Creative Succulent Garden Ideas

A close-up of succulents in a pot.

For those of you who are beginners to the world of succulents, they're ornamental plants with meaty, robust leaves. They're found naturally in arid to semi-arid locations, which explains the need for thick leaves to store water. Because of their minimal watering requirements and varied ornamental appearance, it's easy to get creative with ways to plant and grow succulents.

Succulent Care

Before you start planting, it's important to know that succulents require different care than most plants. First, because they can be prone to root rot, they need well-draining soil. You can purchase varieties of soil made specifically for succulents and cacti. They also like lots of sun, although some species can adapt to lower light. If you live in a colder climate, consider bringing your succulents inside during the cold weather. There are some succulents that can tolerate snowy winter weather, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Check with your local nursery for which ones can tolerate winter weather.

Succulents and Stone

Sidewalk Border

Succulent border with white stones.

Image via Mother Nature Network

Because of their ability to thrive on little moisture, succulents and stone are a perfect mix. Trail Hen and Chicks alongside a sidewalk and then fill in the edges with white or colored stone. Hen and chicks can tolerate cold weather and will come back year after year if they are not overwatered.

Stepping Stone Walkway

Plant a low growing succulent, like sedum, between stepping stones and eliminate the sidewalk for a cozy cottage look. Sedum is tolerant to foot traffic, so if you accidentally step on it, you won’t do it much harm. Some species are also tolerant of winter weather. (If you get down close to look, sedum looks like mini green pinecones sticking out of the ground.

Succulents and Unusual Pots

Knocked Over Pot

Lay a large pot on its side, and layer with soil suitable for cacti and succulents. Then, get creative with planting succulents in and around the pot to make it look like the pot got knocked over and the plants are growing out of it. Play around with heights and texture.

Two-Level Fountain

A fountain filled with succulents in a courtyard.

Use an old two-level water fountain that won’t hold water anymore and transform it into a layered succulent garden. Like with the pot above, first layer a well-draining soil as a base for the succulents before arranging them. Make use of succulents that grow downwards, such as string of pearl, and place them near the edges of the fountain to emulate water dripping down. Fill in the remaining areas with other succulents in varying heights and colors.

Succulents and Moss

Living Wreath

Because of their nature, succulents can grow in a moss medium, which means you can make a moss wreath with a variety of succulents. Besides your chosen succulents and moss, all you need is a wire frame that you can stuff moistened moss into. Once you stuff moss into the wreath form, insert the succulents into the moss at various points. Keep the entire wreath flat until the succulent roots take hold, and then hang the wreath anywhere where it will get an abundance of sunshine. Mist with water every couple days and you will have a living wreath!


A succulent driftwood arrangement

Image via Succulents So Sweet

Another idea similar to the living wreath above is to utilize that driftwood you've been collecting for years. Stuff some moss into the crevices of the driftwood and secure the succulents in the moss. Mist the plants every couple of days and eventually the succulents will take root and thrive.

Hanging Birdcage

Pick up an old birdcage at a yard sale or thrift store and put it to good use. Fill the base of the cage with moss and insert succulents that will grow downwards, such as Donkey's Tail and String of Pearl. Hang the cage up and mist the plants every few days to encourage a hanging sculptural garden!