Give mom a colorful succulent container

Published 9:26 am Monday, April 24, 2023

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it. If you are struggling to find a present for your mom, consider a mixed succulent container planting.

There are hundreds of types of succulent plants that make beautiful combination container plantings. Most local garden centers and nurseries I see typically have many selections of succulents from which to choose.

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Succulents are plants with soft and juicy leaves and stems that come in a wide array of colors, textures and sizes. Their leaves help them to retain water and survive in hot, dry climates. Additionally, because of their leaves, succulents are known for their air-purifying properties and can help to improve air quality in a room.

Aloe vera, sedum, kalanchoe, hens-and-chicks and jade plant are all considered succulents.

A succulent plant or container combination makes a great gift for those moms who love plants but do not necessarily have a green thumb.

Since succulents are about 90% water, they can miss a few waterings with no ill effects. They do not tolerate a soil that is too wet, so planting in well-drained soil is important. Unlike most container-grown plants, succulents love drought-like conditions. Make sure they dry out before watering them again.

Indoors, it may take up to a month before you need to water your succulents again.

Put succulents in a location that gets about six hours of full sun a day. Indoors, they look great by a window or in a bright room. Outdoors, they will brighten up a deck, porch or patio.

Pruning succulents is generally not required, and very little fertilizing is needed because they are slow growers. Succulents naturally enter dormancy in the cold, dark winter months, and they need only enough water to keep from shriveling during this time.

I like to create my own container planting by purchasing individual succulents and adding them to a container of my choice. I have also purchased some premade combinations in unique containers.

If you decide to create your own container planting, make sure the container has holes for good drainage.

When arranging your succulents in a container, don’t be afraid to be bold and adventuresome by varying leaf textures and colors. Choose a large one as your center plant and add some that cascade. You can add a tall succulent and then complete your container with filler plants.

I have been told succulents are representations of enduring love, so they are a great choice as a gift for your mom on Mother’s Day. Your mom can enjoy her succulents for many years to come.