Pick the Perfect Succulent for Your Pot
If you have a special pot that needs pairing with the perfect succulent, take the pot with you to the nursery or have it on hand when shopping online. Plant-pot pairings are like picking throw pillows for your sofa. You have to see them together to know if they work.
Friend and potter Pat Roach recently drove south from Los Angeles to pair five of her pots with succulents at Oasis Water Efficient Gardens, a specialty nursery in Escondido, CA. Oasis is owned by Altman Plants, which sells online and via garden centers nationwide. The large inventory changes often, and I usually notice one or two cultivars I haven't seen before (like Aloe 'Swordfish' above).
Pat uses a potter's wheel rather than hand-molding clay, so her pots have traditional rounded shapes. She favors glazes that create a speckled, two-tone finish: charcoal gray and blue, rusty brown and teal, greenish gold and orange---to name a few. She also may emboss the clay with patterns.
She and I were keen to observe the magic that happens when you walk down an aisle of succulents carrying an empty pot. Typically, plenty of plants look OK, some are definite no's, and one or more are Wow's. We took a video of the process so you can see it too.
After we selected succulents for the pots, I planted them---that's on the video, too, with design and planting tips. Also in the video, you'll see my all-purpose topdressing, what to do when a plant consists of floppy cuttings, how to hold a succulent with spines, and more. Enjoy!
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Thank you for these useful tips. I love how you not only match the colors of the pots, but also the texture. Love your video – beautiful pots & beautiful succulents.
Hi Janie — Thank you! It’s so much fun, and all you need to remember are a few basic design principles.
I tryed to repot my hens and chicks. But they are lifting up out of the soil.
Gently wiggle them apart and replant as individual plants, not clumps.
I love how the Aloe swordfish looks in that pot, it really brings out the colors!
Thanks, Jenn! Pairings like that are why I like one-of-a-kind, artist-designed pots!
Where can I purchase Pat Roach’s pots?
I’ll ask her to get in touch with you. Thanks, Karen.
Pot size: How deep and wide should the soil be for a succulent with roots that grow downward?
All roots grow downward. Small succulents (juvenile forms of large ones and those that stay small like graptopetalums) are happy in a pot that’s 6 to 12 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches in diameter.