24 July 2014

Creating A Succulent Garden from Industrial Salvage

This post originated in April of 2012 when succulents were just coming into their own as a trend (and I was still on a point + shoot camera, so please overlook the grainy images). I'm so happy to see they're still going strong two years later. Such easy plants to care for, and so forgiving! What's not to love about them? 

And the fact that they'll thrive in just about any container makes them a whole lot of fun.

succulent garden in repurposed containers via homeologymodernvintage.com

As a child, my mother was always trying to instill a passion of gardening into each of us and would encourage any interest we had in the field. For me, it was a cacti collection when I was in elementary school. Of course, the interest was fleeting for me and didn't last more than a few weeks. Looking back, I realize that she quietly took on the responsibility of keeping my collection alive as my interest waned. And if I remember correctly, it was still thriving when I was in high school (no thanks to me).

So, when the succulent trend returned, I fondly jumped on for the ride. 

succulent gardens in repurposed containers via homeologymodernvintage.com

succulent gardens in repurposed containers via homeologymodernvintage.com

succulent garden in salvaged container via homeologymodernvintage.com 

I love succulents and the endless variety of shapes and colors that are available. They're beautiful solo, as a single piece of art, every bit as much as when they're grouped together. 

How to properly create a succulent garden container

Making a succulent garden is relatively easy since these plants don't require a large amount of soil to grow or a deep container. In fact, they'll thrive in just about any situation you put them in, which makes them a lot of fun to play with.

To create your own succulent garden, there are only three things to consider - proper soil, adequate drainage, and lining your container to prevent your soil from washing away. I used a bit of weed barrier, but a piece of screen would also work nicely.

Making a loose potting mix for a succulent garden

A loose potting mix is important to prevent standing water around the roots. Contrary to what many think, succulents need regular waterings; but at the same time, they require excellent drainage. Standing water is certain death to these desert natives.

Creating a loose soil for your succulent garden

By simply mixing one part potting soil to one part Perlite you get the perfect ratio. There are many recipes out there, but this one seems to work as well as any.

Pebbles help retain soil in a succulent garden

And once you've planted your collection, add a layer of pebbles on top as a finishing detail. With such a loose soil and the shallow root system of the succulents, the pebbles will do double duty by both retaining the soil as well as creating nice textural interest.

Here's another little collection I put together inside an automotive service tray. See how shallow the depth is on this tray? Two years later, it's still thriving.

succulent garden using a salvaged auto repair cart via homeologymodernvintage.com

succulent gardens using salvaged containers via homeologymodernvintage.com

My succulent collection has expanded quite a bit since I created this post. I just love the texture and interest they create within my garden. Being easy to grow in just about any environment, succulents are one of those plants that allows you to add a little fun in your garden - and that's always a good thing!



  1. This is great information. My daughter has a jade plant and I think we may need to replant it in looser soil, it doesn't seem as happy as it should be.

  2. I've been visiting the succulent section at every store I visit lately and planted a few in the drier zones of my garden. I'm putting a planter together in my thoughts and deciding how I want it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post of inspiration!! ;)

  3. Last winter was brutal, no? I do like to bring my containers into the garage to over-winter.

  4. Oh, and they'll thrive in your climate. Lucky girl!

  5. two things that love!
    Industrial salvage and succulents!
    but I must say, I'm loving your green deck color too.
    I just purchased a stain called "Alligator Green" and then I suddenly became afraid to use it! You've given me the push!


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