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How to Plant a Simple Indoor Succulent Garden

Learn how to plant a simple indoor succulent garden in minutes! With these tips and tricks for planting succulents, you can use any vintage container as a planter.

Love the look of succulents but keep killing them? Feel like you are destined to be a black thumb when it comes to succulents? Not sure how to use vintage containers without drainage holes? I’ve pulled together all these answers in a simple indoor succulent garden tutorial. You can truly have a lovely garden in minutes!


indoor succulent planter


Indoor Succulent Garden

Several years ago I picked up a metal bowl on clearance. It caught my eye due to its unique shape, galvanized finish, and shallow depth. The bowl seemed to be a perfect container for plants, but I just wasn’t sure what to do about the lack of drainage holes.

Like many people, I love the look of succulents and their low maintenance water needs. Though I was a bit afraid of my black thumb, I decided to give succulents a try with an indoor garden.

Supplies Needed


How to Plant an Indoor Succulent Garden

1. First, fill the base of the container with a layer of pebbles, rocks, or glass. This layer gives the water somewhere to drain since this bowl doesn’t have drainage holes.
rocks in a bowl, planting succulents

2. Once the first layer is complete, start adding the assorted succulents. It’s best to place all of the plants into the container before adding soil, in order to decide on the garden arrangement.

  • place the largest plants first
  • fill in with the smaller plants
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One of the succulents was low and spread out, so I used it on one side. I placed the other two smaller, skinny plants on the opposite side. The larger succulents anchor the middle.

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3. Once you like the garden arrangement, take the succulents back out of the container. Use a potting soil designed for succulents to fill the sides of the container with dirt.

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4. Then, place the succulents back into the container.
  • Start at one point,
  • place the plant,
  • surround it with soil,
  • then continue around the perimeter of the container.
  • Place any succulents in the center of the container, last.

Following this order will make it easier to add soil while still allowing room to place succulents.

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Indoor Succulent Garden Centerpiece

Now you have an attractive succulent arrangement, packed well with good soil, space to drain water, and in a charming vintage-style container. Our indoor succulent garden is currently acting as the centerpiece at our dining room table.

indoor succulent garden

Tips & Tricks for Planting Succulents

If a container doesn’t have drainage holes, fill it with a layer of pebbles, rocks, or glass. This way, you can use any vintage {or new!} container that you’d like.

Always use potting soil designed for drought-resistant plants when planting succulents. Don’t skip this key ingredient! Proper soil is make-or-break for succulents. If you find that you keep killing succulents, this could be the reason.

FAQs about Succulents

How much water do succulents need?

Very little! I’ve gone several weeks without water my succulent garden and have never had any problems. Succulents are very low maintenance. However, if you over-water them, they may die.

Why do my succulents keep dying?

The two most common causes of a black thumb when it comes to growing succulents are:

  1. too much water
  2. poor soil

Make sure to buy potting soil designed for succulents and following the watering instructions. In fact, when it comes to watering, err on the side of less water rather than too much water.

More DIY Planter Projects

Craftivity Designs

Tuesday 13th of May 2014

They are doing well!! I've forgotten to water them for a couple weeks and they do fine (which is one of the GREAT things about succulents in my opinion). The planter was a decorative metal dish with a ceramic lid. The ceramic lid had broken so it was on clearance for about $7. I loved the large size and that it was metal; but it was totally just a lucky find :)


Monday 12th of May 2014

So how are the succulents doing? Thanks for posting; this gives me courage to try my hand at these sturdy plants. Love the planter too. Where did you get it? Good luck with them!