Container Gardening Ideas with Succulents

Container Gardening Ideas with Succulents

Easy, sun-loving succulents are perfect for adding pizzazz to your container gardens. Succulent care is a cinch! 
We recently put together a few container gardens with easy-care, exotic, Desert Escape succulents. Check them out if you're looking for fun ideas for your container gardens! 

Container 1
Sun-loving plants, Desert Escape cacti and succulents thrive in hot, dry spots -- spots where you might have trouble growing more traditional annual flowers like geraniums and petunias. 

In this container garden, we started with bright green Crassula 'Campfire' a gorgeous succulent that develops orange and red edges in autumn when the days get shorter and temperatures start to cool. We accented it with Senecio crassissimus, an upright-growing succulent with gray-green leaves often edged in red or purple.

Opposite the senecio is one of our favorites: panda plant (aka Kalanchoe tomentosa), which features gray leaves covered in soft bronzy-brown fuzz. Panda plant is perfect to look at and touch! Then right in front we added a silver echeveria. The four succulents combine to create an interesting, intriguing mix of colors and textures. 

Container 2
In our second container, we started with variegated agave, which has blue-green leaves edged in creamy gold. We love the way the variegation plays off the golden-tan detail of the container! 

Opposite the agave, we put in a green euphorbia. It was an easy choice: The euphorbia draws the eye up -- and gets more dramatic as time passes and the plant grows. Next to the euphorbia we planted another variety -- E. trigona 'Red', which features burgundy-purple stems and leaves. We love the playful effect of the two euphorbias. 

In the center of the container went an echeveria with frilly leaves. The texture adds movement to the grouping, and the purple-red leaf edges are an ideal complement to the red euphorbia. 

We topped it off with variegated baby jade (Portulacaria), which as it grows, will act as a spiller, cascading over the side of the pottery and softening the edges. Its variegated foliage adds lightness to the planting while its red stems are a lovely accent to the red euphorbia. 

Container 3
In our third container, we used African milk tree, an easy outdoor plant that has an upright, candelabra-type growth. Its stems are variegated with milky white, adding color and texture. 

Next to the African milk tree went another 'Campfire' crassula. The bright green adds a lively touch now during the summer -- and this fall it will create an out-of-this-world effect when it shows off its bright red and orange tones. 

Opposite the crassula is flapjacks plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora), and we selected it for its unique texture. While so many succulents have either a tight, rosette-type growth or spiny look, flapjacks has paddle-like leaves in a soft shade of gray-green. They're edged in a soft ring of rosy purple, so it contributes both color and texture to the planting. 

As with the other containers, our border plant is a silvery echeveria (because they're such a beautiful plant!). The echeveria in this case is a fun counterpoint to the flapjacks while playing off the variegation of the African milk tree. 

Container 4
Our fourth container features three different varieties of echeveria -- each with a different color and texture. By themselves they're as pretty as a picture, but when you add a charming variegated baby jade to the mix, the effect these succulent plants offers is downright fun. It may not offer as much color as a basket full of petunias, but it will hold off a whole lot longer through the heat of the summer! 

Get more Desert Escape container gardening ideas!

Check out our free idea book for dozens of container garden designs, as well as helpful tips and tricks! 

And don't miss out on our brand-new guide to growing and decorating with easy-care succulents, including container gardens, for indoors and out. 

Dig into more container gardening tips and inspiration.

Written by Justin Hancock