How to Make a Succulent Arrangement

by Sophie Tsang 09/19/2021

Succulent arrangements make excellent natural decorative pieces. You can grow and maintain them inside and out and use almost anything as a container, making them extremely versatile and an easy way to enjoy the beauty of live plants. While you can purchase many succulent combinations pre-made, sometimes it’s more fun (and more affordable) to make them yourself. Here are some things to consider when choosing succulents to use in your container or planter:

Care Requirements

While succulents all share the same basic characteristics, some of them differ dramatically in the details of required care. Succulents and cacti have plump leaves and limbs in order to store moisture during long periods without water. This makes them drought-tolerant and low-maintenance for watering. However, different succulents need different amounts of water or at different frequencies. Those with thinner leaves prefer more water than those with especially thick leaves.

Other care details to consider are light and temperature requirements. Some succulents thrive in harsh, full sunlight. Others prefer shade or only partial light and will get burned under full sun. There are some varieties of succulent that can withstand frost and freezing temperatures, but most will perish if left exposed to harsh winter weather. When choosing succulents to plant in an arrangement, make sure they have similar needs so they thrive together.

Dormant Seasons

Besides light, temperature and water needs, succulents also differ in dormant seasons. A dormancy period is the opposite of a growth period, meaning growth will slow or stop completely. It can also mean dropping leaves or other signs of the plant shedding excess matter to conserve energy. While most succulents do not look dramatically different when dormant, they do have different care needs. When succulents or cacti are dormant, decrease your watering by at least half. Some varieties prefer you not water them at all until the turn of the season.

This matters to your arrangement choices primarily because of ongoing maintenance. If some succulents are dormant while others are not, it’s easy to accidentally over-water or overexpose the sleeping plants while taking care of the active ones. This can lead to root rot, sunburn and other problems.

Color & Shape

Choosing succulents for your arrangement based on their color, size and shape is the fun part of the planning process. Succulents appear in a rainbow of colors and some even change color depending on environmental conditions. Some also grow with variegation in their leaves, a rare type of mutation that appears in multiple colors or even patterns like stripes. In terms of color, there are a few strategies for picking the right plants. Analogous color schemes include colors next to one another on the color wheel, while complementary colors would be opposite. With green and red being extremely common succulent colors, the latter is easy to accomplish.

For shape, size and texture, you have just as many options. You can combine tall, spiky succulents like aloe and haworthia with flat rosette shapes like echeveria. There are even trailing succulents like sedum and crassula that will spill over the edges of a container. With so many plants to choose from, you will create a beautiful arrangement no matter what you combine.

About the Author

Sophie Tsang

Sophie’s Civil Engineering background and marketing expertise contribute to her broad understanding and high efficiency in marketing real estate properties. She has been consistently a top performer since 2005, and ranks top 1% of all Silicon Valley Realtors, and top 1000 Realtors in the country per World Street Journal Real Trends.

As a seasoned negotiator, Sophie’s no-nonsense marketing system and meticulous attention to details have been key success factors. She is known as the The Fixer, or the Miracle Worker, frequently helps sellers sell their homes when other agents had failed or given up. She helps buyers get into homes when they previously struggled. 19 years in Real Estate, Sophie has honed her skills on getting the best possible results for her clients. Her trusted network of vendors and use of cutting-edge technology ensure each step of each transaction is executed to achieve next level result!

Sophie is a proud parent of 2 Eagle Scouts. She has done guest speaking at Faith Radio, and written a column for World Journal Newspaper to share her Real Estate knowledge. Sophie is a Palo Alto Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow, also a Golden Gate Keeper (Golden Gate National Park Conservancy)