How to Plant Succulents in a Pot (An Easy Guide)

By | Updated November 8, 2023

Succulents are unique plants! They can survive in dry environments, don’t need much water, and come in many different shapes and colors.

If you want to add some of these unusual plants to your home or garden but need help planting them, this article is for you!

Here is an easy guide on how to plant succulents in a pot that will have your new succulent friends growing healthier than ever!

What To Know Before Planting Succulents in Pots

Succulents are usually low maintenance, but that doesn’t mean you can put them anywhere and expect great results.

There are some things you should know before planting succulents in pots.

When Should You Plant a Succulent?

Succulents like warm weather and lots of sun (although some varieties can handle colder temperatures), so planting your new plants in spring or summer is best.

If you’re planting an indoor succulent, you can plant it whenever it is convenient. However, you will need to provide the plant with bright indirect light.

It’s also an excellent time to plant one after you acquire a new succulent. Succulents are often sold with soil that is only partially appropriate for the new plant.

You’ll need to transplant your succulent plant into a pot with soil suited for its needs before expecting optimal results.

Succulents are resilient plants, so you can find an appropriate time for planting and repotting them.

It will take a few months before they start thriving in their new environment, but once they get acclimated, they’ll grow faster than ever!

What Type of Soil Do You Need to Grow Your Succulents in a Pot?

When planting and growing succulents in a pot, the first step is choosing the right potting mix.

Succulents do best in well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. Avoid using soil from outside because it likely contains weed seeds.

Soil should be very porous so water can easily flow through the roots, allowing oxygen levels to remain high enough for plant health.

A good alternative would be using cactus soil.

Regular potting soil is fine if you mix it with sand and perlite before planting. The ratio should be anywhere from one to four parts potting soil, two parts sand, and three or four parts perlite (or pumice).

You can also use a succulent potting mix, typically a mixture of peat moss and sand.

What Type of Container Should You Use for Your Succulents?

There are many different types of pots you can use to plant succulents.

However, some work better than others, depending on the size and type of plants you have.

For baby or small succulents, choose something with shallow depth so their roots don’t get too cramped underneath them while they’re still growing.

Selecting a container with drainage holes at the bottom is also best since these tiny plants do not need much water or soil mix to thrive.

A clay pot works well because it’s porous enough for good aeration and drainage. Still, heavy enough that the wind won’t easily knock it over.

For larger-sized succulents, choose a container with more depth so they have room to grow and spread their roots down further.

If you plan on overwintering your succulent plants in colder regions or bringing them indoors for winter, it is essential to select an even deeper pot that can accommodate the plant’s root system over time as it expands.

Succulents dislike their roots being too wet or cold, so having a deeper pot is best for overwintering succulent plants.

An unglazed ceramic pot works well because it retains moisture longer while keeping the potting mix from becoming soggy and waterlogged.

The most important thing is to ensure your container has proper drainage.

Succulents do not like their roots sitting in water. Always use a pot with good drainage holes at the bottom. Choose one made from porous material such as terracotta and unglazed ceramic.

How to Pot Succulents: Step-by-Step Guide

Before you start planting your succulents in pots, you’ll need some basic supplies:

  • A pot with drainage holes at the bottom
  • Soil (a cactus & succulent soil is best)
  • Rocks or gravel for the bottom of your pot to help with drainage
  • A top-dressing of decorative pebbles or moss
  • Succulent plants of your choice

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, follow these steps to plant your succulents in pots:

1. Remove the Succulent From Its Container

Remove your succulent from its plastic container. Gently remove any excess dirt around the plant’s root system using your hands so there isn’t too much left packed around its base.

If leaves are damaged or beginning to rot, cut them off at their base with a clean pair of scissors until only healthy leaves remain.

2. Place a Layer of Gravel

Place a thin layer of gravel on the bottom of your pot to help with drainage.

Depending on your container’s depth, the depth should be about two inches or more.

3. Fill With Soil

Fill your pot about halfway with the soil.

Tamp the soil down firmly to prevent any air pockets from forming under the surface.

Succulents do not like their roots sitting in water. There must be sufficient drainage holes at the bottom of your container.

If they don’t have them already, drill some yourself so excess water can flow through freely without drowning your new succulent plants over time.

4. Place the Plant Into the New Container

Place one plant into its new container, ensuring it sits deep enough so stems aren’t buried underground where rot can set in.

Remember that succulents need to be planted at the proper depth, depending on their size.

5. Add a Well-draining Soil Mix

Begin adding soil around your plant’s roots and work it in between them carefully so they aren’t harmed or sitting too tightly inside its new pot.

You can use a small gardening trowel or stick to help you do this.

Ensure the plant is stable and not wobbly in its new home before adding more soil all around it.

Continue filling the pot around your plant’s roots and add more soil if necessary until it is sitting at the desired height for you to top dress with decorative pebbles or moss.

6. Add a Top Dressing

Add your succulent top dressing of decorative pebbles, gravel, moss, or any other materials you like on top of the soil around your plant.

This makes for a nice finishing touch and will help camouflage any excess dirt or debris that may have fallen out during planting.

7. Don’t Water

After planting your succulent in a pot, let it sit for several days before watering it to allow the roots to settle and heal. 

After a couple of days, you can water your succulent as usual. But ensure the water drains freely from its base and doesn’t pool inside.

Water succulents only when the soil begins to feel dry or begins to crack open on the top, which means it needs more moisture.

8. Provide Bright Indirect Sunlight

Place your succulents in bright, indirect sunlight where they will receive some direct sunlight but are shaded from the sun’s harshest rays.

Succulents prefer bright light, so place them next to a window with filtered sunlight when in doubt.

9. Provide Proper Care

Continue following your succulent care guidelines and water it about once a week, depending on how quickly its soil dries out.

Ensure the drainage holes in your pot allow all excess liquid to flow freely without pooling inside if you will not water it for a couple of days.

10. Enjoy Your Potted Succulent Plant!

Enjoy your new potted succulent plant!

Make sure to give it lots of love and attention, but don’t overwater or underwater if you want the best results in future growth.

Your succulents should continue looking plump and healthy throughout their life cycle without too much maintenance required on your part.

How to Plant Multiple Succulents in One Pot

When planting multiple succulents in one pot, it is best to use similar varieties with the same growing conditions.

This way, they can grow and thrive together as a community, requiring less maintenance over time than having multiple succulents of different species living inside the same container.

For example, planting an Echeveria and Graptopetalum succulent together will produce beautiful results as both have similar growing conditions and can survive alongside one another.

You should be able to find different types of succulents that do well-living side by side in the same pot. So you don’t need to worry about choosing multiple succulent varieties from other species if this is your first time attempting such a feat.

Final Thoughts

Succulents are popular plants to have in a container garden or inside the home.

They are easy to care for, low maintenance, and require very little water. Succulents can be used alone in a pot or mixed with other plants.

Remember to grow potted succulent plants in pots with holes in the bottom for drainage, and add small rocks or pebbles before adding soil.

Succulents require very little care once they have been planted in a pot, so you should be able to enjoy them for a long time.

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