Master the Art of Succulent Potting

Succulents are beautiful plants that are practically indestructible. They require very little care and can easily survive in harsh conditions.

However, it is important to know how to pot succulents the right way. Your succulents might die despite excellent care if you do not pot them properly.

How to Pot Succulents

how to pot succulents

Succulents can be planted indoors or outdoors, are drought tolerant and are the most low-maintenance plants you’ll ever grow.

Planting succulents the right way ensures good growth and long life. Since they are very hardy and can survive in adverse conditions, how healthy your plant ultimately comes down to how you pot them.

Whether you are amateur growing succulents for the first time or have unsuccessfully tried to grow succulents in the past, here is a step-by-step guide for potting succulents the right way:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

It is best to have all your supplies together before you start the process of potting your succulents. You will need a pot with a drainage hole, a shovel, succulent soil, drainage screen or mesh tape and of course, your succulent plant.

Water retention is one of the most common problems to look out for. Succulents need a pot with quick drainage to protect them from overwatering. Keep this in mind while choosing your succulent container.

Terra-cotta or ceramic pots are both good choices for pot material. They facilitate airflow and can be placed indoors or outdoors.

Step 2: Prepare the Succulent

prepare the succulent

Get your succulent out of whatever container it is currently in. Remove as much soil from the roots as possible.

Some people like to wash out the roots to get all the residual soil out. However, this could cause problems at a later stage. Clean out the roots as well as you can.

If you are planting only one succulent, try to retain all its roots. If you are planning on planting two or more succulents together, trim down some of their roots for better cohabitation.

Step 3: Prepare the Pot

Once you’ve selected the perfect pot with an adequate drainage hole, it is time to prepare the pot for the succulent.

Drainage is very important for the succulent. However, you don’t want to lose soil while draining water. This is what the drainage screen or mesh tape is for.

Lay down a piece of mesh tape or drainage screen over the draining hole. It will let the water drain out but hold back chunks of soil.

Step 4: Fill the Pot

Fill the pot with your succulent mix. Do not fill it to the brim, leave a little room at the top. This way, you can place the plant roots comfortably. You can add more soil or a soil topping at a later stage.

filling pot with succulent soil

The soil should be high enough that the succulent will sit above the rim of the pot. The leaves of the succulent should not be below the rim.

Step 5: Plant the Succulent

Now for the important part—dig a hole in the soil and place your succulent carefully. Cover the root systems with soil for stability. You can also nestle them to help kickstart the root growth.

potting succulent

If you are planting more than one succulent, plan out their spacing before you start planting them. Succulents do not have a problem with overcrowding, so if you can, place them close to each other too.

You can even create artistic arrangements with succulents of different shapes, colors and sizes.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

You’re almost done! Add a little more soil if you wish and make sure all the succulents are tucked in. Make sure the leaves are not touching the soil, as this can cause rotting.

At last, add a soil topping. You can use pebbles or gravel to top off your succulent pot. Pat down the topping to help the plant stay in place.

Pro tip—do not water the succulent immediately after planting it! It can be tempting to finish up by watering the plant, but it can be harmful to the plant. Give the succulent a few days to lay down roots. Watering prematurely can cause root rot.

Read also:
When and How to Repot Succulents

What Size Pot Is Best for Succulents?

Choosing the correct pot for your succulent is important. Succulents grow like all plants and need an appropriate container to help them achieve maximum growth.

The roots of the succulents will start growing a few days after planting. When they start touching the sides of the pot, they stop focussing on root growth and start paying attention to plant growth.

what size pot is best for succulents

The ideal pot size will depend on the dimensions of the succulent itself. Choose a pot 10% wider and 10% taller than the succulent.

If the pot is too small for the succulent, it will have no room to grow. The roots will take over the plant very quickly and it will become root-bound.

On the other hand, if the pot is too large, it will hold a lot of moisture. This creates a risk of rot or fungus.

If you are planning to plant more than one succulent in a pot, the 10% rule still works. The pot should be 10% wider than all the plants combined and 10% taller than the tallest succulent you are planting.


Can I Put My Succulents in One Pot?

can i put my succulents in one pot

Succulent arrangements combine vivid colors with dramatic shapes. They really add to the personality of your home and make great gifts too.

You can grow multiple succulents in the same pot. However, there are a few things you need to take care of to ensure that they stay healthy.

  • Choose succulents that have similar needs for sunlight and water. Thicker leaves mean that the succulent needs less water. Thinner and smaller leaves mean that the succulent needs to be watered frequently. Pair similar succulents together.
  • You can pack them in closely in the pot or leave a space of half an inch between them. Tightly packed succulents grow slowly and maintain their shape for a long time. Spaced-out succulents will grow faster.
  • Make sure that none of the leaves are below the rim of the pot. Water can pool in the pot, so when the leaves are below the rim, they stand in water for long periods. This creates rot in the succulent.

Just keep these points in mind and soon you will have a beautiful succulent arrangement at home.

Do You Need a Draining Pot for Succulents?

There are many different pot designs available for succulents. Choosing the right pot can be confusing.

Succulents do not like too much moisture. Sitting in wet soil for too long can be harmful to the plant. A draining pot is ideal for succulents as it aids quick drainage. The soil does not retain water, leaving your succulents safe and healthy.

You probably know that succulents store water in their leaves and stems. They do not need frequent watering, they actually thrive when watered sparingly. In the absence of a draining hole, the succulent becomes waterlogged. This will lead to root and stem rot.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, always choose a draining pot for succulents.

Read also:
Best Drainage Pots for Succulents

Can You Pot Succulents in Normal Soil?

Succulents can survive for a long time with minimal care—provided their primary needs are met. The most frequent cause of dead succulents is overwatering. The pot and soil you choose play a role in how the succulent absorbs water.

It is generally not recommended to pot succulents in normal soil. Regular soil, or dirt from your garden for that matter, will not provide a healthy environment for your succulents.

Normal soil has a high rate of water retention. Increased moisture in the soil does not bode well for succulents. They have fragile roots that need quick drainage and well-aerated soil.

Normal soil does not serve this purpose. You need a potting mix specially made for succulents. You can also add pebbles or other soil toppings to help with drainage.

With the right soil mix, your succulents will experience rapid growth and very long life.

Check out these 6 Best Soils for Succulents in Pots.