How To Plant Succulents In Ground [ Full Guide ]

Succulents are charming, low-maintenance plants that have gained popularity in recent years for their unique beauty and adaptability. While they are often seen adorning containers and living walls, planting succulents directly into the ground can create a stunning and long-lasting landscape. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of planting succulents in the ground, from understanding the basics of succulents to selecting the right varieties and providing the best growing conditions. By following these steps and tips, you can create a thriving succulent garden that brings natural elegance to your outdoor space.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Succulents In Ground

To quickly summarize, the process of planting succulents in the ground involves the following steps:

  1. Choose a well-draining location with ample sunlight.
  2. Prepare the soil by improving drainage and fertility.
  3. Select suitable succulent varieties based on your local climate.
  4. Plant the succulents at the appropriate depth and spacing, ensuring good root contact with the soil.
  5. Provide regular but moderate watering, especially during the establishment period.
  6. Monitor for any signs of stress or disease and take corrective actions as necessary.

Understanding The Basics Of Succulents

Succulents are a diverse group of plants that have adapted to survive in arid and semi-arid environments by storing water in their fleshy leaves, stems, or roots. This unique feature allows them to withstand periods of drought by using the stored moisture to sustain growth. It also makes them well-suited for a variety of growing conditions, including the ground.

When it comes to planting succulents in the ground, it’s essential to understand their specific needs and preferences. Succulents generally thrive in environments with ample sunlight, well-draining soil, and minimal humidity. They are also sensitive to overwatering, as their water-storing capabilities make them susceptible to rot if the soil remains excessively wet for extended periods.

Choosing The Right Location

Selecting the appropriate location for planting succulents in the ground is crucial for their long-term health and vitality. Ideally, choose an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, as most succulents require plenty of light to thrive. Additionally, look for spots with good air circulation, as this helps prevent moisture buildup around the plants, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

Furthermore, assess the drainage of the chosen location. Succulents detest standing water, so it’s essential to avoid low-lying areas or spots where water tends to collect after rain. If the soil in your chosen location is heavy and poorly draining, consider amending the soil or creating raised beds to improve drainage and aeration.

Preparing The Soil

Succulents prefer soil that drains quickly, preventing water from pooling around their roots. To prepare the ground for planting succulents, start by testing the soil’s drainage. Dig a hole approximately 12 inches deep and fill it with water. If the water doesn’t drain within a few hours, you may need to improve the soil’s drainage by amending it with coarse sand, perlite, or pumice.

In addition to enhancing drainage, succulents benefit from soil with good fertility and a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to boost its nutrient content and improve its structure. Mixing in a small amount of coarse sand or gravel can also help create a well-draining substrate for succulents.

Selecting Succulent Varieties

Choosing the right succulent varieties for your specific growing conditions and climate is essential for successful ground planting. Different succulents have varying requirements when it comes to sunlight, temperature, and water, so it’s important to select species that are well-suited to your local environment.

In regions with hot, dry summers and mild winters, succulents such as sedums, sempervivums (hens-and-chicks), and agaves thrive. They are well-adapted to the intense sunlight and infrequent rainfall typically found in these climates. On the other hand, in more temperate or coastal areas, species like aeoniums, echeverias, and crassulas may be better suited, as they can tolerate milder temperatures and higher humidity levels.

Consider consulting with local nurseries or botanical gardens to identify succulent varieties that are suited to your specific climate and soil conditions. Additionally, research the growth habits and size of each succulent species to ensure they will fit well within your chosen planting area and won’t become overcrowded as they mature.

Planting succulents in the ground can be a rewarding way to showcase these unique and resilient plants in your outdoor space. By understanding the basics of succulents, choosing the right location, preparing the soil, and selecting suitable varieties, you can create a thriving succulent garden that brings natural beauty and character to your landscape.

When planning your succulent garden, prioritize factors such as sunlight, soil drainage, and local climate to provide the best growing conditions for your chosen succulent species. Regular monitoring and care, including appropriate watering and soil maintenance, will help ensure the long-term health and vibrancy of your succulent garden. With these considerations in mind, you can create a stunning and sustainable display of succulents that adds a touch of elegance to your outdoor environment.

Preparing Your Plants

Succulents are popular plants known for their ability to store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a versatile and low-maintenance addition to any garden. While many people prefer to grow succulents in pots, planting them in the ground can create a stunning display that allows them to thrive and spread naturally.

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Planting succulents in the ground requires some preparation and specific planting techniques to ensure their successful growth.

Before you begin planting your succulents in the ground, it’s important to prepare them properly. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Choose healthy plants: Select succulents that are healthy and free from diseases or pests. Look for plants with plump, firm leaves and vibrant colors.

  2. Hardening off: If your succulents have been growing indoors or in a greenhouse, it’s essential to gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions. This process, known as hardening off, involves exposing the plants to increasing amounts of sunlight and outdoor temperatures over a period of one to two weeks. Start by placing them in a shaded area for a few hours a day and gradually increase the exposure time. This will prevent shock to the plants when they are planted in the ground.

