How do I plant up echeveria?

If you've never planted succulents before, it can seem a bit intimidating to start with. Once you give it a try, you'll see that once you know some of the basics, you'll find it's actually super easy and satisfying to do. In fact, we think you'll be hooked! Here's our easy peasy guide to planting up succulents.

1. Gravel

Lazy Flora guide to planting up succulents

Add a thin layer of drainage gravel to the dish. Succulents need extremely well-drained soil, so gravel helps to keep the compost out of any water that drains through it. This is really important for succulents, even when you have a bowl that drains.

2. Cactus and succulent compost

Lazy Flora succulent planting up guide

Over the gravel, spread a thin layer of cactus and succulent compost. Succulent compost is basically normal compost with perlite or coarse sand, or other similar material, mixed in. This photo doesn't show well that the compost contains lots of small white granules of perlite. 

3. Position the plants

Lazy Flora succulent planting up guide

Take each of the succulents out of their pots and position them where you want them in the dish. Aim for the base of each succulent to be about level with the top of the dish. Succulents do not need a lot of space, so you can plant them quite close to one another, but do bear in mind that they should grow bigger once they are planted up, so depending on how often you are prepared to repot them, you might want to allow them a little space to grow into. They grow well in shallow soil.

4. Adjust as needed

Lazy Flora guide to planting up succulents

If some of the plants appear taller than you would like, you can carefully break away some of the soil from the base of the roots and position the plants in the dish. Succulents are tough plants - they can cope with this is you aren't too rough with them.

5. Fill the gaps and dust off

Lazy Flora succulent planting up guide

Fill in the gaps between the succulents with the compost. Pack it in tightly enough so that the plants can support themselves. This will get messy, as cactus compost is very dry, and some may get on the succulent leaves. An easy way to remove compost from between the hard-to-reach parts of the leaves is to dust them off with a paintbrush (I have to say this is the most satisfying part of the whole process!)

6. Add decorative gravel

Lazy Flora succulent planting up guide

As a nice, optional, finishing touch, you can add decorative gravel on top of the compost to create a super stylish succulent display. Apart from looking beautiful, gravel has the added advantage of being a good way to keep the soil in place when watering, and reducing the amount of dust when you do water.

If you find it hard to sprinkle the gravel directly from the bag, try getting a piece of card and folding it in two, then sliding the gravel down the card like a chute. This is particularly useful when trying to place gravel around the base of each of the plants, and around the outermost edges of the dish.

7. Go steady with the watering

Lazy Flora succulent planting up guide

As with all newly-planted plants, don't forget to water your succulents. BUT! With succulents more than with any other plants, always err on the side of caution. It is so easy to overwater succulents, and probably the quickest way to kill them. Try watering them using a precise pouring jug, or a syringe at the base of the stem, and just give a little water at a time. The soil should remain quite dry - it shouldn't be moist to the touch, even after you have watered them. Remember, if you have a dish with no drainage hole, you can always add more water, but you can't take it away.

8. Finishing touches

Lazy Flora succulent planting up guide

Once you've finished planting up, dust away any gravel from the leaves with your paintbrush and find a great spot for your creation. Succulents love bright, but indirect, sunlight. A south-facing windowsill is ideal.

And you're done! Don't forget to Instagram your fabulous creation! Tag Lazy Flora and use hashtag #lazyflora to earn 10% off your next order!

Lazy Flora is a hassle free garden-in-a-box delivery service. Sign up to our mailing list below to get an instant 15% off any of our range.

More stories

How to plant up a container garden

Simple and easy-to-follow guide on how to plant up a container garden.

Introducing Lazy Flora subscriptions

Introducing Lazy Flora subscriptions, starting from £11/month.