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Repotting A Small Succulent Bowl

Repotting A Small Succulent Bowl

It seems like I always have a planting or painting project going on.  My little terra cotta bowl, which I had painted and decorated, was in need of repotting.  The lobelia and ageratum that were in it needed too much water so it was time for a switch over to my old standbys – succulents.  I love sinking my paws into a new succulent repotting project because these water wise plants come in such interesting shapes, sizes and colors.  It’s fun to play with them – I consider it “plant art”.   And, it just makes ecological sense here in dry Southern California.


 Here’s the bowl as I first planted it after the color was taken out.  I left the echveria & the haworthia in but decided to nix the sedum.


 Graptoveria “Bashful” was chosen as the winner.  FYI: I love this mini trowel for small scale repotting jobs.  I narrowed the decorative topdressing down to these 2 choices.

Here are a few of my best tips for planting or repotting succulents:

–> Succulents like being on the dry side and need excellent drainage.  Use a very loose, well drained organic planting medium.  My favorite is the one from California Cactus Center but you can probably find a good quality cactus and succulent mix at your local garden center.

–> Make sure the container has a drainage hole.  If not, drill one in or fill the bottom of the pot with a good amount of gravel.

–> Succulents are very easy to transplant but don’t worry if you don’t see too many roots on the ones you’re planting.  They don’t root deep and often times have a very small root ball.  They’ll root more when planted in.

–> Use organic worm compost when planting succulents – it’s a great soil conditioner.

–> Handle with a bit of care when repotting – as I said, they don’t have extensive root systems.  Also, the leaves can be a bit fragile and break off.

–> Leave the crown of the plant a 1/2″ to 1″ above the soil line.  The weight of the plant will pull it down into the loose mix. 

–>  If you want more color, add it in with decorative rock or glass chips.  They work beautifully with succulent plantings.

–>  I wait a few days, 3-7 depending on the weather, to water succulents in.  And, have patience with the initial watering. The mix is so light that it will take a while to absorb in.


 All done and ready for a close up.

I have so many succulents already but am always on the look out for new ones to bring home.  I love finding new ways to combine them.  Get creative with your succulent plantings – it’s easy to do and the combos are endless.

A video showing how I planted this bowl:

A video I did for showing how I painted this terra cotta bowl & other pots:

Other Succulent Posts You’ll Enjoy

Some beautiful container combos: Succulent Gardens & Plantings
This is where the Haworthias came from: This Chick Needs Dirt 
One of my larger succulents pot replanted: Reuse And Recycle In the Joy Us Garden

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  1. This is going to sound stupid but I never thought of planting different types of succulents in the same pot/bowl like you have. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Not stupid at all. Succulents don’t have a big root system so they can really be packed in if you prefer that look. I sometimes like to have decorative accents showing through like glass chips or shells. It’s fun to have both in your garden!

  3. Will they die if over watered?

  4. Yes Angie, succulents will eventually die if over watered. Nell

  5. How will you know when the succulents are too big for the container they’re in? (With a shallow root system, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to wait until you can see the roots on the bottom.)

  6. Hi Heather – They can grow tight but it’s a good idea to repot a small succulent planter every year or 2. As the roots grow in a confined space it’s good to replenish & refresh the planting mix every now & then. Nell

  7. So I bought a small succulent this summer and there is no drainage hole on the decorative pot. I want to transplant it into a different pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole as well,just wondering if it’s a bad idea?

  8. Hi Melissa – I like to plant succulents in pot with drain holes but every once in a while I get one that doesn’t have one that I don’t want to drill into. Here’s post I recently did on that subject: Nell

  9. I have a few that have grown tall and developed a “neck”. Can I cut the bottom off and just bury deeper ib succulent mic? Or cut at the bottom of the neck and stick back in fresh succulent mix? I have done that successfully with African violets.

  10. Hi Sandy – I prefer to cut the “neck” off completely, prune it down a bit, heal it over & replant either in the same container or 1 with fresh mix. Nell

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