How to Plant a Cracked-Pot Succulent Garden | Midwest Living

How to Plant a Cracked-Pot Succulent Garden

Follow our step-by-step instructions to turn broken pots into unusual container gardens.
  • A second life

    Give broken pots a second life by turning them into container gardens. Click or tap ahead for instructions.

  • Step 1: Gather materials

    Gather a cracked terra-cotta pot and its shards, moistened cacti soil mix (or a blend of equal parts lightweight soil mix and clean sand), six or more assorted succulent plants, bamboo skewers, garden shears or clippers, clean pebbles and river rocks.

  • Step 2: Add potting mix

    Firmly press potting mix into the base of your cracked pot, filling along the broken edge in front and building higher at the back.


  • Step 3: Arrange plants

    Gently separate clumps of plants and arrange them at the lowest point of the pot, overlapping the edge. Carefully press the roots onto the potting mix, and backfill behind them. Add more plants and soil as desired, pressing soil firmly into place.

  • Step 4: Add pot fragment

    Place a large shard inside the pot, putting the broken edge at the base of the topmost plants to create a small retaining wall. Press the shard firmly into place, taking care not to cut the plant roots. Backfill with more potting mix, pressing it firmly into place.

  • Step 5: Add more plants

    Continue adding plants and broken pot pieces as desired. Carefully press root balls, shards and soil into place, taking care to fill in edges and gaps to eliminate air pockets.

  • Step 6: Anchor pot

    When placing a small whole pot upright, anchor it by inserting a bamboo skewer through the drainage hole. If the skewer sticks out above the upright pot, cut it off with shears or clippers. Place a plant in the pot and press soil mix firmly around the edges of the root ball. 

  • Step 7: Add rocks

    A few strategically placed river rocks or pebbles will help hold shards, soil and plants in place and add an accent. Finally, water thoroughly with a gentle stream; this helps settle everything into place. Water once or twice per week thereafter.

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