Creative Containers for Succulents | Midwest Living

Creative Containers for Succulents

Give your succulents a home in planters with character. Just add soil, water and plants.
  • mint condition

    Mint condition

    This mint green Buddy L. Ranch horse truck carries a load of bronze-tinged succulents that pick up the rusty hues of the hubcaps. Search for vintage-looking toy trucks at yard sales or in the depths of your attic. If you find one, spray it with clear acrylic to preserve the paint. If the truck bed is solid, drill drainage holes and add soil. Put taller plants next to the cab, adding smaller plants the farther away you go.  

  • Tune In

    Tune in

    A vintage radio makes a creative succulent container. Using a tiny screwdriver, remove the radio's back panel and pull out as much of the inner workings of the radio as possible. To make room for a planting vessel—a loaf pan works well—cut a rectangular opening out of the top of the radio (a stencil cutter may work best). Place a container inside, screw the back panel on and get to planting. 

  • Tea time

    Gather a handful of vintage coffee, tea and/or egg cups. The more variety, the better. Plant a single succulent in each container, making sure to balance the shape and scale. Display your charming cup garden on tiered cake plates or pedestals. 

  • Enlightened idea

    Turn the metal shades of a desk lamp into a wall planter. First, remove the bulbs and wiring. Drill two holes in the lamp's base plate and use anchor screws to attach it to a wall, keeping the shades upright as mini pots. Add potting mix to the shades and tuck in the plants' root balls. Tuck succulents in so that their bottom leaves touch the soil. 

  • On a roll

    On a roll

    This metal cart contains plenty of bristling, uniquely-shaped plants such as golden barrel cactus (Eichinocactus grusonii), Texas sotol (Dasylirion texanum), prickly pear, agave and ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense). 

  • Colorful container

    In this vintage Canadian Mountie cookie tin, you can find a sweet variety of succulents: string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), 'Neon' stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile), string of buttons (Crassula perforata), and pinkish Graptopetalum superbum. The metal lid tucked in back adds an extra pop of color. 

  • potted charm

    Potted charm

    Coral aloe (Aloe striata) anchors this colorful potted garden. A deep burgundy hybrid echeveria planted along one edge contrasts nicely with the trailing jade's green leaves. The upright stems of tall slipper plant (Pedilanthus bracteatus) feature reddish flower bracts, providing as a bright accent. 

  • cup of green

    Cup of green

    Enjoy this mug full of succulents, morning or night. For plants in nondraining containers, keep them in bright light, protected from frost and give them just enough water to keep the soil moist. 

  • ladle planter

    Ladle planter

    Grouping these ladles in a display create an eye-catching effect. You'll need succulent cuttings, a large nail and hammer, a few soup ladles (at least 8 ounces), scissors, potting mix and a chopstick. 

    Follow these steps for a picture-perfect display:

    1. Using the large nail and hammer, create a drainage hole in each ladle. Fill each ladle three-quarters full of potting mix.

    2. If your plants have roots, make sure to snip cuttings. 

    3. Tuck in cuttings until lowest leaves touch the soil. Use your fingers or a chopstick to fit the cuttings in tightly. Make sure no soil is showing.

    4. Lightly water to settle the soil and tilt each ladle to drain any excess water. 

  • planted funnels

    Planted funnels

    These funnels prove to be practical when watering—the top funnels drain into the lower ones. Hang them on a wooden pallet for rustic charm. 

  • Simple but stylish

    A uniquely shaped container provides the perfect home for cacti and other succulents. Keep the arrangement simple: tall plants in the back, smaller succulents in the front. Place this minature garden in a patch of sunlight. 

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