How To Plant Succulents In Rocks

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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 have you ever wondered how to plant succulents in rocks or if planting succulents in rocks is even possible?

Can Succulents Grow In Rocks Without Soil?

The quick and straightforward answer to this question is that succulents cannot grow in rocks without soil long term. First, rocks do not absorb moisture and cannot store water. Plant succulents in rocks will eventually dry up their roots and slowly die. Also, even low-maintenance plants like succulents still need nutrients to live. Planting succulents in rocks without soil will exclude vital nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and others.

Rocks, unfortunately, do not produce or release these nutrients. Therefore, your succulents will only survive for a few weeks or months when planted on rocks alone. However, you might find ways to make it appear that your succulents are planted in rocks. You may do this by placing the soil at the bottom of your pot and adding the rocks to the top layer. This way, it will appear as if your succulents were planted in rocks.

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Best Succulents For Rock Planting

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 Triglochidiatus – This type of succulent is also known as Kingcup Cactus and Mojave Mound Cactus. Echinocereus Triglochidiatus can grow up to 24 inches tall and develops a 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 generally 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.

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Ways To Plant Succulents In Rocks

Here’s your complete guide on how to plant succulents in rocks.

  • First, choose a beautiful space to plant succulents in rocks. Make sure to consider a location that can get enough sunlight.
  • Second, find the perfect type of rocks to use. It is essential to have both small and large rocks together. The types of rocks should also match the type of succulents that you are planning to plant.
  • Third, remove the succulent carefully from the pot. If the roots are a bit wet, let it dry before replanting.
  • Fourth, add draining soil on the rock surface. Make sure that the drainage is good to encourage water movement.
  • Lastly, arrange the final touches by spraying water on your new plant succulents in rocks.

What Kind Of Rocks Should You Use For Succulent Rock Garden?

  • Lava Rocks – It is also known as volcanic rocks. Lava rocks are a good source of iron, nitrogen, magnesium, and other nutrients your succulents need to survive.
  • Desert Gold Rocks – This rock is crushed with silver and golden hues. Desert Gold Rocks are famous as top rocks due to their beautiful coloration.
  • Baja Cresta Boulders – This type of rock is commonly used to add a touch of darkness and spontaneity to planting succulents in rocks. Baja Cresta Boulders have beautiful bronze hues and gold tones.

How To Care For Succulents In Rocks

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.

Succulent City chief editor


Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City

Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I 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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