  3. Watering: Water your succulents thoroughly before planting them in the ground. This will ensure their roots are hydrated and ready to establish themselves in their new location.

Digging The Hole

Once your succulents are properly prepared, it’s time to dig the hole in which they will be planted. Here’s how:

  1. Choose a suitable location: Succulents thrive in well-draining soil and require at least six hours of sunlight per day. Select a location in your garden that receives adequate sunlight and has good drainage. Avoid areas prone to waterlogging or with heavy clay soil, as this can cause root rot.

  2. Mark the area: Use stakes or spray paint to mark the area where you want to plant your succulents. This will help ensure proper spacing and arrangement.

  3. Dig the hole: Use a garden trowel or shovel to dig a hole that is slightly wider and deeper than the plant’s root ball. The size of the hole will depend on the size of the succulent you are planting.

  4. Amend the soil: Succulents prefer well-draining soil, so it’s beneficial to amend the soil in the planting hole. Add a mixture of sand, perlite, or pumice to the native soil to improve drainage. Aim for a ratio of 1 part amendment to 2 parts soil.

Planting Techniques

After preparing the hole and the soil, it’s time to plant your succulents. Here are some techniques to ensure proper planting:

  1. Remove the plant from its container: Gently tap the sides of the pot or squeeze the base to loosen the plant and carefully remove it from the container. If the plant is difficult to remove, you can cut the container away. Avoid pulling on the plant, as this can damage the roots.

  2. Inspect the roots: Check the roots for any signs of damage or disease. Trim away any dead or rotten roots using clean and sterilized pruning shears.

  3. Place the plant in the hole: Position the succulent in the center of the hole, making sure it is at the same depth as it was in the pot. If the succulent’s stem is long and leggy, you can bury a portion of it to encourage root growth.

  4. Backfill the hole: Gently fill the hole with the amended soil mixture, ensuring that the roots are completely covered. Tamp down the soil lightly to remove air pockets without compacting it too much.

  5. Watering the plant: After planting, give the succulent a thorough watering to settle the soil and encourage the roots to establish. Avoid overwatering, as succulents are susceptible to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and adjust the watering frequency according to the specific needs of the succulent species.

Caring For Newly Planted Succulents

To ensure the successful establishment of your newly planted succulents, it’s important to provide them with proper care. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Monitor sunlight exposure: Keep an eye on the amount of sunlight your succulents are receiving. While they require ample sunlight, intense and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause sunburn and damage the leaves. If necessary, provide some shade during the hottest hours of the day.

  2. Water sparingly: Succulents are adapted to survive in arid conditions and have low water needs. Water your newly planted succulents sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. It’s best to underwater rather than overwater succulents.

  3. Protect from extreme temperatures: Succulents are generally tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, but extreme heat or cold can be detrimental. Provide protection from frost during winter and provide shade or shelter during heatwaves.

  4. Fertilization: Most succulents do not require frequent fertilization. However, you can provide a diluted, balanced fertilizer during the growing season to promote healthy growth. Fertilize only once every few months, following the package instructions.

  5. Weed control: Keep the area around your succulents free from weeds. These unwanted plants can compete for nutrients and water, potentially affecting the growth of your succulents. Regularly remove any weeds that sprout near your succulents.

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Incorporating Drainage

Good drainage is crucial for the successful growth of succulents in the ground. Here are some methods for ensuring proper drainage:

  1. Raised beds: If your garden has heavy clay soil or poor drainage, consider planting your succulents in raised beds. Raised beds allow you to control the soil composition and provide excellent drainage. They can be created using a variety of materials, such as wood, bricks, or stone.

  2. Amending the soil: As mentioned earlier, adding amendments like sand, perlite, or pumice to the native soil can significantly improve drainage. These materials help create air spaces, allowing excess water to drain away from the roots.

  3. Avoiding excessive watering: Overwatering is one of the leading causes of succulent root rot. Water your succulents sparingly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If heavy rainfall occurs, consider providing temporary protection, such as a rain cover or placing your succulents under a covered area.

  4. Mulching: Applying a layer of gravel or pebbles around your succulents can help reduce moisture retention in the soil. This prevents excess water from accumulating around the roots and promotes proper drainage.

Planting succulents in the ground can create a stunning and low-maintenance garden display. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure the successful establishment and growth of your succulents. From choosing healthy plants to preparing the soil and incorporating proper drainage, each step is essential for their long-term well-being. Remember to provide appropriate care after planting and monitor the amount of sunlight, watering, and protection from extreme temperatures.

By understanding the unique needs of succulents and implementing the guidelines mentioned in this article, you can enjoy a thriving succulent garden in your own backyard. So dig in, get your hands dirty, and let your succulent garden flourish!

Watering Tips

Succulents are a popular choice for many garden enthusiasts due to their unique, fleshy leaves and ability to store water. While they are commonly grown in containers, planting succulents in the ground can create a stunning and low-maintenance garden.

