It’s surprisingly easy to make a succulent driftwood planter that looks professionally designed.


Driftwood pieces (from Sea Foam Driftwood) come with pre-drilled crevices for potting.


Materials include small potted succulents, cuttings, sea shells, bits of tumbled glass, moss, rocks and sand. Tools are clippers, hot glue, and a chopstick for tucking-in plants and settling roots.


Begin by filling the planting hole with potting soil.


Add small rooted succulents and cuttings, envisioning them as undersea flora and fauna growing in and on submerged logs.


Use a chopstick to tuck floral moss into remaining gaps. Moss will conceal any exposed soil and help hold cuttings in place until they root.


Cuttings selected by Julie Levi include trailers (Ruschia perfoliata, Crassula lycopodioides), colorful rosettes (Sedum nussbaumerianum and Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’), and Crassula tetragona, among others. A sea urchin shell, attached with hot glue, is the perfect finishing touch.


Connie Levi chose a slightly different assortment: Crassula lycopodioides (watch-chain crassula), a dwarf aloe, Aeonium haworthii, Crassula perforata ‘Variegata’ (a stacked crassula), and for upright interest (at right), Hatiora salicornioides.


Linda Powell filled her piece of driftwood with pieces of jade, Kalanchoe pumila, variegated aeoniums, an echeveria, a dwarf aloe that resembles a sea star, and dainty cremnosedum rosettes. I like how she clustered smaller shells, too.


Libbi Salvo’s long piece of driftwood, with several areas for planting, would make a good centerpiece for a rectangular outdoor table.


Find out more! Instructor Katie Christensen explains her design approach in my recently released YouTube video: Succulents in Driftwood (2:51)


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7 Response Comments

  • Jussimara Santos GuissoSeptember 6, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Sou fascinada pôr plantas , amo amo principalmente suculentas e cactos de todas espécies quando estou com elas esqueço de tudo a minha felicidade é muita, um forte abraço ! ???

  • Kathleen De PauwApril 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Hi, i want to know where i can order driftwood. i cant find any nice ones to use for planting like you show. please email me back. i love your stuff. thanks, Kathleen De Pauw

    • DebraApril 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Kathleen — You want Pacific Northwest driftwood. Katie (who is from Washington) gathered these on a visit, but I did find a supplier online: Drifting Home.

  • Ashley​April 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    What do you suggest using for preserving or finishing the driftwood so that it is safe for the plants? Do you have a certain brand of product you like to use?

    • DebraApril 17, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      I blast it with a hose to dislodge loose dirt and accretions, scrub it with soapy water if it’s really dirty, soak it for several days in a tub of water to which a little bleach has been added (1/4 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water), then place the wet driftwood in the sun to dry for several days.

  • Dawn SSeptember 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Hi, I live in Green Bay, WI, there really is no where no find Driftwood any where here, what would you suggest I do? I absoultly Love this idea!! Thank You


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