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Succulent Displays

So I bought a few succulents yesterday at a garden show.

I notice on Pinterest that some gardeners get really creative with their succulent displays ... using all kinds of accessories as planters.

I often wonder 'how on earth did they get a drainage hole in the bottom of that!' when the item used is an old tin, vase, suitcase etc etc.

And it got me to wondering ... are drainage holes ALWAYS necessary?



  • Yes you need to Drainage.

    Drainage holes can be easily made by using a drill image 

  • With Succulents and Cacti, yes.

    They come from very dry and often very warm places, so they need a suitable fast draining soil mix (I make my own, but you can buy ready made mixes too) and they won't thank you for letting them sit in wet, and especially waterlogged, soil.

    However, with something like a suitcase I can't imagine drainage holes would be easy to work with 'cause you obviously need something to catch any excess water : /

    In that case (no pun intended) I'd recommend very little watering at a time so it gets absorbed but doesn't run out, or sit in the bottom. Don't know how big your Succulents are, but for my newly planted on pups I'm using a Turkey baster to water them. Just a few drops, depending on their size, and they're done for a while.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 34,284

    Holes are vital, but make sure you mix loads of grit with the soil/compost you use as well to keep it open and prevent waterlogging. Succulents don't survive sitting in wet, cold soil as Blue Dragon has said.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Dawn13Dawn13 Posts: 22

    Thanks for your replies.

    I thought everything needed drainage holes!!!

    I wonder if sometimes plants are potted in 'odd' containers for a photoshoot because some of the images I've seen it would literally be impossible.

  • Yeah, sometimes Plants are potted in weird and wonderful ways just for an interesting photo shoot. So it might well be that some displays you've seen are 'just for show'.

    But there are lots of interesting ways you can plant up your house Plants. Anything from your choice in tableware (teacup and saucer, bowl and saucer etc) to upcycled hole-y buckets and wooden boxes. So don't be put off thinking you can't have interesting containers or even that it'll cost a lot to have them : )

  • Dawn13Dawn13 Posts: 22

    How would you put a drainage hole in the bottom of a tea cup Blue Dragon, with a drill?

    The sedums I bought are going outside but I did think some blue and white china could display them nicely. Was going to go around the charity shops and see if I can find an old bed pan or something similar.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    I love succulents in old tins. Knocking holes in old tins is pretty easy. A really big stout nail, a hammer and a piece of wood that fits in the tin (better to nail the nail in from the outside to the inside, or you get sharp bits sticking out the underside of the tin which will scratch the furniture). I made holes in an old zinc weelbarrow like this. image

    Drilling glass or ceramic is a bummer though, you need a special bit and preferably a pillar-drill, and lots of patience, because you must drill very slowly. Definitely tricky.

  • Dawn13Dawn13 Posts: 22

    Ooooh thank you Katherine W!!!Love you tips.

    The succulents I've bought are Sedum cauticola Lidakense and Sempervivum Reinhard (a house leek I think).

    I'll keep them both outside.

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