July 19, 2017

How To Make Succulent Gardens {Our New Favorite Hobby}

If plants can be described as “adorable” then succulents are definitely it!

Succulents are a type of plant that has some fleshy parts intended to store water in the arid climates in which they thrive. Usually small, they come in a wide range of shapes and colors, some with beautiful geometrical patters, others funky and asymmetrical.

Putting them together into interesting arrangements is a great way to unwind, relieve stress, get creative, and connect with nature from the comfort of home.

At Integrative Nutrition we teach a theory called Primary Food, which includes all of the non-dietary elements of life that make it fulfilling. Making your own mini succulent garden is a fun way of “playing” just for the sake of trying something new, leaving your spirit renewed with energy and your windowsill newly decorated.

Ready to make your own succulent garden?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A few different types of succulent plants
  • Cactus and/or succulent soil
  • Some rocks or small pebbles
  • A shallow container for your finished garden (ideally with drainage holes at the bottom), or glass terrarium
  • Decorative moss (optional)
  • Tiny spoon or scooper
  • Spray bottle


  1. Lay out a towel or plastic sheet in your work area, it might get a little messy!
  2. Plan out your arrangement before removing the succulents from their original pots, making sure there is sufficient space in the larger garden container.
  3. Place your stones or pebbles at the bottom of the new container (this helps with drainage), enough to cover the bottom and leave some room for the succulents to sit in soil just above the rocks. Note that succulents have shallow roots, and prefer not too have too much soil beneath their roots.
  4. Add some soil above the rocks, first covering the rocks then concentrating it around the inner edge of the container, leaving the center mostly empty.
  5. Move the first succulent into the new container, with some of its original soil.
  6. Add the other succulents with their soil, using your tiny scooper to add fresh soil around and in between the succulents as needed. Aim to have the top of the soil reach a little below the container edge, with no large gaps within. If using a terrarium, ensure that there’s there’s not so much soil that it spills out from the opening.
  7. If you have some decorative moss, add it to the top and sides as you like.  
  8. Spray your new garden with just a little bit of water, enough to moisten the soil but not fully wet it – remember that these are desert plants.

Voila! You’re done.

For ongoing care, spray your succulents weekly during warm weather and less frequently in winter. You can use the loose setting of your spray bottle to shoot some water directly on the soil so it’s unlikely to spill, and the mist setting to just moisten the leaves on occasion.

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For long life, use succulent fertilizer.

These little gardens make great gifts, and you can get very creative with the containers you use. While those with drainage work best, the rocks at the bottom help compensate for a lack of drainage holes in other types of containers such as mugs or tea tins.

Image via @wellspired

Let us know how it goes, and share your creative Primary Food activities in the comments below!

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