How To Make A Small Succulent Garden
A miniature succulent garden can embellish with success any indoor or outdoor space. Succulent plants come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. They adapt well to almost all environments and need minimal care. Qualities that make them the ideal for aspirant gardeners.
Succulents are also ideal plants to create magnificent compositions. So, if you want to create a suggestive atmosphere in a corner of your home, follow these easy steps to make an elegant miniature succulent garden.
Why Make A Succulent Garden
Succulents are an ancient and peculiar genus of plants able to retain water and survive with extreme ease to drought. This quality gives succulents a peculiar appearance. Almost all varieties are characterized by juicy leaves with interesting round shapes, while the fully grown plants tend to have aesthetically appealing geometric shapes.
Many people confound succulents with cacti, which are a whole different species. Nevertheless, both varieties are often mixed and matched to create interesting landscapes or miniature indoor gardens, thanks to their resistance to extreme weather conditions.
Now, if you’re wondering why to make a succulent garden, the reason is simple. These plants are the perfect choice for beginners. They don’t need special care and grow well in almost all places, either in direct sunlight or in partial shade.
They adapt well to the indoors; and if you’re an experienced gardener, you probably know that that’s a big plus. Last but not least, thanks to the numerous varieties available, succulents are easy to mix and match in any way you like.
If now you’re impatient to make your own small succulent garden follow the step-by-step guide below.
How To Make A Small Succulent Garden
Step 1 – Prepare The Pot
Succulents are robust plants that need little to no maintenance. But if there is a thing that could damage them, it’s excess water. The only thing to pay attention to when planting succulents is drainage, that’s why choosing the proper container is crucial.
It doesn’t matter what material the pot is made of, but it should have drainage holes. Clay or terracotta pots usually have a drainage hole or two. However, if you choose a plastic container or a glass terrarium, you might have to drill holes in the bottom.
To do this, simply use a hand drill and the right drill bits. Drilling through glass is rather complicated but it can be done provided you use the right tools.
Another thing you should do is to clean the pot thoroughly and apply a thin layer of fungicide on the walls and bottom. This might not be necessary in the case of a new pot, but this step is important if you decided to reuse a pot that once held other plants, to prevent the transmission of plant diseases.
Once you’ve done this, add a thin layer of pebbles on the bottom of the container, to guarantee a perfect drainage. Remember that stagnant water can cause the roots to rot and promotes the development of mold, two conditions that can easily compromise the growth and health of the plants.
Step 2 – Plant The Succulents
The pot is prepared and it’s now time to plant your succulents. Put your gardening gloves on and pour potting soil into the container, leaving an empty space of about one inch from the upper edge.
Dig a small hole in the place where you want to plant the first succulent. Remove the seedling from its tray and plant it in your small succulent garden. Fill the hole with potting soil and move to the next plant. Repeat the procedure with all the seedlings, creating any composition you like.
When distributing the plants, consider where you want to place the succulent garden. For example, if you want to place it in an area where the pot would be only partially exposed to sunlight, plant the highest varieties behind the shortest ones.
It is also important to plant the succulents at the depth of their original tray, as this will ensure all roots are well covered with potting soil.
In case you already have succulents on your terrace or in the garden, it’s easy to make a small succulent garden by propagating cuttings from the grown plants you already own. In this hypothesis, collect some leaves from your plants and bury one-third of each leaf in the pot. This is a great way of starting your miniature garden, but it will take some time to see the plants grow.
Step 3 – Decorate Your Succulent Garden
When all the plants are in position, compact the soil around them in such a way as to fix the seedlings in the best possible way. Then, decorate the garden.
If most of the space is occupied by plants, the best way to decorate is with white or colored pebbles, gravel, or small river stones. In a transparent terrarium, you can make colorful layers of sand and potting soil, then decorate the top with pebbles or stones.
In a large pot, you can even consider creating a fairy succulent garden with small fairy statues, miniature garden gnomes, and other resin or ceramic decorations.
For a different effect, consider mixing and matching succulents with small cacti and other desert plants such as stone flowers.
How To Maintain A Succulent Garden
As said way too many times, succulents need little maintenance. But don’t confound this with no maintenance at all. That said, they are the perfect plants for beginners or for those concerned about the true color of their green thumb.
Succulents thrive in sunlight and deal really well with droughts. Some species even grow well in shade, but most succulents get leggy and weak if they don’t receive at least a few hours of sunlight a day. The best thing is to position your small succulent garden on a sunny windowsill or terrace.
When it comes to water, succulents need little. Too much water can damage their roots, therefore drained soil is crucial. However, this doesn’t mean you should leave them without water for too long. In broad terms, water the succulents once a week in the coolest periods and about twice per week if you live in a really hot area.
In nature, succulents don’t need fertilizer and thrive on unfertile lands. But in a pot, the nutrients drain out faster and are hardly replaced by the natural processes. Therefore, your small succulent garden might need fertilizer.
Don’t worry, an all-purpose fertilizer applied twice a year in early spring and late summer is more than enough. Or you could use compost to boost up the nutritional properties of the soil. Other than this, a succulent garden doesn’t need any type of special care and you’ll be able to enjoy its beauty for a really long time.