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How To Plant Succulents Outside

By on Mar 8, 2018
How To Plant Succulents Outside

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Succulents are the hot item to have both inside and outside. If you’re planning your garden this year, you’ll want to be sure to add a few succulents where you can. You’d be surprised how stylish they can make your landscaping look!

These plants are known to be low maintenance. But, to help them thrive in your yard, you’ll want to be sure you incorporate the right succulent in the right spot. Here’s your guide on how to plant succulents outside.

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Planting Succulents Outside

Planting Succulents Outside

Most people associate succulent gardening with the Southwest region of the country. That’s for a good reason. Most succulents, with the exception of hens-and-chicks, are not as hardy to changing climates. However, you can still plant your favorite succulents in your yard this year. Here are some succulents to plant outside that will keep your garden trendy:

  • Echeveria
  • Hens-And-Chicks
  • Stonecrop
  • Pigmyweeds
  • Agave
  • Haworthia
  • Aeonium
  • Senecio

In order for these succulents to thrive, you must care for them properly. Here are a few tips to help your plants grow.

1. Be Mindful Of Weather

Succulents do best when the weather is just right, not too cold and not too hot. That’s why some homeowners choose to plant their succulents in container gardens, so they can bring them inside when it gets too cold or too hot. If you plan on doing this, you’ll want to ease your plant outside in the shade before putting it into the sunlight, so it has time to adjust to the elements.

Provide Shade

2. Provide Shade

Contrary to popular belief, there are some succulent plants that can’t handle full sun. Succulents can that don’t need full sun can actually be burned with too much exposure. While most need sun for most of the day, it's advised to give your succulents some shade. Here are succulents that need shade to survive:

  • Lace Aloe
  • Hens And Chicks
  • Painted Ladies
  • Aeoniums

3. Water As Needed

One of the reasons homeowners are drawn to succulents, both indoors and outdoors, is the ease of care and watering. If you have your succulents in a container garden, you’ll want to soak your soil completely. Then, don’t water again until the soil is dry. Depending on your climate, this could be at about two to three days, or even longer.

If you’ve planted your succulents in the ground, you’ll want to water a maximum of once a week in the summer to help them thrive. You don’t need to completely soak the ground like you would with other plants. That can cause them to become overwatered. Make note if it rains and avoid watering them until it’s needed.

Transplant With Caution

4. Transplant With Caution

In colder climates, you’ll want to bring your succulents inside when the weather gets cold. Most succulents can't handle the chilly weather. You can easily do this by transplanting the succulents you have into pots. However, it's not as simple as other flowers. First, fill the bottom of your pot with a few rocks so water can easily drain. Then, you’ll need to use a sand and soil mix to repot your plant. This will give your succulent all the nourishment and drainage it needs until it’s ready to go back out next summer.

5. Provide Drainage For Containers

If you’re planting your succulents in containers for the outdoors or you’re moving them inside to keep them from a cold winter, drainage should be your biggest concern. As I mentioned above, a great way to ensure proper drainage is by adding rocks to the bottom of your container first.

For outdoor containers, make sure the pot you’re using has a hole on the bottom, so you avoid overwatering your succulent. You may want to get a plant stand or pot “feet” to elevate the container so water can escape. Indoors, you’ll want to place a dish underneath to catch any excess water.

Give Them Space

6. Give Them Space

Succulents are a versatile part of the garden. They are, however, slower to grow and need to be spaced precisely with other succulents to grow up and not out. I advise not putting your succulent right next to a flower in your garden, as they grow at different rates and have different watering needs.

If you’re putting more than one succulent in the pot, keep about a 1” distance between them. If they are planted too far apart, the succulents will grow more and more roots, while neglecting to grow big, beautiful leaves and stems. These unique shapes give succulents their appeal, so make sure you help them grow to their full potential by spacing them accurately.

Soil Matters

7. Soil Matters

The type of soil you use is important to the overall growth of your succulent. When you’re first planting your garden, you’ll want to use a high-quality potting mix with a small mix of pebbles or gravel. Depending on the size of your plant and root, you’ll want to dig 6” to 8” into the soil for planting. After they have settled in, use fertilizer or compost mixture to help nourish the ground.

Soil Testing Costs

If you’re getting ready to plant a succulent garden, it’s a good idea to have your soil tested first. As you can see, the right soil matters for the health of your succulents and other plants you may have in the garden. The average cost to test soil is $1,142. But, you also have options to test the soil yourself and find the pH level with kits sold in your local garden store.


Succulents are a beautiful and trendy addition to your landscaping. While generally low-maintenance, they do require some care to thrive. Use these tips to help your succulents grow outdoors.

Looking for more gardening ideas? Read What Flowers Bloom In Spring?

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