Top Dressing for Succulents

Updated: September 16, 2022

Top Dressing for Succulents

A beautiful green succulent with top dressing of rocks in a terracotta pot

Succulents are gorgeous-looking plants that are easy to care for and require low maintenance. Suitable for both home & garden, a succulent is perfect for beginners. Top dressing rocks for succulents are used very commonly to enhance their beauty and let the plants grow by themselves to the best of their potential. Here is the ultimate guide on the benefits, types, and preparation of top dressings. 

What are Top Dressings for Succulents?

You might have seen small pebbles on top of succulents. Do you know why they are needed? These pebbles are called top dressing. Once the succulent has been planted, these decorative rocks are used to add on top of the soil, capable of taking your ordinary succulent to the next level. Top dressing not only gives your plant a good makeover but also makes the soil stay in one place.

What are the Benefits of Potting Pebbles for Succulents?

Giving a layer of top dressing makes a big difference in the overall look of your succulent. Once you start using these gems, there is no looking back! Let’s see how these plant pebbles can be helpful.

  • Top dressing helps to keep the soil from moving while watering. By using a layer of pebbles, the soil doesn’t move even if it has very tiny particles. Also, when the top dressing is mixed with regular soil, it leads to better drainage for plants. Your succulent does better when the excess moisture in the soil is drained.
  • The roots of a succulent become stable with a top dressing. The plant grows much healthier as it gets the support of rocks.
  • The aesthetic value of succulents is added to a great extent. These decorative pebbles can give your plant the much-needed lift. However, keep in mind to select pebbles in a color that will look good with the color of your succulent.

How to Prepare a Top Dressing?

Adding potting pebbles is a fun activity. Here are the necessary steps while preparing top dressing for succulents.

  1. Deep cleaning the pebbles

The first step is to clean the top dressings thoroughly before adding them to the planters. To start with, soak the pebbles in water. Now mix some soap in water and give pebbles a good rinse. Once done, wash again with clean water. This will remove any substance stuck to the rocks, making them suitable to keep the soil healthy. The step becomes even more important if you take used top dressing from another planter.

  1. Place the pebbles on top of succulents

After cleaning the rocks, it is time to place them in the planter. The pebbles will help in the drainage of the soil as well as will help the succulent grow naturally.

  1. Adding the final touch

Make sure to not add too many pebbles as we don’t want the soil to be suffocated.

Types of Top Dressing

You can use different kinds of materials as top dressings for succulents. Here are a few options that can help you choose the perfect décor pebbles.

  1. River Rock – These elements are not only popular but also eye-catching. They make the plant stand out while providing it with good drainage. One of the options of best polished rocks includes black river rock stones.
  2. Crushed glass – This top dressing is appreciated for its versatility. It comes in a wide range of colors and is a great choice to add that extra pop of color to your succulent.
  3. Granite Pebbles – These popular river rocks are used widely by gardeners and succulent lovers for their water-resistance capacity & durability.
  4. Moss - Moss can also be preferred as an ideal pick. You can go for Preserved, Spanish Gray, or Reindeer Moss.

If you are looking to give your plant an extra layer of protection or simply just want to make it attractive, potting pebbles can be your best friend. By using the above-mentioned information, you can select the appropriate top dressing for your plants.

Have a look at our wide range of collections of Top Soil Dressing for your cactus and succulents.


  • Elina Brooks

    I appreciate you letting us know that by using a layer of pebbles on the succulents, the soil will not move while watering, and this will lead to better drainage for plants. I added succulent plants to my garden the other day, so I wanted to decorate them with pebbles. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for a decorative pebble supplier to contact for my garden soon.

  • Tina Saman

    I use granite gravel as drainage in ALL my plants. Granite gravel, not decomposed gravel…the dust turns into cement. I use dusting sulfur on all succulent cuttings to prevent rot…they don’t need rooting hormone.

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