Indoor succulent gardens are fun and easy to make. In this post, I will show you exactly how to make your own, with detailed step-by-step instructions.
I love combining my succulents into miniature indoor gardens! They have shallow roots, so they are perfect for planting in mixed containers.
Plus, combining a bunch of small succulent plants into one pot makes them easier to care for. It means less watering, and less maintenance! I’m all for making life easier.
Below I am going to show you step-by-step how to create small succulent arrangements for displaying in your home, or to give away as gifts.
Choosing What Succulents To Plant Together
There are tons of different types of succulent plants. They come in just about any shape, size and color.
You can order them online, find small ones for sale at your local garden center, or you can use ones you already have. Heck, you could even propagate succulent cuttings from your own collection, and use those.
Wherever they come from, be sure to choose a good variety of colorful succulents, ones with variegated leaves, as well as various shapes and sizes. This helps to add tons of depth and color to your mixed arrangement.
The number of plants you choose to grow in your DIY mini succulent garden depends on what you like. You’re only limited by the size of your container.
To help get you started, I recommend choosing one tall plant (the focal point/thriller), a couple of shorter ones (fillers), and at least one that cascades over the side of the pot (spillers).
The plants I’ve chosen for my indoor succulent garden are: (top left to bottom right) rat tail cactus, aeonium, aloe (the red one on the right), haworthia, and echeveria.
Best Container For Making An Indoor Succulent Garden
You can choose any decorative container you want. However, I highly, highly recommend using ones that has drainage holes in the bottom.
Succulents will not tolerate wet soil for long, and the holes will help to prevent overwatering.
If the container you want to use doesn’t have holes in the bottom, you can easily drill a few into the bottom yourself (be sure to use a masonry bit for clay or ceramic pots).
For this project, I chose to use a large terracotta bowl that I had on hand. Clay pots are wonderful for succulents, and I use them whenever I can.
The reason terracotta pots are my preferred choice is because they absorb moisture, and help the soil dry out quicker. Which is exactly what you want for your indoor succulent garden.
If you don’t like the look of the plain ones, learn how to paint terracotta pots here.
How To Make An Indoor Succulent Garden
Now that you’ve picked out the container and plants for your DIY indoor succulent garden, it’s time to put everything together. Here’s what you’ll need…
- Decorative container with drainage holes
- Succulent plants (here’s a great online source)
- Succulent soil
- Decorative rock (optional)
- Drainage netting (optional)
Rather than buying potting soil and rock separately, you could start with a succulent planter soil kit, which makes creating your dish garden a snap!
Steps To Make Your Own Succulent Planter
Step 1: Cover the holes and add soil – If the holes in the bottom of your planter are large, then you should cover them with drainage netting before adding soil.
This will keep the soil from washing out of the holes, but still allow the water to drain. A piece of window screen or landscaping fabric would also work, if you have some on hand.
Step 2: Add your focal plant – The first thing you should add to your DIY miniature succulent garden is the focal plant (the tallest one).
Depending on how your arrangement will be displayed, you can put it in the center, if the garden will be viewed from all sides. Or you can put the tallest plant in the back of the container, if the display will only be seen from the front.
Tip: Instead of centering your focal plant, moving it slightly off to one side sometimes adds more interest.
Step 3: Add the filler plants – After you figure out where you want your focal plant in your container, add the filler plants around it. These will be the bulk of the arrangement, so they will take up the most space.
While you play around with different placements, just set the plants on top of the soil for now. This will to help you figure out the best design for your indoor succulent garden.
Nothing is permanent at this point. So take your time, and move things around until you are happy with it.
Step 4: Add the cascading plant(s) – Last, add the cascading plants around the outside of your succulent planter.
These should spill out over the top of the container, adding a whole new dimension to your small succulent garden. You can add one or several of them, depending on what you like, and how large your container is.
Step 5: Fill container with soil – Once you have all of your succulents placed in your container, fill the spaces between them with soil, gently packing it in place as you work
If you plan to add decorative rock to your indoor succulent garden (seen in step 6), leave about a half to one inch of space between the top of the soil and the top of the planter.
Water the container, and allow the soil to settle. Fill in any gaps or holes that form with more dirt as necessary.
Step 6: Add decorative rock to your succulent dish garden (optional) – Once the potting soil has settled, you can add decorative rock over the top for a nice finishing touch.
This step is totally optional, but I always add cover rocks to my indoor succulent gardens. Not only does it look nice, it helps to keep the soil from washing out when I water it.
Indoor Succulent Garden Care Tips
Once you’re done creating your tabletop succulent garden, it’s important to know how to care for it. Here are a few tips…
- Put it in a sunny window, succulents like to have lots of light. If any of them start to grow leggy, add a grow light.
- Do not overwater. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If you have issues with giving your plants the correct amount of water, I recommend getting a soil moisture gauge to make it easier.
- Never leave your succulent planter sitting in water. Allow the excess to drain completely, then dump it from the tray the pot is sitting on.
- Use a natural, organic fertilizer. I use (and highly recommend) organic succulent fertilizer or a compost solution – they work better than chemical fertilizers, and are much healthier for the environment.
If you want to learn more, read my comprehensive Succulent Plant Care Guide.
Creating an indoor succulent garden is fun, and it’s a great way to display your collection. I will warn you though, it is very addicting! At last count, I think I had over 15 of them! Oops! They make wonderful gifts though, so at least you’ll know what to do with all the extras.
If you struggle to keep indoor plants alive during the winter, then my Winter Houseplant Care eBook is just what you need. It will teach you all you need in order to grow healthy houseplants all year round! Download your copy today.
Recommended Books On Succulents
- Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants
- Plant by Numbers: 50 Houseplant Combinations to Decorate Your Space
- Growing Succulents Indoors
- Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties
More Posts About Growing Succulents
- Gritty Succulent Soil Mix Makes Growing Succulents A Snap!
- How To Propagate Succulents In Winter
- Succulent Frame Art Care And Growing Tips
- How To Care For A Jade Plant
- The Ultimate Guide To Aloe Vera Plant Care
Share your tips and ideas for how to make an indoor succulent garden in the comments section below.