Finding the best pots and soil for succulents makes your houseplant gardening easier. The more lenient you are with your succulents, the better the result will be.
Here is a roundup of everything you need to know:
- The Best Pots for Succulents
- Mixing Soil for Succulents
Pots and Soil for Succulents to Have a Successful Planting
The Best Pots for Succulents
Choosing the right pot for your succulents is a vital, yet often overlooked part of getting ready for succulents gardening.
The first thing you need to decide on is the material from which a pot is made from. Succulent pots come in a wide variety, and the ideal pot material is dictated by where you will be growing the succulents – indoors or outdoors.
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Ceramic pots, on the other hand, are lacquer-glazed clay pots that unlike Terra cotta, keep the soil damp for extended periods. This makes them ideal for plants adapted to damp environments.
However, with a few modifications, you can still grow your succulents in ceramic pots. Add a layer of pebbles to your ceramic pot and next to your succulent's pot over them to keep the roots away from water.
- You have more choices in terms of designs and colors.
- Ceramic pots make beautiful interior decor.
- They are great insulators.
- Ceramic planters are costly.
- These pots can be heavy to move around.
- They are fragile and easy-to-break.
2. Terra Cotta
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Terra cotta pots are made from unglazed clay and are porous – they allow air and moisture in and out. This makes them ideal for houseplants since succulent's roots cannot sit in standing water.
- Terra cotta mimics the arid climate succulents are used to.
- The walls absorb water quicker from the soil.
- The thick wall acts as insulation against extreme weather condition.
- Terra cotta pots can be a bit dull when it comes to color options.
- Pots are usually heavy to move around and are fragile.
Plastic is another sought-after option for succulent pots. Unlike ceramic and terra cotta, plastic planters are way lighter and are barely as fragile.
- Plastic containers are colorful making excellent alternatives for ceramic pots.
- They are more resistant and can withstand different weather conditions.
- Plastic pots are more affordable.
- Plastic pots are not porous hence will not keep the soil dry easily.
- Plastics pots do not promote good airflow in soil.
Metal planters go well with the outback and countryside interior design. However, metal containers are generally not the ideal choice for growing succulents in the long run. But if you decide to use one, apply a metal coating to prevent it from rusting.
- Metal pots are great choices for rustic interior decor when paired with succulents.
- Material is durable and can withstand freezing temperature.
- Metal pot is a good heat conductor, which poses the risk of your soil heating up too much.
- Planters made of metal tend to be heavy and pricey.
- Metal eventually rusts which is not healthy for succulents and many other plants.
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Wood pots are an unconventional way of growing your succulents. They're more eye-catching than the standard planters. With a wood planter, your succulents can sit in the sun without losing too much moisture or heating up.
- Wood planters are beautiful when strategically placed.
- Wood mimics the succulent's natural habitat.
- Wood rots quickly in areas with less airflow and sun.
- With time, wood is bound to split, making wood planters more of temporary fixes.
Glass is, hands down, an exquisite material to grow your succulents. They would be the perfect planter were it not for drainage and breathability concerns, which cause the soil to stay wet for long.
- Glass pots come in a variety of unique shapes.
- It easily fits in many interior designs.
- Glass is fragile and dangerous, especially if you have children around.
- Glass planters usually don't have built-in drainage.
Things to Consider in Getting Pots for Succulents
Getting a pot with a drainage hole or two will make your plant-parent life easy since you will not have to gamble on whether to water your succulents or not; or whether they've had enough.
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Determining the right pot size for your succulents can be challenging, but I recommend half an inch space between the edge of your pot and the succulent.
Leaving too much room prevents the succulents from growing large because the roots spread faster and the crown is not able to catch up.
For combined succulents, leave room around each plant so they have little room to grow and spread out.
3. Texture and Color
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The fun begins when you are done with all the necessary basics. Either pick your pots based on the succulents you have or let the pots you want dictate the succulents to grow.
In case you can't choose, settle for white pots or terra cotta – every succulent looks great in them.
Best Soil for Succulents
As a beginner, worrying about the best soil for succulents is justified. It's like making a dish, with the same basic ingredients; different people make the same dish differently.
To get it right with the perfect soil for succulents, you must think of them being in their natural environment. Succulents can be arid and semi-arid plants, which means they go by with very little water.
Below are some basic suggestions on how to get your potting mix ready:
1. Organic Matter
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Peat moss is hard to maintain wet because it dries out quickly, which is why it is the star in most potting soils. Adding finely ground bark enhances the soil to make it drain out water faster.
An excellent substitute for peat moss would be coir, which unlike peat moss, is rather easy to wet and dries up fast.
2. Inorganic Matter
Instead of using sand, perlite goes well succulents. Perlite allows water to soak into the soil and drain quickly, which keeps the soil mix airy and crumbly. Other great substitutes for sand include pumice, crushed granite, chicken grit, and cat litter (non-soluble).
3. The Mixture
Start with half of each of the two ingredients. I advice you to add less inorganic matter for succulents such as sedum, aloe vera, and crassula, and mix in a little more for bigger succulents.
To test whether your succulents soil is as you needed, wet part of it and squeeze it into a ball. If it compacts and holds, it will not drain as required by the plants. When this happens, add more inorganic material and keep testing until it easily crumbles when you release the pressure.
Watch this video for Fun Succulent Pot ideas from 5-Minute Magic:
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As you gain more experience in growing succulents, your potting soil mix will probably change. But this basic approach to finding the best soil for succulents is an excellent place to start.
Growing succulents will just get easier. Indulge in as many varieties as you can, both for fun and for aesthetics.
What succulent varieties do you want to plant in your front porch this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.
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