Our house, built in the 1970s, has a lot of built-in planters, there’s one right at the front door. Below you can see how it looked when we moved in, some greenery in that planter, but nothing much to look at. (You can see our full before home tour here.)
I tried various plants in that planter, nothing really worked. It is a tricky spot as it only gets sun early in the morning. Planters also need a lot of water, and I kept on forgetting to water them. I finally settled on succulents to use in the planter. I planted about four different types mixed in the planter. And for some reason, they did not flourish. The bigger plants took over, and the smaller ones did not get enough light. I also could not control the weeds, and it was a messy succulent planter.
Finally, about two years ago, I decided to tame the succulents and get some order and formality in the planter. I planted them in a formal arrangement, with rows of rocks to separate the different types. This ensured that all the plants got enough light, and they all flourished. It also made it easier to manage the weeds, as I could see straight away where they came up. But they grew so well that it was time to replant again.
Replanting the Succulent Planter
I’m still not in the habit of taking before pictures; I’ll get there someday. Above and below, you can see the in-process photos. Succulents propagate themselves, so we had a bit of overpopulation in there. I removed all the plants from the planter. Succulents are easy to remove and replant, and if any of the leaves come off, you can just put them in the soil, and they’ll sprout roots.
Although the succulent planter looked good, the plants needed more room and the new plants could be used somewhere else. I love using succulents everywhere in our garden. Here in South Africa, we haven’t had the best rainfall in the last couple of years so we do use more water-wise plants in our entire garden. It helps to have some extra plants to fill the gaps.
Adding New soil to the Succulent Planter
It is essential to add new soil or compost to the planter before replanting the plants. The nutrients get used up in the soil. Your plants will grow better if you provide good soil again.
I placed rows of rocks to demarcate the areas for the different types.
Then you can start putting them all back in. As the whole planter has a formal arrangement, I planted the plants in rows. The number of rows and columns will depend on the size of the individual plants.
I am thrilled with how it turned out. It looks neat and all the plants have enough space again. Plus I had a whole lot of extras that I used in other areas in our garden, in hanging planters and I gave some away.
I love the formality! It works well with the style of the planter and the arrangement of the succulents.
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Do you like this arrangement? How do you plant your succulents and have you also found that they behave better when kept separate?