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 meets your needs. Also enjoy and find inspiration in my gallery of 150+ floral-style arrangements!

Succulent Container Gardens, How-To

DIY Floral-Style Succulent Centerpiece

Learn About My Online Class! This lush and colorful succulent combo in a pedestal pot looks difficult, but it’s simple once you know how. With the help of the step-by-step instructions and photos that follow, you’ll soon be making your own lovely DIY floral-style succulent centerpieces, gift arrangements, and more.  To create this floral-style centerpiece, the…

Tips from a Top Succulent Container Garden Designer

Melissa Teisl of Fresh Chic is the designer whose artistry I show most in my book, Succulent Container Gardens. She and her mom, Susan, had a floral shop in Solana Beach, CA when I met them in ’07. Then Susan retired, and Melissa (with partner Jon Hawley) launched CW Design & Landscaping, specializing in gorgeous in-ground gardens. But container gardens are Melissa’s first…

Succulent Centerpieces

Learn About My Online Class! Succulent centerpieces last months and look good long after the occasion you made them for. Shown here are ideas for tabletops, floral-style arrangements, groupings and more. Follow the links for additional info and how-to help. Above: Jeanne Meadow of Fallbrook, CA, keeps this succulent centerpiece on her patio table. Jeanne’s…

Full sun summer succulent arrangement

Plant a Pot with Colorful Rosette Succulents

It’s easy to plant a pot with colorful rosette succulents that makes people gasp when they see it. A sure-fire way to make one appealing is to combine succulents that are similar yet different

Jeanne Meadow’s Topdressings for Succulent Art Pots (3:56)

Your plant-pot pairings aren't finished unless you cover the soil. The ideal topdressing works well in terms of contrast and repetition, but doesn't call too much attention to itself. Jeanne Meadow has elevated topdressing to an art form. See her palette of topdressings and embellishments, and what she chooses for collectible art pots.

Make a Mini High Desert Cactus Garden (3:51)

The dish garden that Debra Lee Baldwin made for the article that features her in Garden Design magazine suggests a hike through the backcountry past rock formations and intriguing, otherworldly succulents.

Why Topdressing is Essential for Succulent Gardens (3:25)

Crushed rock or pebble topdressings look good and offer practical benefits. Don't let bare dirt show!

The Dilemma of Too-Bright Pots for Succulents (3:41)

Bright colored pots may upstage succulents, especially those in pastel or blue-gray hues. Here's what to avoid, and what works every time.

Select the Right Succulent for Your Pot (3:37)

It's a lot like trying on clothes: Take the pot to the nursery, and see how it looks with various succulents. Debra explains her criteria as she evaluates plant candidates for a pot glazed with blue and celadon green. Do you agree with her final selection? It may surprise you!

Debra Lee Baldwin at Roger’s Gardens: Mounded Succulent-Cordyline Container Garden (4:58)

This colorful arrangement illustrates how the technique of "mounding" creates a dramatic, lush-looking succulent container garden. It includes a low-water companion plant for succulents---Cordyline australis 'Torbay Dazzler’.

How to Make a Succulent Dish Garden in 5 Minutes, with Jeff Moore (4:36)

Jeff Moore of Solana Succulents nursery demonstrates how to quickly assemble an appealing succulent dish garden. Jeff's tips include positioning tall plants in back, shorter in front, and adding an ornamental rock and topdressing to create the look of a miniature landscape. Two different compositions

Indoor Containers

Succulent Windowsill Pots DIY

In this Succulent Windowsill Pots DIY, you’ll find out how to make a quick, colorful, succulent windowsill garden. Sunbathing helps succulents maintain their symmetry and color, and whenever you look out your window or work at a countertop or sink nearby, you’ll see and enjoy them. These six pots, each 3-inches in diameter, come as…

Succulent Desk Buddies, DIY

“Desk buddies” are succulents that look good on your desk and require almost no care. They’re cute and classy, and visitors invariably ask about them. All you have to do is dribble water on them twice a month (which also keeps them dusted). Here for your enjoyment is a step-by-step DIY project for creating a…

Create a Colorful Succulent Terrarium (3:13)

How to combine plants, contrasting colors of sand (orange and blue) and small pebbles to create an eye-catching tabletop garden.

A Succulent Sansevieria Arrangement for Shade or Indoors (3:59)

Sansevierias are succulents with stiff green leaves sometimes banded with a lighter green and/or edged in creamy yellow. In this video, I share my enthusiasm for short-leaved "bird's nest" sansevierias as I replant a tired low-light arrangement.

