Planting Succulents In Rocks 100% ?!?

How To Plant Succulents In Rocks featured image

Growing succulents is pretty straightforward. It doesn’t require frequent watering and can survive in almost any environment. All you need is good drainage to avoid root rot and enough sunlight. Succulents don’t need much attention to thrive. But, if there are rocks and nothing else, your succulents may not survive. Why? Continue reading …

One Quick Answer …

So, can succulents grow in rocks only? No! The quick and straightforward answer to this question is that succulents cannot grow in rocks without soil long term. Rocks do not absorb moisture and cannot store water. Succulents are the hardest plants when it comes to withstanding the drought. However, this will eventually dry up their roots and they will slowly die. Not only water, but rocks can’t maintain the nutrients that a perfect succulent soil mix can provide. Planting succulents in rocks without soil will exclude vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and others.

But I have another fact to say. Your succulents can still survive for a few weeks or months when planted on rocks alone thanks to their natural resilience. Therefore, if you want to make a photo book for your succulents in an ‘oasis’ background, feel free to do it. Leave it for a couple of days and re-pot it later.

The rock as a decorative layer is such a good idea. Or, we usually call it top dressings. Pebbles and decorative rocks are encouraged to be among the best succulent top dressings I mentioned in this post.

A succulent between rocks (but quite sure they are just top dressing)
Look at this picture. I bet there is soil underneath. Rocks as a top dressing looks stunning, isn’t it?

Let’s Name A Few Succulents That Are Hardest When Placed Among 100% Rocks

Before diving into how to plant succulents in rocks, it is also crucial to identify the best type of succulents for this method. Here are a few succulents that we recommended for rock planting.

  • Echinocereus – This type of succulent is also known as Kingcup Cactus and Mojave Mound Cactus. Echinocereus plants can grow up to 24 inches tall and develop the shape of a mound. It is known for its glorious scarlet flowers.
  • Crassula Capitela – This fleshy succulent is also known as the Campfire. Crassula Capitela has scarlet leaves that deepen their hues when exposed to sunlight. Generally, this type of succulent is small and can grow up to 6 inches tall.
  • Sedum Morganianum – This succulent is commonly known as Donkey’s Tail. It is a popular type of succulent with teardrop-shaped and blue-green leaves. You will typically see this succulent in hanging pots. Donkey’s Tail prefers bright sunlight and infrequent watering.
  • Crassula Ovata – This type of succulent is among the most popular ones. Crassula ovata is also known as the Jade Plant. It produces white to pink flowers that are said to bring prosperity. Crassula Ovata has mushy oval-shaped leaves and can grow up to 72 inches tall when matured.
Echinocereus (1) / Crassula Capitella (2) / Sedum morganianum (3) / Crassula ovata (4)

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Breaking into steps of placing succulents among barely rocks …

  • First, choose a beautiful space to plant succulents in rocks. Make sure to consider a location that can get enough sunlight.
  • Second, find both small and large rocks together. There are several types of rocks, like lava rocks, desert gold rocks, or Baja Cresta boulders.
  • Third, remove the succulent carefully from the pot. If the roots are a bit wet, let them dry before placing them in the rocks.
  • Lastly, set a timer/ calendar to re-pot them back into their soil mix.

Few last notices

Planting succulents in rocks requires some special care. Avoid using moss when planting succulents in rocks, as they can trap moisture and encourage the reproduction of fungi and bacteria. It is also not advisable to use non-porous rocks such as fish rocks, glass marbles, river rocks, etc. Porous rocks can only be used as a top layer for decorations, but you still need to ensure plenty of space and soil for your succulent to breathe. Check if there are enough drainage holes in your container to ensure the soil dries up quickly after watering. Lastly, like other succulent care guides, providing the proper sunlight for your succulents planted in rocks is crucial.

Final Words

We hope this article could answer all your questions on how to plant succulents in rocks. It might not be feasible for your succulents to live long-term in rocks alone, but there are ways to make a beautiful and healthy succulents rock garden in a short period. Let us know if anything is missing in this post. Happy planting!

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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