Cold hardy succulents like Sedum and Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks) are extremely versatile beauties to plant outside in container gardens throughout most of the US. Just about any object that can hold soil and drain water can be re-purposed to display succulents. Container plantings can make it easier to move and care for your plants and they make outdoor succulent landscaping possible in more locations. We decided to get crafty with an old wooden pallet in order to make our own vertical planter. Read on to see the simple steps we followed.
Step 1: Assemble the Container
In order to make the pallet hold soil, our young assistant lined the bottom with a ground cloth and secured it with staples. We cut holes in the ground cloth to allow water to drain. Succulents cannot tolerate standing water so it is very important not to plant them in containers that can get waterlogged.
Step 2: Add Soil
Another way to ensure that your succulents get the water drainage they need is to fill the container with the right kind of soil. Most garden centers sell a succulent/cactus mix or you can make your own by mixing 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts coarse, salt-free sand, and 1 part perlite or pumice. These porous, gritty soils allow water to drain quickly and reduce the chance of root rot. A cycle of deep soaking followed by enough time for the soil to dry completely is ideal for succulent health.
Step 3: Transplant
When it comes to planting in outdoor containers, we recommend Hardy Succulent Plug Trays. They include a diverse selection of color, texture, and form and every plant included is frost hardy down to at least -20F (zone 5).
|The finished pallet in its April colors.|
Can you spot the following varieties in our arrangement?
- Sempervivum 'Unicorn'
- Sempervivum 'Commander Hay'
- Sempervivum 'Fame'
- Sempervivum 'Red Gleam'
- Sempervivum 'Tederheid'
- Sedum album 'Coral Carpet'
- Sedum sexangulare
- Sedum spurium 'Fuldaglut'
- Hylotelephium pluricale 'Isle of Sakhalin'
- Delopsperma cooperi 'Trailing Ice Plant'
Step 4: Maintain
We moved the completed pallet to a location with morning sun and dappled shade in the afternoon. It gets watered every three days and after one month all the plants were fully rooted and secured in the soil. You can see the drastic color changes in the plants as a result of their new light conditions and the changing season.
|A whole new color palette at the end of July.|