How to Make a Succulent Arrangement

Our Introduction:  In this video watch how to make a succulent arrangement.  Watch as Laura uses a variety of cacti and succulents to make a cute and beautiful arrangement.  She shows how to place taller plants in the back and smaller ones in the front, so they can all be seen well.  You don’t have to make a succulent arrangement exactly like this one.  Be creative with the plants and the pot you have.

Hey guys how’s it going?  Laura with Garden Answers. Today I’m putting together a succulent arrangement and it’s been a long time since I’ve done this.  I’m actually a little bit nervous because I feel like I’m a little out of practice.  I don’t know how it’s going to come together I mean I’ve done some fairy gardens and some other little arrangements that include a little bit of succulents but nothing like a full-on you know pot full of succulents.

I was in my plant room last night and I was going through all of my plants you know just doing maintenance grooming watering.  I was tearing apart old arrangements and repotting things and I ended up with a beautiful selection of there’s some rooted succulents some cactus and succulent cuttings.  And I thought you know what give me really fun to put together just a pot full of fresh succulents that I can display downstairs in my house.

How to Make a Succulent Arrangement

So, I think what I want to do is put the arrangement together and just kind of talk over my process.  I’m just showing you kind of how I started out some of the things I like to do and then address some questions that we get a lot whenever we do a succulent arrangement.  And I’m hoping that if you’re a beginner especially if you don’t really know where to start or what’s okay or not okay to do with succulents that this video is helpful to you.

So here we go.  So, I’m starting off with this really pretty turquoise pot.  It’s ten inches wide and four inches tall and it does have a drainage hole and a built-in saucer which I really like.  Next, I’m going to fill it with some cactus mix which is a really fast draining soil which will keep all of our succulents and cactus happy.  I like to fill my container pretty much all the way to the top so then I’m going to start arranging the plants and since this pot has a design on just one side I think I’m going to use the shorter plants toward the front which is where the design is and then put the taller plants toward the back instead of putting the centerpiece in the middle.

I make sure to get soil packed around each of their root balls really well.  For a little color I really like to use ‘California Sunsets’ Graptosedum. And I do stop quite a bit along the way to clean any excess soil or other debris off the plants with a really soft flexible brush rather than using my fingers.  I also add quite a bit of soil as I go either because the soil I added in the beginning has already settled and I need more to pack around their roots or because I want to create a mound in the center of the container, so I can raise succulents higher if need be.  So, a couple more Graptosedum.  I like the way they look resting on top of the String of Pearls.

Then this beautiful ‘Ghost’ Echeveria.  I love the look of a bright blue rosette in that spot but it wouldn’t have set high enough unless I had raised the soil level and don’t worry about the soil making a mess when you water.  I’ll show you how I water when I’m all done arranging.  For some height on this side I think a little trio of cacti will be the perfect texture and I wish I knew the variety name of this cactus.  If you know it please let me know in the comment section.

See how much color and texture we’ve already got going on in this container.  I think it’s so pretty also you can see I like to pack my plants and right next to each other almost always touching to where you don’t see any extra space or soil between them.  The plants don’t mind this at all in fact when cacti and succulents are planted in close quarters like this their growth rate slows dramatically and I won’t have to worry about repotting this for probably up to a year.  I’ll just have to groom it and care for it like I normally would any other arrangement.

Next is a Panda Plant which is a type of Kalanchoe and you might have heard them referred to as Kalanchoe.  I honestly think it doesn’t matter what way you pronounce it.  It’s pronounced different in different regions and I’ve heard it pronounced both ways.  I love to use these as a nice vertical element in arrangements.  I also love their fuzzy velvety texture.

Now for another color pop I’m going to use this ‘Petra’s Pearl’ Echeveria.  You can see this one has a longer stem and I left it that way on purpose.  Instead of cutting off the rosette and rerouting it, so that it would stand higher in the center of the arrangement.

So, whether you’re using rooted succulents or cuttings you just need to make sure that either the roots or the portion of the stem containing a node, and a node is where the leaves attached to the stem, makes contact with the soil.  So just make sure that soil is around the root ball or it’s around surrounding a node on the plant.

