If you do not have much time to spend on plants and yet wish to become a dedicated gardener, it is time that you go in for a succulent garden. It is a satisfying and sustainable project since garden succulent plants release bouts of oxygen in the morning, helping to clean the air around you.
Plus, growing succulents in the ground or containers is pretty easy. Succulents are well-versed with extreme weather conditions and are pretty adaptable. Having said that, there are still a few things that you need to take care of, namely excess watering, over-feeding, and soil conditions. This blog will talk about growing succulents in-ground and in containers.
How to Grow a Succulent Garden?
Picking the right containers
It is essential to know that succulents need shallow containers equipped with drainage holes. As a succulent owner, you need to be aware that water should not be standing at the roots of the succulents because it can get the plants killed.
- Succulent soil requirements
A cactus potting mix is acceptable for your succulent bed. The words you should be looking out for on the packaging when ordering the potting mix are ‘Succulent mix’ or ‘Cactus mix.’
Can you make your own potting mix for your succulent garden? Yes, of course. Take the regular soil and mix it with an equal proportion of sand and perlite. You can use pumice too instead of perlite.
- The right combination of plants
Combining the right plants with similar growing needs and conditions is crucial when making a succulent garden. Placing succulents with varying needs can be conflicting. As a result, your succulent dream garden will never come up.
It is important to remember that many succulent species would thrive even without optimal preferred conditions. Some succulents, however, are sensitive and require specific conditions. You may hear that some succulents are hardy and easier to grow like hens and chicks, Sempervivum tectorum, Aloe or Aloe spp., Jade, or Crassula ovata. It means that they can survive well even in colder conditions; some are frost-hardy. Contrasting to this, some succulents are tender and sensitive. These plants cannot tolerate a cooler climate. Thus, you need to study and research a lot before going ahead and preparing your succulent beds.
How to Plant Succulents in the Garden or in containers?
Here are the detailed steps when you make your own succulent garden.
- Take an appropriate container. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes. The first step involves covering the drainage holes. You can use plastic sheets, landscape fabrics, or pot screen covers available commercially.
- Next, fill the container with the potting mix. Ensure that soil goes up to the bottom of the container to keep the plants in place and keep the water from overflowing the container edges.
- Now, carry out a test fit to see that all the succulents fit well in the container and the soil. You need to ensure that the space is good enough and everything is up to your satisfaction. During the test, the young succulents are still in their nursery pots.
- Once the outcome makes you happy, take the succulents out of their nursery pots, and plant them one after another. You must be certain that the soil is packed well around the plant, and there are no gaps or spaces in the soil. Remember, when there are gaps, moisture from the air can get the root rotting and kill the plant.
One of the basic aspects of creating a succulent flower bed in the container is that you should not get the bed crowded. When you plant the succulents, they are still young. You need to consider the space that the mature plants would require. Accordingly, plant the baby succulents in the bed. The air circulation will also be limited in a container. It can cause you worries later. With overcrowding, issues like mold growth or other fungal infections can become painful later.
Once all four steps are done, you can cover the topsoil with stones, gravel, or marbles. It gives a finished look to your succulent garden in the container.
How to Plant a Succulent Garden in the Ground?
When planting succulents in the garden, you need to take care of the conditions that the plant requires, including shade or direct sunlight, the correct type of soil, etc.
Preparing succulent soil is the most important task. You need to have prior information about the humidity levels of the place where you live. Remember, the roots have to be dry at all costs else; root rot can kill the plant.
Start with checking the natural soil for planting a succulent garden. It can work as the base soil. Clay succulent soil may not be ideal as clay does retain moisture. In the long run, the water can become the cause of root rot.
The soil for succulents need not be fertile or filled with nutrients. To prepare the soil, you need to first remove debris from the soil, like dead leaves, sticks, branches, rocks, etc. Buy succulent mix for the topsoil. Ensure that it has no fertilizers or additives added to it.
While preparing for the succulent garden & the growing grounds, amend up to 75% of the ground by mixing it with coarse sand, pumice, perlite, coconut coir, pebbles, expanded shale, or soil conditioners like Turface. You can add river rock to the topsoil, more as a decorative element than a necessity.
Other soil amendment options include mulch, horticultural grit, etc. You need to prepare the soil up to a minimum of six inches and can take it to eight inches below the surface. Remember, the deeper you can prepare the bed with the succulent soil mix, the better it is. Cut in sloped or elevated surfaces like hills to make the garden bed look aesthetically beautiful.
How to make succulents out of clay?
Clay is not the best choice for succulent making garden beds as it tends to retain water. You will have to properly prepare the site or bed to plant succulents in clay. Follow our steps mentioned above for building an outdoor succulent garden.
Can succulents be planted in the ground?
Yes, succulents can be grown in the ground. However, the soil has to be prepared well by mixing it with succulent specific soil so that the plant can grow properly.