I live in Central Florida at a house on a lot with full-sun exposure for most of the day. Until I hit on succulents, there wasn’t a plant I tried to grow that could survive the brutal sun and recent drought conditions here. With succulent plants, however, I discovered a world of green possibilities… the most exciting aspects of which sometimes involved finding exciting new places to plant them.
Try one of these fantastic containers for your succulent garden and you’ll soon find that the containers are sometimes just as fun as the plants!
A few years ago, bird-themed items were all the rage in decorating and design. As a result, gorgeous decorative bird cages priced at next to nothing are now widely available at craft store clearance sales. Plant succulents in a few plain, inexpensive pots and then arrange them in the birdcages for a simple and beautiful planter that’s just as attractive sitting on a porch table as it is hanging in a window. It’s also an easy way to make a pretty and quick table arrangement when company’s coming over… and keeps the cats away from your precious plants!
Tool and Tackle Boxes
They’re already banged up with just the right amount of character… all they need is a few succulents to make them look right at home in your garden. Scour garage sales for the best used tool and tackle boxes. The best picks are the cheapest, in this case!
If you like the idea of planting in an old tool box but can’t find one, head to your nearest hardware store and purchase an unfinished child’s wood toolbox. They’re small, inexpensive, and designed to be painted and easily assembled. Let your kids decorate it as a fun rainy day project, or personalize it yourself; decoupage vintage seed packet labels or other ephemera to it for a retro look. Find great free printable images at The Graphics Fairy, or visit their page for typography transfers, where you can download mirror images of text if you’re using a different transfer method. Be sure to seal it afterwards so it holds up to water and the elements.
Old Boots and Shoes
When your shoes are too worn to wear anymore, plant them with succulents! Tall boots work well for a combination of trailing and rosette-style succulents, while shorter, more open shoes work great for hens and chicks, which have room to spread horizontally. If your shoes have holes in the bottom, even better, as succulents don’t like having wet “feet” and you need to add drainage holes to the soles. Hang shoes with straps or laces from a nail on your porch for a charming, welcoming look.
Tip: kids’ boots look especially adorable when planted with succulents and placed in a garden or on steps leading up to your porch, and it’s a great way to reuse all of those cute little shoes that are too beat up to pass on to someone else.
Old , even rusty watering cans become charming focal points when planted with succulents. Place them near an entryway where rust won’t be an issue (in a mulched garden and off the surface of your porch or steps), near a bird feeder, or even hanging from a tree so the spout provides drainage and trailing succulents spill out of the larger opening. Simply line the space inside near the spout with a coffee filter or newspaper so excess water drains out and soil and rocks stay in. Pretty but damaged watering cans are often deeply discounted at the end of the season, so keep an eye out!
Votive Candle Holders
My kitchen windowsill houses five beautiful succulent plants, all growing happily in inexpensive clear glass candle holders purchased at a discount store. Glue votive candle holders on top of taper candlestick holders and you get expensive-looking pieces resembling wine glasses that let light through and show off your plants. For $10, I purchased enough basic supplies at the dollar store to make enough “goblets” to run the length of the windowsill.
Where to Look
Visit garage sales and donation centers for a wide variety of unusual planters. Those that work best for succulents have lots of drainage and aren’t too deep. Most succulents prefer shallow containers, so even an old pie plate, when repurposed, makes a fantastic container garden for succulents. Remember that metal heats up in the sun and can bake the roots of even the toughest succulents, so be sure to keep your plants from directly touching its surface or move the planter to a shadier spot in your garden.
Most of all, have fun!