Create a Succulent Pocket Garden


Every gardener knows that succulents are not only trendy, but also low maintenance and water wise. They adapt beautifully to our Mediterranean climate and will flourish in just about any soil. As a designer, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to feature succulents in my clients’ gardens and landscapes.

I recently discovered an innovative way to showcase these tough and adaptable plants by working with cuttings instead of rooted specimens. Cutting the tops off of the mother plants gives me more plant material to work with in a tighter area. The result is a garden space that looks like a jewel box. The cuttings will take weeks to re-root and will keep their compact shape for a much longer period than a rooted plant, reducing maintenance and allowing for a more dramatic presentation of plants.

  • Purchase succulents in large containers. Count heads to get the most bang for your buck. Cut all of the rosettes off the mother plant. Put the planting can in a side garden. It will often regenerate and, over time, give you a whole new plant.
  • There is no need to wait for the cuttings to harden off. Most succulents will re-root successfully without a callous so long as you refrain from watering them for a week or so.
  • Pack your cuttings into the garden area tightly, leaving no space between them. This is how you achieve that dramatic “jewel box” look.
  • Remember to create some hills and valleys in your planting area by moving the existing soil around or adding additional soil.
  • Top-dress your new pocket garden with coordinating rocks and pebbles.
  • Add more cuttings to your arrangement as desired.
  • Water gently once per week.

Succulents that work especially well as cuttings include Echeveria, Crassula, Sedum and Aeonium. 

Laura Eubanks
Founder of Design For Serenity
1578 Hopscotch Dr.
Chula Vista, CA 91915

Categories: Gardening