and free of dirt), or it is a cutting that you have let grow on your own, you will have – before or later – the same problem: how to plant succulents in the final container, maybe a decorative one?
Choose the container
The first point, to be considered, is that to plant the succulents or any other plant, it is necessary a suitable container.
For what concerns:
The shape – please choose a large pot and shallow for the species as: sedum, sempervivum or that do not have deep roots and grow especially horizontally. On the contrary, you need highest vessels when the plant develops deep roots or even taproots, as per the majority of cacti.
The greatness – you should be careful to take a container that hosts the plant easily and leaves some room to grow, in order to give it one or two year before the new repotting stress. To plant a succulent in a pot too large is rather unsightly and also it can be more difficult to understand what is the right amount of water to be given to the plant.
The material – clay or plastic? Glass or wood? Or maybe a recycling tin in aluminum, so as to create special effects in shabby chic style … The choice of material has important effects both on the aesthetics and on plant conditions. We will see in a future article the detail of each: for now, it is enough to know that a breathable material helps to combat the risk of standing water but, for the same reason, it forces to water the plant more frequently.
How to Plant succulent with harmonious compositions
If your aim is not simply to give a better location to a single plant, but getting a decorative effect, our advice is simple: when you choose succulents to be planted in the same pot or container, it is essential that the plants have the same cultivation requirements or very similar.
With growing requirements we particularly mean the needs of the plants related to water, sun exposure, soil type. For the temperature, you can usually adjust, instead, for plants more delicate you have to choose the temperature that is well tolerated by all.
That’s why getting resistant compositions with succulent plants is simpler than with other types of plants: being by nature quite robust and with few requirements as to watering, it is not difficult to find good combinations.
But do not be too optimistic … even mixing succulent randomly or nearly so, it’s easy to put together pieces that need (for example) the full light with others which do not tolerate direct sunlight, or plants that have different dormant moments.
What follows is my personal way of proceeding:
I choose a plant that will be prominent in the composition: maybe a massive cactus or a regal Adenium with beautiful blooms.
I check which other succulents can be compatible for the frequency of watering, sun exposure, soil requirements.
Among these, I choose 2-3 specimens of different succulents to plant next to my main plant. In this second phase of choice I make myself be guided primarily by aesthetic criteria, playing on the contrast of forms and colors.
The latest practical tips
Always be aware, handling succulents, not to damage the roots. Do not over-step on the ground where you have just planted them and not wet it immediately, but after 1-2 days (as we usually do with the other not succulent plants).
You will see, how simple it is to plant succulents!