Succulents are an incredibly low-maintenance garden option that provides you with gorgeous aesthetics and a fantastic hobby. If you’re not very good at growing different varieties of plants and find that your green thumb is lacking, an outdoor succulent garden is an excellent idea. While you can grow succulents indoors, you might be limited on space or desire an outdoor succulent planter instead.
For this guide, we’re going to be discussing an outdoor residential landscaping concept. Though commercial properties do well with outdoor succulents and other low-maintenance landscape designs, they’re typically on a larger scale.
Outdoor Succulent Garden: Good To Know
Succulents are like cacti, though some varieties of succulents are not part of the cacti family. They’re similar regarding their water uses. Both varieties will hold water in their stems and pads, reducing the need to water your garden very frequently. If you were to grow vegetables or other greenery, you would surely find yourself outside with a watering can much more frequently.
Selecting Your Outdoor Succulents
Even though succulents are very easy to grow in most cases, you’ll probably want to start out with a simple variety like sedum or echeveria. They can be exposed to a great deal of sunlight without being harmed, and they don’t need to be watered every day. What you do want to be sure you have is a well-draining soil. Your soil quality will determine whether your plants will thrive or struggle.
Planting Your Outdoor Succulent Garden
Once you’ve determined what types of succulents you want in your garden, you’ll need to go about planting them. Choose a spot in your yard that receives a good deal of sunlight throughout the day. It’s fine if there is a break in the sun for a few hours.
You can check the condition of your soil by digging a small hole in the dirt that’s about one foot deep. When you fill it with water, watch to see if the water drains out within 30 minutes. If it does, then your soil drains properly. If you don’t see the water draining out in that time frame, you’ll want to mix some sand into the soil of your garden to boost drainage.
Arranging Your Succulents
A nice way to arrange your succulents is to situate the taller plants in the middle of your garden. They will serve as the main focal point. Around that center, plant some other succulents that have a bit of height to them. You can then surround the area with ground cover or other low succulents. Make sure that you’re keeping the stems of your succulents off the ground. You only want the main root structure to be submerged.
Once you have planted everything, it’s recommended that you cover the remaining soil with some type of small rocks. This acts as a mulch, so you don’t have to deal with weeds as often. Rocks will also help the soil retain moisture so you can skip watering for a few days and your succulents will still survive.
Building a succulent planter that can be taken inside and placed back outside is a great way to keep your garden healthy. If you’re expecting very heavy rains, you’ll appreciate this mobility. Plus, you may want to bring a few plants indoors for unique decoration during a dinner party or other event.
You can find a kit online, or simply use shallow pots to grow your succulents. Avoid any very deep and large pots that appear to be far too large for a small succulent. This usually just promotes soil that’s too saturated with water. Use a high-draining potting soil mix along with small stones on the top level of the soil.
If you’re wondering when you should bring your succulents indoors, you should know that anything over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and anything under 60 degrees isn’t suitable for succulent growth. If you live somewhere that experiences large fluctuations in temperature, it’s a good idea to use mobile planters that can be brought inside for the winter or on extreme temperature days.
Watering Outdoor Succulents
If it’s growing season for your outdoor succulents, you’ll want to make sure that you keep up with the watering. Though, infrequent watering can be beneficial for your succulents during other times of the year. This type of plant is very prone to rotting when too much moisture is present. Allow for some time in between watering so excess moisture can evaporate. You should also water your succulents at the very base of the plant where it touches the soil. Getting the stems of leaves wet will promote rotting.
As with any outdoor garden, you’ll want to keep an eye on your succulents to make sure they’re doing alright. You should watch out for pests and insects that could cause damage. If you do find an infestation, use a very light coating of water and dish soap on your plants. Don’t spray too much to prevent rotting from taking place.
You should also remove any dead stems or leaves that you see on your succulents immediately. This will prevent damage to the rest of your plant/garden. Use a sharp pair of garden scissors to make an angular cut that is close to the main stem or base of the plant. Be sure not to leave too much of the damaged leaf on the rest of the healthy plant, or it could cause rot or disease to thrive on the other leaves.
Your outdoor succulent garden concept should consider things like the location of your plants, sun exposure, soil type, arrangement, and variety of plants. There are certain types of succulents that are heartier than others, and you can add in more delicate types as you become accustomed to this type of landscaping. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us here at Professor Green Thumb. We are happy to help you with any landscape installation ideas you may have.