Monday, June 17, 2013

~ How to Create a Succulent Dish Garden ~ Tutorial

Making a succulent dish garden is one of the easiest garden projects you will ever do. And it is so rewarding for instant gratification, and months or years of enjoyment. The one above is a few months old. It sits in a semi-shade spot and I water it occasionally if it hasn't rained in a while.

1. Select a container at least 4 inches deep.
This terracotta dish is only about $5, and is really perfect for succulents. You want a shallow dish but one that is at least 4 inches deep. You can find these at Home Depot, Lowe's and garden -  nursery centers.

2. Purchase various succulents in small pots.
(Of course you could use cuttings, but this takes longer and more patience.) These vary in price from the smaller peat pots starting at about $2 and then up for the size and type of plant.

3. Cover the bottom with gravel
4.  Then add cactus potting soil.
5. Moisten the soil before adding the plants.

6. Plant each succulent to the same depth it was in its pot.
Do not water again until the soil is dry.

Because we have so many days above 90* in the summer,
I do give my succulents a sprinkle about once a week.

Just as with any gardening, look for colors and textures
so you will have a more beautiful combination.

A wonderful bonus is that some succulents have very pretty and vibrant flowers.
Not usually very large, but pretty none the less.

There is no need to water again when starting your dish garden if you began with moist soil. The garden can go without water much more easily than adapting to too much water or rain.

The cuttings should be allowed to sit and dry a bit before starting them in soil. Then they like a constant lightly moisten soil to root before they will be like the grown plants which need much less water.

The stonecrop succulent in the hanging basket is an example of a really pretty succulent that can take a bit more water and be use with other plants that require more water. It is the pretty spiky plant spilling over the edge.

If you go through a very rainy period, then move the dish gardens where they are able to stay dry or do as we do, cover them with a tarp.  In the winter, they do need to be brought inside or sheltered when the temps go below 45* or so. In warmer climates like ours, they can stay outside all year long.

Growing succulents indoors can be a bit trickier.
* They need a lot of light and they also like a hot and dry environment.
Be sure to turn them so that the entire plant receives the same amount of light.
* A terracotta container works great since it breathes and can let the soil dry easier.
* They need special cactus soil. They don't do well in plain sand. I have cheated and mixed
some regular potting soil with nutrients with my cacti soil, and it has been fine though.
* Water thoroughly with lukewarm water, and then let them dry between water waterings.
* When you take them back outside, don't put them in full sun right away. They can get sunburn

Lots of good info for growing them inside and outside here at Desert Gardens.

For some stunning pictures and ideas
for growing succulents visit my
friends at Atelier de Campagne
and this post showing some beauties.

See Y'All Soon~

Click on the pictures below to visit The Decorated House Shop!


  1. Oh wow! Uncanny! Brilliant minds think alike! I love your post! Several people have commented that they used to not like succulents but they are appreciating them more.

    Great post!

  2. Donna- Great tutorial for putting that together. My Mother was crazy for succulents and I never really had any but I am being swayed by them at this stage in my life. Your arrangement is wonderful-Thanks- xo Diana

  3. Beautiful! I love the look of succulents. I have a couple of small succulent 'gardens' in my home, but they are not doing well. I guess I'll just have to admire yours!

  4. Hi Donna,

    Let me first thank you for always leaving me such sweet comments. Second let me apologize for not returning the favor...I have no excuse and it's extremely rude on my part. Your blog is one of my very favorite ones and has been for the very beginning, such talent you have!

    Now that that's off my chest, I'm going to try and do better!


  5. I love succulents and these little pots are gorgeous. They would have done quite well in our hot summer this year.

  6. Love those succulents. You got a gorgeous garden! Lovely colours here. Great shots too.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  7. Great post and I also appreciated the link at the end. I do many succulents outside in the summer in hyper-tuffa, but am not pleased with how they winter over as I would like them to maintain their beauty inside as well. I always end up rooting the tips by spring. I am looking for advice on keeping them in top form inside and have also questioned your friends at Atelier de Campagne in this regard... any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Larry

  8. I'm happy to see the number of people who have visited or left notes about the succulents. They are beautiful!

    I have added some additional information and a link about wintering them inside.


  9. I'm going to try!!!!

    Thank you Donna!!

    Are you having lots of rain? We're experienceing a horrible drought. So sad.

    Sending you happiness!


  10. Love succulents! Thanks for the tute

  11. glad I found your post today! I just started 2 succulent gardens myself and was a bit confused about the watering and gravel or not. I put one in a closed pot with no holes but put gravel in the bottom. The other I drilled holes in the bottom making it hard to bring in when winter comes. Thanks for the links as well.....I will be visiting them:D

  12. Succulents have been a new thing for me this year - i've enjoyed reading your post & learning more about them...thank you for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursday's! xoxo, tracie

  13. Succulent gardens are quite charming all on their own! Thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday this week! :)

  14. Hi Donna,
    Just dropping by to wish you a lovely day~

  15. Your blog is full of such beautiful things...from the old bottles to the mantle and the succulents are pretty, too!

  16. ALways a pleasure to see q comment from you, Donna!
    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

  17. What a great little garden, I am a big fan of succulents. They are rather easy to grow and don't need maintenance.


  18. Love your succulent garden Donna! It's pretty and practical! Especially in bloom!


  19. I never used cactus soil, didn't even know :) I have succulents I bought from IKEA and they are doing fine in my brightly lit (natural lighting) front living room. I have bonsai type shallow ceramic planters that I plan to fill with succulents this year. Yours are very beautiful!!


Everyone loves comments! Thanks for stopping by and for taking a moment to leave a little note. (Comment moderation maybe be on at this time. Simply leave your note, and it will be published shortly.)