How Close Together Should Succulents Be Planted

how close together should succulents be planted
Picture of Succulents planted in pots

A question we get spammed with on the Succulent City Plant Lounge is just how close together should succulents be planted? 

Everyone seems to have their opinion. So pay attention, guys and gals. This article will be an informative one.

Simply put, there is no fixed answer. There is no pre-ordained one size fits all. It’s all up to individual preference.

What do you want the arrangement to look like a few months down the line? What is your intention with the succulents? Your final goal? Why does any of this even matter? 

The number of succulents in a pot and the space between them directly impact how fast (or slow) they grow. I see you shaking your head in disbelief back there, but this is time-tested wisdom put on blast!

How Close Together Should Succulents Be Planted-Planting Slow Growing Succulents -SC
Slow Growing Succulents: Reddit@u/stoneyshi

Planting Slow Growing Succulents 

Say you are giving the succulent as a birthday gift tonight; you spent time on its arrangement and finally got it right. You do not want it to change much, if at all. In this case, you can slow down time by making it as packed as the pot can comfortably handle. Do not go overboard! 

This will slow the growth of the succulent to sloth-speed. Effectively remaining the same as when planted.

How To Make Your Succulents Grow Fast

On the other hand, the succulent is still a gift, but this time you’re shipping it to a relative half-way across the world, taking a few months to arrive. 

You can speed up time; by spreading-out the arrangement, effectively allowing the succulents to grow faster and fill the available space. 

When your relative gets it a few months later, it will look as if the succulent was planted yesterday!

So we can speed up time? Or slow it down? 

Like in the movie Click?

Well, not precisely like Jim Carrey’s remote from Click, but sure, in a way, we kind of can. 

Cool right?

Each technique has its pros and cons, but botanical scientists suggest keeping at least ½ to 1½ inches between plants if you choose a multiple-succulent-arrangement.

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Multiple Succulents together: IG@gypsyspirit19

Planting Multiple Succulents Together

With many succulents out there up for grabs, planting multiple succulents together is quite the rage right now on social media.

As a succulent enthusiast, you must have come across multiple-succulent-arrangements on the Succulent City Pinterest or Instagram. A tiny pot with various succulent species jammed inside, forming a colorful, attractive, artsy little feature reminiscent of a rainbow sprinkled ice-cream cone!

If you’ve never seen such an arrangement, I’ve included a link here.

There are two ways to approach multiple-succulent-arrangements, and Succulent City will guide you through the finer points of each one! 

If you want to learn more about succulents than your average hobbyist, check out our helpful guides, reviews, and collection of in-depth ebooks

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tight packed succulents: IG@loving_to_houseplant

Tight Packed Multiple-Succulent Arrangement

The first approach to multiple-succulent-arrangements is planting many individual succulents close together in one pot – a lovely, tight arrangement.

This method is perfect if you want them to remain the same size no matter how old they get (think Japanese Bonsai trees).

Planting individual succulents back-to-back leaves very little space for them to spread out. The plants sense this packed environment and automatically halt their growth speed. This approach gives them the ability to remain the same tiny size for an incredibly long time.

Pininterest@casmir123

Advantages of A Tight-Knit Succulent Pot

Succulents are survivalists. Extremely hardy little guys. A tight-packed arrangement enhances this plant-and-forget nature of succulents. Slowing down their growth speed slows their metabolism as well. Meaning they won’t need as much watering or tending compared to other plants.

Unlike their spaced-out counterparts, tight-packed arrangements are considered to have a more rounded, finished look since the pot is already brimming with flowers. They also maintain their overall look – their shape – much longer than individually planted succulents.

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IG@plantpluspaint

Disadvantages of A Tight Succulent Arrangement

It is harder to water a tight arrangement due to the succulents being back-to-back jam-packed, though by using a watering can with a long thin spout, you should be able to get in-between the individual plants.

The older the succulent, the bigger their leaves get, making access to some of the smaller guys for pruning tricky with the larger succulent’s leaves getting in the way.

Re-potting, a tight arrangement, makes for an exasperating task thanks to all the individual succulents’ intertwined and knotted roots. 

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Succulents spaced out: IG@the_kakching_plantsman

Spaced-Out Multiple-Succulent Arrangement

The second approach to planting multiple supplements in one pot is to space out each succulent comfortably. 

Utilize this method when you want your succulents to get bigger, spread out, and fill out the pot.

When you leave space between your succulents, they sense it and instinctively enter turbo mode – growing faster to fill the empty region. The more room you give, the quicker they grow, the bigger they get, and the more they spread out. 

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IG@plantsgoingmad_nz

Pros Of Spaced-Out Succulents

The more space you leave between individual plants, the more air flows unencumbered between the soil particles. Increased airflow translates to a faster and more efficient drainage system. 

Drainage is essential and shouldn’t be overlooked. Succulents are highly susceptible to root-rot from stagnant water, so the faster the drainage, the better.  

Learn more about Root-Rot in this Succulent City article:  What is Root Rot & How Do you Fix It? 

Cons Of Spaced-Out Succulents

Leave too much space between succulents – especially in a deep planter – and this will prompt them to focus on growing their roots instead of thor shoots.

Spread-out arrangements take time to fill the space between individual succulents giving your account a sort of unfinished look.

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Multiple Succulent Arrangement: IG@sorinasgarden

Choosing Your Multiple-Succulent Arrangement

Succulent arrangements are intensely personal little beauties. 

Only you know the reason for a particular arrangement and the inspiration behind it. 

Because of this, the answer to “how close together should succulents be planted?” is however close, or far, you want it to be. 

Just remember to keep it within the ½ to 1 ½ inch ballpark recommended by botanical scientists. 🙂

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