Container gardening with succulents

Create containers that make an impact using a unique combination of succulents

Colourful combination

Taking centre stage in this container is Portulaca ‘Pazazz’ – its brightly coloured flowers and trailing growth habit give the pot a soft and pretty look. Behind this summer-flowering, annual succulent is Sedum nussbaumerianum, whose fleshy, orange-tinged leaves add foliage colour to the mix. Sedums are fast-growing plants and this particular one has a cascading nature. Indigenous Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is highly regarded for its small jewel-like flowers, which come in shades of red, orange, yellow and pink. These blooms frame the tall growing echeveria, which adds a contrasting shade of gray against the darker green foliage of the other plants. The red-edged, fleshy leaves of Crassula ovata add another foliage shape and colour. This combination also makes a very attractive hanging basket.


Local drama

Showcasing the beauty of some of our local succulents, this container features different foliage shapes, colours and textures. Vivid red flowering Kalanchoe adds excitement and Aloe arborescens, with its blue-grey leaves, gives height and will reward you with its brilliant red flowers in winter. Also vying for attention is a pachypodium, a succulent shrub with sprouting, strap-like leaves and a succulent stem. Providing a complete contrast to these thin, variegated leaves is the exotic Sedum nussbaumerianum. Hidden behind the pachypodium is Senecio muirii, while Irish Moss (Sagina subulata), also exotic, softens the whole effect.img_5044

Stylish minimalism

This striking container composition epitomises the maxim ‘less is more’ and would comfortably complement a modern patio or garden. Euphorbia is the main player, its tall, unusual form creates a dramatic focal point amongst the smaller mammillaria cacti. While a predominantly green combination, the cacti come to life in spring and summer when they will surprise you with their colourful flowers. This minimalist group is perfectly offset by a bed of white pebbles, while an artistically placed rock finishes off the look. This container will thrive in a sunny spot.


*Great read: For brilliant ideas and information on succulents, read Guide to Gardening Succulents by Gideon Smith and Ben-Erik van Wyk  (Briza).