Spotted at Sunset’s Celebration Weekend: succulents in a Hover Dish hanging planter. I’ve been wanting one of these for a while now. Anything would look great in a planter this cool, but it really is so perfect for succulents.
The frilly echeverias are clearly the stars here. Smaller echeveria are planted in alternating clusters of green and purple with spiky forms filling the spaces between the clusters. Sedums are planted at the edges – the ‘donkey tail’ varieties will grow to spill over the edges of the planter.
I love this idea: succulents in a vintage birdbath – spotted outside a shop in Montecito.
That’s an agave attenuata in the middle, which will get quite big. The rest of the birdbath is filled with dudleya, jade, echeveria, kalanchoe, and sedum. The green plants in the middle are ringed by purple and blue succulents, with a few small green sedums tucked in around the very edges. Your dudleyas (the silver/blue/purple ones) will need to grow a bit before the rosettes get long and full like these. When they get too leggy, just pull them out, break off the long stems, and replant the rosettes.
Here is the inspiration for the project: the entry garden of our a house our friends rented in Sri Lanka during their trip around the world. The bowl of flowers in water near the front entry attracts positive energy and luck.
A bowl of flowers in water near my front entry will only attract raccoons and my thirsty labrador retriever, so I tried for a similar effect with succulents. I selected a couple of varieties of Dudleya with rosettes similar to the white flowers with their pointed petals and planted them in concrete bowls from Vietnam which I bought at Filoli’s annual plant sale. Here are similar planters at Terrain.
Dudleyas are the easiest succulents, you just plant them. To start a new plant, just snap a rosette off at the stem and stick it in the dirt. They’ll even root and form a new rosette from a single leaf. They are much more fragile than Echevaria so handle them carefully.
Here is the finished result on my porch.
I visited Filoli today, just before the gardens close for the season. The estate is set in the most beautiful part of Woodside and has a 16 acre garden, an orchard, a nature preserve, a 36,000 sq. ft house (which I have never set foot inside), and one of the best garden and home shops around. Their annual sale is going on now, so it’s well worth a visit for that reason alone.
Of course my favorites were the succulents in large scale containers. Big containers are striking and add a sense of structure, scale and permanence to your garden.
Pictured above, silvery Cotyledon orbiculata (pigs ears) in a concrete planter. Silver plants and concrete is one of the most beautiful combinations, and it really brings out the sculptural qualities of both plant and planter.
More silver and concrete. This one is Echeveria Zonnestraal.
Kalanchoe Silver Spoon. This timeworn yellow is perfection.
Agave Paryyi. Big planters are not cheap, especially big antique planters. You can get inexpensive, great looking terra cotta pots anywhere. They’re always classic and always look great. Their only drawback is how quickly they dry out, which is an advantage when growing succulents, so you pretty much can’t go wrong.
These are Dudleyas. I love the mix of forms, all in varying shades of silver, and the way the silver is set off by the white ceramic pot. Dudleyas are super easy to root from just a leaf. Just lay a leave on top of loose potting soil, keep the soil a little moist, and bam! roots and leaves. You can also just break off a rosette and replant.
Sedum in a turquoise ceramic pot I bought at an estate sale. For this pot, I like plants that spill over its squat, round form. When your sedum gets a little leggy like this one, just cut off the ones that don’t look good at the base of each stem. Trim the stem close to the leaves and tuck it back in your pot.
Haworthia growing in another estate sale find. This combination gives me a southwest/70s/midcentury vibe. Haworthia is a slow grower, but eventually it will get big enough for you to divide and repot. With this one, I have NOT had luck snapping off a rosette and replanting it.
Echeveria ‘Jade Point’ in a red ceramic pot. I like the chunky forms of both the succulent and the pot, and the red tips of the leaves with the red ceramic.
My very sweet in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary today, surrounded by family and friends. For the centerpieces/table decorations, I made these gold dipped terra cotta pots full of succulents.
Succulents were born to be party plants. They don’t wilt in the heat, they don’t need to be watered just before the event, they don’t drop leaves and petals on the table, and they make adorable favors for guests to take home. Succulents have great staying power, so you can make these a few days ahead of time.
Here is the how-to:
- 1 gallon of gold paint. I used Martha Stewart Gold Base from Home Depot. It’s a soft, pretty, non-garish gold.
- Dip the pots right into the paint. Vary the angles and how deep you dip. These are 4″ pots.
- Set the pots on wax paper to dry.
- Finish with one or two coats of clear lacquer or polyurethane inside and out. Coat the painted portion of the outside, and the entire inside stopping about one inch down from the rim. I skipped this step this time around and my paint did bubble a little after I watered the pots.
- Fill with dirt and mixed succulents. I stuck to six kinds of succuents. I varied the pots to make them more interesting, but limiting the number of succulent types made a harmonious overall group.
- Lightly water.
My biggest worry was that the raccoons would destroy the pots during the night. Which they have very happily done before. I placed all of the pots very close together on top of the table, hoping they’d be discouraged by the lack of space and potential for everything to come crashing down on them. The pots made it safely through the night.