I bought a beautiful Succulent planter at a home show earlier this year.  It had 3 different types of Echeveria and I could not resist.  After all it was a bargain at $20.  It looked perfect as it was, but, of course, succulents are not cut flowers and therefore grow.  Herein lies the problem with buying Succulent planters. Are they a good buy????

Echeveria Succulent Plante

This is how the planter looked when I purchased it in April

Drainage Holes
If you do decide to buy one the first thing to look for is a drainage hole in the pot.  This will make life easier as water can drain through the bottom of the pot and not languish around the roots of the plant. If there is no drainage hole there is a risk of the roots sitting in water and dying due to root rot.

Inside or Outside?
The planter looked so nice I wanted to display it inside so I kept it on my dining room table during the week and put it outside on the warmer Winter days.  We had a very wet Winter this year so I didn’t want to over water it. Although it does have a drainage hole!  If you have a well lit covered patio area it would be ideal outside in Australian Winters.  Unless you have your planter in sunny room that gives the succulent enough light to grow well, I would ‘not’ keep the planter inside. (like I did)

Plant Selection
At the time I didn’t take too much notice of the plants themselves other than they were part of the Echeveria family. Looking back at the photos of when I first bought the planter I realise that the leaves were quite stretched/elongated.  In the world of Succulents this is called ‘etiolation’ or ‘stretching’.  This is due to the plant not receiving a sufficient amount of light. Succulents will happily grow with insufficient light, they actually seem to grow faster!  however, they will not look their best or be their healthiest. So, take note if the plants have elongated/stretched out leaves.

Echeveria photo

After a 6 months of being moved inside and outside, my planter did not look the same as it did when I first purchased it.  It looked decidedly worse.  My dining room is not dark but does not receive any direct sunlight. It was not the same beautiful planter I had purchased 6 months earlier.  (See Post: Do Succulents really prefer Sun? )

Echeveria Succulent Planter

Keeping it inside out of bright light probably was not a good idea.

Echeveria Succulent Planter

As soon as it was put outside in the sun it sprang to life.

Treat your planter as a mini garden
The planter you purchased is growing, so keep this in mind.  It can be a good way to save money as you buy multiple plants, a pot and soil.  Treat your planter as a mini garden, be prepared for the plants to outgrow the pot, change shape or possibly die.  You could add a few of your own Succulents if there is space.  Also, keep in mind the type of Succulents that in the planter.  If you do not know much about the succulents and how large they will grow ask the person who is selling the planter, hopefully they should know a fair bit about their product!

echeveria succulent

This is what my planter looks like now – see below. I must admit I have put it through a lot.  While outside in Winter it also endured a hail storm. (See post: Succulents DO NOT like hail!! )  The lack of light in the dining room made it stretch and the plants grow tall.  It has been outside since Spring and is looking better every day,

Echeveria Succulent Planter

Quite a different looking planter today.

Echeveria Fat Plant Planter

Where the plant has stretched new pups are growing along the stem.

echeveria succulent planter

The main Echeveria is now quite tall and will soon outgrow the pot.

I would say that Succulent planters ‘can’ be value for money and they look nice.  It is usually cheaper to buy a nice succulent arrangement than a bunch of flowers and even if it were to die it would definitely last a lot longer than the flowers.  Just be aware that it wont stay looking the same and that you might need to replant or adjust the plants.

Summary – If you buy a Succulent Planter?
– Check to see if the planter has a drain hole
– Ask the retailer how big the plants will grow
– Ask the retailer if all the plants like sunlight or will grow in low light
– The plants may outgrow the planter pot – be prepared for this
– If its good value for $ than buy it – otherwise you could make one cheaper yourself



Note: I do not profess to be an expert on succulents and do not have a horticultural qualification. My blog is simply my opinion and details my experience with succulents in my garden. All photos are taken by me. If there are photos of Succulents not taken by me this is mentioned.

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