Undersea-Themed Succulent Containers

Undersea succulent clamshell planter

Plant an Undersea Succulent Clamshell

Undersea Succulent Clamshell Planter Succulents that resemble coral-reef flora lend themselves to containers that immerse the viewer in an undersea experience. This succulent clamshell planter sits atop lava rocks near my home’s entry. It’s semi-shaded by Texas privet, the trunks of which frame the arrangement and repeat the upright lines of Senecio anteuphorbium. Certain succulents…

DIY Succulent Driftwood Designs

DIY Succulent Driftwood Designs When you make succulent driftwood designs, the plants resemble undersea flora, and the wood hints at something you’d see washed up on the beach. The two combine to make a special, almost fantasy-like composition that works well as a patio centerpiece or special gift for a friend. Driftwood pieces (from Sea…

My Sea-Themed Potting Demo at Roger’s Gardens

For my sea-themed potting demo at Roger’s Gardens, I combined rosy-pink barnacles with cuttings of a pink-tipped, cream-striped crassula, and did a multiplant arrangement in a seashell pot. These were something I decided to do on the spur of the moment. Roger’s Gardens (the largest independently owned garden center on the West Coast) is all about…

A succulent mermaid's garden

Nancy Englund’s Succulent Mermaid’s Garden

Having a theme for part or all of your garden is certain to spark your creativity. Nancy Englund’s succulent mermaid’s garden “has made going to nurseries more fun,” she says, “because I’m not attracted to every plant. I can narrow it down…you know, to just the weirder ones.” Admittedly “a big fan of weirdo plants,”…

Art pot pairings

Plants and Pots at the Cactus & Succulent Society Show

To see amazing succulents in elegant art pots, attend a Cactus & Succulent Society Show. The largest in the US is the annual Inter-City Show at the Los Angeles Arboretum mid-August. Judges award ribbons and trophies based on how well a specimen is grown, its rarity, and how well it’s “staged” in its pot. Pots aren’t…

Succulent Pot Shopping with Jeanne Meadow at the San Diego C&SS Show (12:13)

You can almost hear her baying. Succulent collector and designer Jeanne Meadow is in hot in pursuit of artist-designed pots.

Pairing Succulents with Hanging Pots (5:46)

Hanging containers by artist Alicia Iraclides of Potted Arts in Fallbrook, CA, pair beautifully with succulents.

Pairings with flair

Vintage Containers for Succulents

Megan Boone of Nature Containers Vintage Garden Art uses cast-off objects to showcase succulents. As shown by the planted pick above, Megan brings elegance and whimsy to her artistry. I love how the aloe perfectly repeats the shape and color of the rusty metal, and also emphasizes its arc.

Gallery of large pots of succulents

Showcase Succulents in Large Pots

For a dramatic, memorable enhancement to a garden or patio, showcase succulents in large pots. Big containers are both sculptural and eye-catching. Add succulents and you have a dynamic, ever-changing display as plants grow and seasons shift. Examples here are from my own garden and others I admire. Find more great ideas for succulents in…

Succulent White-Pot Pairings

White pots are a simple, effective way to display your prized succulents and cacti. Here I’ve paired colorful, geometric cacti and sculptural succulent euphorbias with an assortment of white-glazed containers. Solo or in groupings, succulent white-pot pairings would look good on your patio, deck, entryway or sunroom. Watch the 4-min. companion video: Succulent White-Pot Pairings.…

Plant Trailing Cactus in a Tall Pot (3:45)

Cacti from South American rainforests are perfect for tall pots because they cascade. During her San Diego Spring Home Garden Show presentation, Debra plants what she calls a "dreadlocks" cactus and gives tips for growing the tropical succulent successfully.

Mini Succulent Landscape in a Fire Pit (7:41)

See step-by-step how to create a mini mountain scene using a repurposed fire pit, miniature buildings, succulents that resemble much larger plants, crushed rock, a mirror for a lake, and upright pieces of flagstone.

Plant a Birdbath with Succulents (4:02)

Several dozen echeverias fill a 4"-deep concrete birdbath basin. The height of the arrangement is as wide as the basin---18”.

How to Pair Succulents with White Pots (4:19)

A simple, effective way to display your prized succulents and cacti is in white pots. Here I've paired colorful, geometric cacti and sculptural succulent euphorbias with an assortment of white-glazed containers. Solo or in groupings, they'll look good on a patio, deck, entryway or sunroom.

Container Garden Tips & Tricks

How to Make Large Pots Lighter (2:18)

This simple idea makes pots easier to carry, cuts down on the amount of soil needed, and is good for shallow-rooted plants like succulents.

Drill Holes in Nondraining Containers (3:10)

Quickly and easily repurpose ceramic vessels as pots for plants by giving them drainage holes. (Without one, roots may rot.) CAUTION: This is not recommended for anything that might shatter, such as glass. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. Because this involves power tools, it is not recommended for children.

Refresh an Overgrown Succulent Container Garden (4:32)

After two years, the succulent color wheel I'd made for my 7-lesson online class (Stunning Succulent Arrangements at had become messy and overgrown. One of my students suggested I show how to trim it, take cuttings, and replant. In doing so, I also added nursery plants in yellow, orange and red, because the composition, which had been in dappled shade, had lost its warm tones.