The tallest plants I’m using are these really hairy ‘Peruvian Old Man Cactus’.  These add both a nice strong vertical element and a very different texture than anything else I’ve used thus far.  I’m really glad I have room for this Rhipsalis.  It’s also called a Mistletoe Cactus.  This one has a great texture it almost looks like it belongs under the sea like in the ocean somewhere an ocean plant.  It fills the space beautifully and even trails a bit over the side so it kind of gives a nice softness to this side of the arrangement.

I’ve got a couple ‘Spear Head’ Senecio cuttings that I think will bring really good color and height balance tucked right behind the Rhipsalis.  And so, like with these since they’re cuttings and they don’t have roots yet I just make sure that those stems are deep enough under the soil to where there’s a node covered by the soil that’s where they typically form new roots.

Then I’m going to tuck this really cute little cactus right in front of the Rhipsalis.  For these more prickly cacti I try to handle them primarily from their roots and I use a tool or the end of a sharpie marker to help guide them into place.

A lot of people think I’m crazy for not wearing gloves when I handle cacti.  I just have a really hard time putting together more intricate arrangements like this with gloves on.  I feel like I don’t have very much dexterity with gloves.  However, there are some types of cacti I would never handle without the thickest of gloves.

One more Graptosedum ‘California Sunsets’ tucked in on this side for a little bit of color bounce at front.  Then I’m gonna nest a pretty rock in before placing the rest of the plants.  So, to finish it off I’m using a few more Senecio cuttings and a couple Sempervivums to fill in the gaps and I just mess with these until I like the way they look.  And sometimes that means I pop them out and move them to a different spot and that’s typically how I go about creating my entire succulent arrangements every time.

Sometimes I’ll take an entire arrangement completely apart right when I get it done because it just doesn’t look right to me.  And that’s the thing you just need to not be afraid it’s not a you know once and done.  Once you’ve planted it these plants are tough, and they can handle being moved around a bit until it’s really pleasing to your eye and you like the way it looks.

Then I’ll follow up with some smaller stones to cover any bare soil and I think I’m gonna call it good on this one.  I think it turned out really pretty with great color and texture.

So, water these types of arrangements about every 1 to 2 weeks depending on the time of year.  It is of course more often when they’re outside in the summer and they’re subject to more heat and more weather and less often when they’re inside for the winter time.  And I add Espoma Cactus Fertilizer about once a month on average to the water.

So I personally prefer to water arrangements of this sort especially arrangements where I’ve mounted the soil in the center with a syringe because it makes it so much easier to control where the water goes and how much you’re giving it.  I’m sure you’re a lot less likely to create a mess with the soil and have soil coming out over the sides of the pot and it also allows you to control how much water you’re giving each individual plant.  So maybe you can direct a little less water toward the roots of the cactus and a little bit more water toward the roofs of the succulents.  So, like I said with regular maintenance and grooming I shouldn’t have to worry about any major repotting of this arrangement for about a year.

So that’s it you guys.  I hope you enjoyed this video.  I hope you liked seeing all these succulents come together.  It’s such a fun project to do in the winter time.  Hope you guys are having a good one and we will see you in the next video bye. [Music]

Our Summary:  So now you know how to make a succulent arrangement with a variety of plants.  The different possibilities are endless.  Never be afraid to experiment with different plants and the placement of them inside your container.  If you do not like how it looks you can always move some of them around, take some out or add new plants to the arrangement.

In addition to some unidentified cactus here are the plants Laura uses in this arrangement.

  • ‘String of Pearls’ – Senecio
  • ‘California Sunset’ – Graptosedum
  • ‘Ghost’ – Echeveria
  • ‘Panda Plant’ – Kalanchoe
  • ‘Petra’s Pearl’ – Echeveria
  • ‘Peruvian Old Man Cactus’ – Espostoa lanata
  • ‘Mistletoe Cactus’ – Rhipsalis
  • ‘Spear Head’ – Senecio kleiniiformis
  • ‘California Sunset’ – Graptosedum
  • Sempervivum calcareum

A succulent fertilizer is mentioned in the video but we actually recommend a different one.  See our article on the Best Succulent Fertilizer or go straight to our shop to buy succulent fertilizer online.

 

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