Low-Maintenance Succulent Planters Becoming All the Rage

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Brightly colored succulents arranged in a basket

Succulent plants are probably better known for their low-maintenance aspects than they are for their appearance. However, as there are said to be more than 10,000 succulent varieties, the plants are now garnering attention for their looks, too, especially when planted together in a single pot.

“[Succulents] come in many shapes and colors, so you can combine them in a variety of ways,” said Kurumi, who goes by a single name as an artist.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Succulents with muted tones planted in watering cans

A native of Chofu, Tokyo, Kurumi is self-taught when it comes to succulents. In 2020, she established the Succulents Styling Association, a community of succulent enthusiasts and gardening teachers.

In one arrangement, about 40 varieties of succulents, including rose-like echeverias and clustered sedums, are packed together in a basket measuring about 20 centimeters by 30 centimeters, making it appear as if it is filled with red, green and yellow flowers and berries.

Having a grouping of succulents with similar colors can also have an appealing look. A collection of succulents with muted tones can create a spring-like atmosphere. When using an old and rusty metal container as a planter, using succulents with a darker hue can create a beautiful contrast.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Succulents with muted tones planted in watering cans

The colors of succulents can vary greatly, even within the same species. When making a plant arrangement, Kurumi lines up plants with similar colors and examines the color variation, keeping in mind that their colors also change with the seasons.

“The plants might turn bright red or pink, so I think about what colors they will eventually be and create an arrangement,” Kurumi said. “That’s part of the fun.”

Succulent roots are relatively short, as they usually grow in arid and harsh environments, and they can be planted in small containers.

“Succulents are pretty low maintenance and don’t need to be watered often,” Kurumi said. “I want you to create your own little flower garden.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Gently push the stem into the soil if it grows too tall.

Care tips

Succulents should only be watered when the soil is completely dry. When they do require watering, enough water should be poured so it seeps out from the bottom of the container. Water that accumulates between the leaves should be removed with a hand blower for gardening or gently wiped off.

If possible, they should also be kept outdoors or in a well-ventilated area that gets plenty of sun.

“For example, leave them outside during the day and bring them back in at night,” Kurumi said. If they start to grow too tall, use tweezers to gently push the stem into the soil. Remove the dead leaves and add new plants if there is an empty space, she said.

When buying succulents, Kurumi suggests choosing those with dense foliage that do not have gaps between the leaves.