One of the most important aspects of growing succulents in the ground is proper watering. Succulents are adapted to survive in arid conditions and have the ability to store water in their leaves and stems. Here are some watering tips to ensure the health of your succulent garden:

  1. Water infrequently: Succulents have low water needs, so it is important not to overwater them. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Depending on the climate and soil conditions, this may range from every 1-3 weeks.

  2. Deep watering: When you do water your succulents, make sure to water deeply. This means applying enough water to penetrate the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Shallow watering can result in shallow root growth, making the plants less resilient to drought.

  3. Water at the base: When watering succulents in the ground, it is best to water at the base of the plant rather than overhead. This prevents excess moisture on the leaves, which can lead to rot and diseases.

  4. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around your succulents to help retain moisture in the soil. This is especially beneficial during hot, dry periods.

Controlling Weeds

Weeds can be a nuisance in any garden, and succulent beds are not exempt. However, with some proactive measures, you can effectively control weeds and keep your succulent garden looking pristine.

  1. Use weed barrier: Before planting your succulents, consider using a weed barrier to prevent weed growth. This can be a landscape fabric or plastic sheeting that is placed on the soil surface, creating a barrier between the soil and weed seeds.

  2. Hand pulling: Regularly inspect your succulent bed and remove any weeds that may have sprouted. It is important to pull the entire weed, including the roots, to prevent regrowth.

  3. Mulching: Applying a layer of organic mulch not only helps retain moisture but also suppresses weed growth by blocking sunlight. Make sure to apply a thick enough layer, around 2-3 inches, for optimal weed control.

  4. Pre-emergent herbicides: For persistent weed problems, you can consider using pre-emergent herbicides. These herbicides prevent weed seeds from germinating, effectively reducing weed growth in your succulent garden. However, it is important to carefully follow the instructions on the product label and avoid applying it near your succulents to prevent any damage.

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Avoiding Common Mistakes

To ensure the success of your succulent garden, it is important to be aware of some common mistakes beginners often make. By avoiding these mistakes, you can give your succulents the best chance to thrive.

  1. Planting in poorly draining soil: Succulents require well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Avoid planting them in heavy clay or compacted soil. Instead, you can amend the soil with coarse sand, perlite, or pumice to improve drainage.

  2. Overwatering: Overwatering is one of the deadliest mistakes you can make with succulents. As mentioned earlier, succulents prefer infrequent waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot and fungal diseases. It is better to underwater than to overwater succulents in the ground.

  3. Planting too closely: Make sure to provide adequate spacing between your succulents to allow for proper air circulation. Planting them too closely together can create a humid environment, making them more susceptible to diseases.

  4. Neglecting to acclimate: If you are transplanting succulents from containers to the ground, it is important to acclimate them gradually. Succulents grown in containers are typically accustomed to more sheltered conditions. Gradually expose them to the outdoor environment by placing them in a shaded area for a few hours each day before permanently planting them in the ground.

Enhancing Your Succulent Garden

Creating an aesthetically pleasing succulent garden is not only about the plants themselves. By incorporating some additional elements, you can enhance the visual appeal of your garden.

  1. Variety of colors and textures: Succulents come in a wide range of colors and textures. Experiment with different varieties to create a visually striking display. Pair succulents with contrasting colors and textures for a dynamic effect.

  2. Rock and gravel accents: To create a desert-like ambiance, consider adding rocks and gravel to your succulent garden. Use different sizes and colors of rocks to add depth and interest to the landscape.

  3. Garden ornaments: Garden ornaments such as statues, decorative pots, or metal art can add a focal point and character to your succulent garden. Place these ornaments strategically throughout the garden to create visual interest.

  4. Pathways and borders: Define your succulent garden by adding pathways and borders. Use materials like gravel, bricks, or stones to create paths that lead visitors through your garden. Borders can also help contain the succulents and prevent them from spreading into unwanted areas.


Planting succulents in the ground can create a beautiful and low-maintenance garden. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure the health and success of your succulents. Remember to water properly, control weeds, avoid common mistakes, and enhance your garden with additional elements. With a little care and attention, your succulent garden will thrive and become a stunning addition to your outdoor space.


What Kind Of Soil Is Best For Planting Succulents In The Ground?

Succulents need well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Mix sand, perlite, and/or pumice into regular potting soil to achieve the right texture.

How Deep Do I Need To Dig The Hole For My Succulent Plant?

The hole should be deep enough to accommodate the plant’s root ball and at least as wide as the plant’s base. Some succulents have shallower roots, while others will need a deeper hole.

Can I Plant Succulents Close Together In The Ground?

While succulents can be planted close together, make sure they have enough space between them to allow for air flow and to prevent the soil from being constantly moist.

How Often Should I Water My Succulents After Planting Them In The Ground?

Water your newly planted succulents deeply once a week for the first month to encourage root growth. After that, reduce watering frequency to once every two to three weeks, depending on rainfall and weather conditions.

Do I Need To Fertilize My Succulents After Planting Them In The Ground?

You can fertilize your succulents with a low-nitrogen fertilizer, like a 5-10-10 or 7-9-5. However, wait at least a month after planting before applying any fertilizer, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Over-fertilizing can cause damage to your succulents.