Succulent ART | Tutorials

How To...

How to Plant in the Garden

Aeonium aborium
How to Plant Succulents in the Garden
Step 1

Choose your succulents. Think about what look you would like to achieve - Plant in rows to create a border, or plant in a group to create a mass effect. Plant a feature plant on its own that has spectacular height and geometry like Aloes or Aeoniums (pictured - Aeonium aboreum). If you are after a hedge, Crassulas and Portulacarias are a great choice. If planting in a retaining wall, choose low to the ground varieties, like most Sedums to create a pleasant 'spill over' effect. Play around with colours and textures; plant a group of Senecio serpens 'Blue Chalk Sticks' for a sea of blue, or Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' for a beautiful orange.

If you find you are not happy with your arrangement - dig them up and move them around! Succulents are fantastic for their tolerances to environmental changes and will happily survive being re-located.

Step 2 Choose a position in the garden that suits your succulents' needs. Check the label for specific aspect requirements, as some succulents may not tolerate the full sun and prefer part shade.
Step 3 Prepare your soil a day or so before planting. Start by clearing any weeds. Then dig up and turn the soil over to aerate the ground. Add a soil improver/conditioner as directed and mix it through - this will help to improve the soil's ability to retain water and nutrients. Apply a wetting agent as directed to improve the soil's water penetration - water in thoroughly and allow to drain. If your soil is clay, apply some gypsum as directed and coarse grain sand to help break up the clay and improve the soil's drainage. Water in thoroughly and allow to drain. All these products are available at your local independent plant nursery.
Step 4 Dig a hole twice the size of your succulent root ball.
Step 5 Plant your succulent so that the base of the plant is level to the existing ground. Replace the soil around the root ball.
Step 6 Water in your succulents thoroughly. Apply a controlled release fertiliser as directed.
Step 7 Mulch your garden. This will keep the soil cool in Summer, warm in Winter, and reduce the soil's water evaporation rate. Pebbles, wood chips and gravel all make excellent mulches - just be sure to keep the mulch away from the base of your plant, as this can cause rotting.
Step 8 View the care information for tips on watering, fertiliser and general maintenance of succulents planted into the garden.
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How to Pot in Containers

How to Pot in Containers - Drainage

Drainage
How to pot Succulents into containers with Drainage
Step 1 Choose a container that has a drainage hole. You can always drill more holes into the bottom if needed. You can plant a single plant into your container, or you can plant many - just keep in mind heights, colours and textures when choosing your plants.
Step 2 Prepare the potting mix. Always use a good quality cacti and succulent potting mix, and add perlite for added drainage. Mix 1 part perlite to 8 parts potting mix. You can find perlite at selected Succulent ART retailers. Fill your container with the mix to approximately two thirds full.
Step 3 Arrange your succulents. Work in odd numbers per species as this has more impact. Choose a grand succulent to place as a focal point in the centre of your design. Then place low, spilling plants around the edge of the container. Place in the gaps medium height succulents.
Step 4 With the remaining cacti and succulent potting mix, fill in around the roots until your succulents are stable and firm in place. TIP - Tap the base of the container on the table you are working on to settle the potting mix.
Step 5 Water in the succulents thoroughly and allow to drain. Apply a controlled release fertiliser as directed.
Step 6 Top any exposed parts of soil with a topping such as pebbles or gravel.
Step 7 View the care information for tips on watering, fertiliser and general maintenance of succulents planted into containers with drainage.
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How to Pot in Containers - No Drainage

How to Pot in Containers - Expanded Clay Method

Expanded Clay Method
How to pot Succulents using the Expanded Clay Method
This method is fantastic for creating indoor glass succulent displays that looks dramatic and will get all your friends talking. The method uses Expanded Clay, which is available at selected Succulent ART retailers. These displays require very little maintenance and will last for years to come.
Step 1 Choose your succulents - Many species of succulents can be potted up using this method. Sansevieria and Gasterias are a perfect choice, as are Aloes, Euphorbias and Haworthias. Ensure that your succulents are well established and have an ample root system.
Step 2 Choose glass containers that have no drainage holes. Vases and drinking glasses are perfect choices. Transparent containers are preferable so that you can see and maintain water levels.
Step 3 Place a small piece of charcoal in the bottom of the container. This helps keep the water clean and clear.
Step 4 Rinse the expanded clay balls to get rid of any dirt or dust. Fill your container with the expanded clay.
Step 5 Apply a controlled release fertiliser as directed.
Step 6 Prepare your succulents by rinsing any soil off of the roots. Plant into the expanded clay.
Step 7 Fill the vase with water to one third the height of the container. Maintain this water level for the life of the plant. Through capillary action, the expanded clay will deliver the water from the bottom of the vase to the succulent's roots.
Step 8 Place indoors where it can receive adequate light. View the care information for tips on general maintenance of succulents potted using the Expanded Clay Method.
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How to Pot in Containers - Charcoal Method

Charcoal Method
How to pot Succulents using the Charcoal Method
The Charcoal Method is fantastic for creating succulent displays with containers that do not have drainage holes. It uses both charcoal and sphagnum moss, which are available at selected Succulent ART retailers. Containers potted with the Charcoal Method will last for years to come, provided you take a little care to not over water them.
Step 1 Choose a container that does not have any drainage holes. Be creative! Your container can be just about anything - pottery, tins, cups and old toys - scrounge around your house or yard to see what objects you can find!
Step 2 Place a thin layer of charcoal in the bottom of the container. This helps keep the water clean and clear.
Step 3 Apply a layer of sphagnum moss over the charcoal. This prevents the cacti and succulent potting mix from falling in and around the charcoal pieces.
Step 4 Using a good quality cacti and succulent potting mix, plant your succulents on top of the sphagnum moss in the container.
Step 5 Apply a controlled release fertiliser as directed.
Step 6 Cover any exposed areas of soil with a topping such as pebbles or gravel. Water in your succulents, being careful to ensure that the water level does not go above the level of the charcoal.
Step 7 Place indoors or outdoors (under cover) where it can receive adequate light. View the care information for tips on general maintenance of succulents potted using the Charcoal Method.
View Care Information