You know you've created an effective plant-pot pairing if every time you look at it, it delights you. Ideally, it exceeds the sum of its parts. But how to make that happen? You're about to find out: Succulent plant-pot pairing---an art form in itself---is the topic of my latest video. In it you'll learn basic design principles that people tend to find pleasing, and that professional designers use routinely.
I learned to identify and describe these early in my career as a garden writer on assignment for Sunset and Better Homes & Gardens publications. In published articles and later in my books on succulents, I explained what made certain gardens or plant combos "work," and how readers could achieve something similar.
If you don’t have much space (who does?), pairing succulents with art pots is a great way to display both, lend sophistication to outdoor living spaces, and eliminate clutter.
Key design factors
Plant Pairing at Oasis
Orange County ceramic artist Pat Roach and I met several years ago as a result of our mutual interest in succulents and our enjoyment in pairing them with one-of-a-kind, artist-designed pots.
Pairing vs Staging
Selecting the right pot for a special succulent is an under-appreciated art form. I find "pairing" soothing, akin to browsing in boutiques for items I never knew I needed yet can't live without.
Not that I invented pairing. Cactus & Succulent Society members have been "staging" prize succulents in art pottery for decades, with topdressings and---as Jeff Moore would say---"cool rocks."
The difference between staging and pairing is that with the latter, the pot gains stature. It's more than merely a frame for a plant. Neither pot nor succulent leads the dance; both sway in tandem. Should pairing be acknowledged as an art form, pot artists will likely be identified along with the plants.
- See my Succulent Container Gardens YouTube playlist.
- Find dozens of ideas on this site's Container Gardens page.
- Shop online for succulents in the video and more: Mountain Crest Gardens and Altman Plants.
- Be sure to watch my earlier video: Pick the Perfect Succulent for Your Pot. Includes potting how-to.
- Follow ceramic artist Pat Roach on Instagram @potterybypatrice.
- Learn about topdressings here on my site.
- Watch my video: How to Select Topdressings for Succulent Art Pots, with Jeanne Meadow.
- Hire a personal shopper for succulents (filmed at Oasis).
- Find collectible art pots and succulents at upcoming Cactus & Succulent Society Shows.
Succulent Container Design Design ideas and must-dos for beautiful, easy-care potted succulents Here you’ll find info on succulent container design in articles and videos. Scroll down to see what interests you and best meets your needs. Click to see my gallery of 150+ floral-style arrangements! Succulent Container Gardens, How-To Welcome to the most comprehensive info…