How to Prepare Pots for Planting Succulents

Last Updated: 19.10.2023
Sakshi Kasat
Written by
Sakshi Kasat, an indoor gardener and content creator from Indore, India, transitioned from teaching to follow her gardening passion during the pandemic. She's an expert in indoor gardening, with over 150 articles published. Her favorite plant, the Peace Lily, reflects her mission to inspire others. In gardening and writing, she finds pure inspiration and contentment.

Have a look at some important points on How to Prepare Pots for Planting Succulents that will help you to keep them thriving for a long.

How to Prepare Pots for Planting Succulents

Succulents are the new trend among Indian gardeners, and they do not mind experimenting with many pot types for a better visual appeal. But, whatever pot you choose, pay attention to some of the factors that are necessary for their survival. Here’s all you need to know on How to Prepare Pots for Planting Succulents.

Factors Determining Best Pots for Succulent Plants

Drainage Hole

Be it terracotta, plastic, ceramic, or woody pot, the container for succulents must have at least one drainage hole. You can even create 3-4 small holes using a drilling machine if the pot has no hole. Since succulents belong to the desert regions, they prefer a dry environment instead of thriving in standing water.

Also, consider using mesh tape or screen above the drainage hole to prevent soil from falling.

Pot Material

Ceramic and terracotta planters are best for succulents as they allow water to evaporate easily and prevent water-clogging conditions. Nowadays, plastic and glass containers are also getting popular, but, as these are not breathable, the soil has a hard time drying out.

You can resolve the issue by using a container with a wide opening and careful watering.

Pot Size

The size of the container depends on the type of succulents you are growing. Choose a container that is 10% larger in diameter than the width of the succulent. Prefer choosing a larger pot if you are planning to grow various succulents together.

Make sure to leave about half to one inch of space between the succulent and the pot’s edge.

Choosing Succulents

Always check the succulent’s growing requirements before purchasing. Prefer hardy succulent varieties as they can tolerate sudden temperature changes.


Never use garden soil for succulents; always prefer a potting mix, specifically made for succulents and cacti. The best potting mix for succulents has 3 parts of regular potting soil, 2 parts of coarse sand, and one part of pumice or perlite. This mix offers better drainage, aeration, and nurturing to plants.

Note: If you are opting for a mason jar, wine bottle, or bowl, wash it with dish soap and water. Then, allow it to air-dry completely before planting. It will avoid any fungal infection in the plant.

Steps for Planting Succulents in the Pot

How to Prepare Pots for Planting Succulents 2

1. Place a Screening Mesh

Cut and place a mesh tape or screening mesh above the drainage holes. Make sure the mesh is wide enough that it covers the entire drainage hole. Placing mesh allows excess water to drain out while preventing soil from washing away with it.

2. Fill Soil

Fill the container with a succulent or cactus potting mix, except leaving the top one inch. This room is necessary as it facilitates watering, plant growth, and aeration in the soil.

3. Planting Succulents

Plant succulent in the soil by making a small hole. Put some additional soil around it to secure.

4. Arranging Plants in Bigger Container

If you are planting many succulents together in a pot, consider planting the taller ones at the back, moderate-sized in the center, and mini succulents or hanging ones at the front. This is the best way to plant succulents in pots as it allows all succulents to get even sunlight exposure.

Note: Don’t worry if the arrangement looks crowded, as succulents do well when placed close together.

5. Watering

Water the succulents deeply, but let the soil completely dry before watering again. Keep it at any bright, sunny spot, where it can get 6-7 hours of sunlight.

Pots with No Drainage Holes

If you are growing plants in a terrarium or wine bottle with no drainage holes, you can use a wide layer of charcoal or gravel at the bottom of the pots. It will work as a drainage medium. Also, make sure not to overwater the plant, as the soil in such planters takes more time to dry out.


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