Bring on the Sun with Heat-Loving Succulent Container Gardens

As we all know, many Texas landscapes have a spot where the sun beats down nearly all day. If we couple that with the reflected heat that often accompanies that sunlight, it is easy to understand why traditional container plants like flowering annuals struggle to survive. Let’s discuss some tips and tricks on how to create successful succulent container gardens.

Find the Right Location

Finding the right spot may sound easy: full sun.  However, southern sun exposure is best for sun-loving succulents. Your plants may get some relief if there is a spot that gets a couple of hours of shade a day.  Try to avoid Western exposed gardens. If you have a western exposed spot, then the toughest of succulents are a must.

Find a Good Container

This is where you can get creative! Most any type of container, pot or material can be used just make sure it has holes for drainage. Size is key with succulents. Make sure there is 2-5 inches of soil between the plant and the edge of the container.

Good Soil is Key

While succulents are fairly low-maintenance, they all must have extremely well-drained soil or they will rot. A good basic succulent soil can be made by mixing equal parts sand, potting soil and perlite.

Choose Your Plants

Check each succulent’s exposure requirement, making sure it is suitable for full sun. Plants like agave, cactuses, and euphorbias, succulents like ‘Blue Elf’ aloe, common sotol, elephant bush, Mexican fence post, and slipper plant flourish in containers in hot, full sun.

Planting and Care

Succulents of the same species can be planted singly or in groups of three, creating a simple yet dramatic statement. Alternatively, you can group several types of succulents, creating pleasing color and texture contrasts. When grown in containers, succulents need a monthly application during the growing season, in spring and summer, of a low-nitrogen fertilizer. An easy way to determine when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger all the way into the soil. The soil should be barely moist, almost dry, before you water it again. Water until it runs out the bottom through the drainage hole.

More Information

You can read more about this topic in this article featured on Houzz. One of our images of a succulent container garden that we designed and built was featured in this article as well as many other great inspirational images.  In addition to the great images, the article goes into more detail about the planning and design process of succulent container gardens.


When you are ready to begin planning your landscape project contact us for all your design, and construction.