Choosing the right pot for your succulents is not an easy task! With so many adorable planters in all shapes and sizes out there, how do you know which one to pick?
While picking a planter with a design you love is important, today we’re going to talk about the more practical things you have to consider when buying a succulent pot, like drainage and size.
Choosing a pot with proper drainage and sizing will ensure the health of your plant babies for years to come… so don’t just pick the prettiest planter on the shelf! (Although it’s fun to do this sometimes!) Make sure it fits these parameters too so it won’t damage your succulents.
Drainage for Your Succulent Plants
Drainage is the most important thing to consider when choosing the right pot for succulents. If your pot doesn’t have good drainage, your succulents are at risk of root rot and other symptoms of overwatering, like mushy, yellow leaves.
Your succulent can even die if it sits in too much water, so you have to give any excess water in the pot a place to go. Enter drainage holes! They’ll allow water to drain from your pot quickly so that your succulents don’t get waterlogged.
There are plenty of adorable pots with drainage holes, like this aqua sunburst planter. But if you have your heart set on a trendy planter without good drainage like a glass terrarium, you can make it work with some careful planning and skill, it might just take more work on your end.
If you want to plant your succulents in a glass terrarium, or any other succulent planter without drainage holes, you’ll have to water them sparingly. You want to pour enough water into the container to wet the soil, but not so much that it will pool in the bottom. If you do create a little puddle of water in the bottom of the container, your succulents could end up dying of root rot because there’s nowhere for the water to go.
So when you’re using a container without proper drainage, always steer on the side of under-watering. And make sure to plant your succulents in a porous succulent soil similar to this so that doesn’t retain too much water—it’ll help prevent your plants from rotting!
Check out our full article if you would like some tips on watering your succulents.
Best Materials Used for Succulent Planters
The best pot for succulents is one made out of terracotta (clay) or ceramic. Both of these materials are nice and breathable, so they’ll work in indoor areas that might not get a lot of airflow. Since they allow air to flow and water to escape, terracotta and ceramic pots reduce the chances of your succulents dying from overwatering or root rot. That’s why they’re such a great choice for new succulent owners and people with brown thumbs—they make hardy little succulents even harder to kill!
There’s plenty of beautiful ceramic and terracotta pots out there, so you should be able to find one that you love! We have very cute and tiny terracotta pots on one of the office window sills, if you want to check them out here’s where we got them.
For planters a little more on the rustic side, check out our article on how to make driftwood planters for your succulents!
Size of Your Pot Matters
When it comes to the right pot size, you may think bigger is better. You want to give your succulents plenty of room to grow, so planting them in a big pot is the way to do that… right?
Well actually, planting your succulents in a pot that’s too big for them can be detrimental to their growth and overall health! Planting your succulent in a properly sized pot, which should only have an inch or two of extra room around the sides at most, actually encourages it to grow. When your succulent’s roots reach the bottom and sides of the pot and don’t have a lot more room to spread out, your plant will produce new top growth above the soil instead, which is what you want to see!
Putting your succulents in the right containers also has another positive effect—it reduces their chances of dying from root rot. Soil retains moisture, so big pots that have more of it will retain more moisture. This puts your succulents at risk of water damage and root rot. Bigger is not always better, so plant your succulents in a small enough pot to keep them healthy!
If you’re ever concerned about if your succulent’s health, take a look at our articles Why Your Succulents are Dying or How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying. We’ve helped thousands of plant lovers save their succulents and cacti.
OK, I know we were just talking about how pots that are too big are bad for your succulents. But on the flip side, pots that are too small aren’t good for your plant babies either.
After a few years of living in the same pot, your succulent might outgrow it. It might become top heavy and start falling over in its container, or shooting out roots through the drainage holes of the pot because it’s trying to grow, but has no more room. In those situations, it’s a good idea to repot your succulent into a slightly larger container, because the small pot is likely stunting its growth. Here’s the best soil to use for your succulents for optimal growth in your favorite planter.
Succulents should be transplanted into containers that are an inch or two larger than their original container about once every two or three years. The beginning of your succulent’s growing season is the best time to repot. After transplanting your plant baby into a cute new container, wait a few days before you water it to give it a chance to root and acclimate to its new surroundings.
Now that you know how to choose the right pot for your succulents, are you going to repot some of your plant babies? Let us know in the comments section below! For some inspiration on how to design your own succulent garden, check out our Pinterest and Instagram for daily content! Or swing on over to our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, where you can learn additional tips and tricks from fellow succulent lovers.
Continue expanding your succulent knowledge! Take a look at some additional Succulent City articles like Top 5 Hanging Succulent Planters Worth Having, 10 Beginner Mistakes When Growing Succulents, and Sedum Morganianum— The Burro’s Tail Plant.
Thanks for reading, happy planting! ?