Make a Succulent Table

Author Sharon Asakawa turns the tables on overpriced floral design in seven steps.

Photo By: All images by Shaun Buchanan

Transform Your Space

Turn an ordinary table into an extraordinary outdoor or indoor focal point with the addition of succulents.

Shelf To Tray

Living succulent tables can retail for more than $1,000, but Sharon Asakawa, author of Planting Designs With Cactus & Succulents does it on a dime. “During the assembly process of this simple IKEA table with shelf and glass top, flip over the shelf portion and assemble it upside down to create a tray instead,” she writes. “This will allow for a depth of 2 inches.” 

Add The Liner

According to Asakawa, a liner "is necessary to hold the soil and plants while still allowing drainage." She suggests a natural fiber coco mat, greenhouse shade cloth or window screen. "Cut the screen about 2 inches wider and longer than the tray," she says.

Soil Your Plants!

Now's the time to add cactus soil on top of the screen. Make sure it's packed down well. 

Trim Time

Once the soil is packed down, "trim off any excess screen to make the edges and corners nice and neat," Asakawa says. 

Think Big, Plant Small

It's time to plant! Asakawa says smaller two-inch plants or cuttings work best in the depth of this table.

Succulent Suggestions

For this table, Asakawa used Adromischus cristatus, echeveria 'Azulita', Graptosedum 'Alpenglow', sedum mat, Echeveria pulidonis, Crassula rupestris 'Baby Necklace', echeveria 'Perle Von Nurnberg', echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' and Sedum lucidum cristata.

Rock Solid

Fill in bare spaces with small, colorful pebbles for visual interest and texture.

Sedum Stars

A little sedum goes a long way to fill this succulent table with greenery.

Sands of Time

Add sand if you'd like to incorporate a beach/desert feel to the table. "These glass-topped tables are not only ornamental, they are ideal for a special event or party as a service table for wine, hors d'oeuvres or a dessert station," Asakawa says.

Almost Done!

"This is a simple planting design," Asakawa says. "Putting together a prefab table—or retrofitting an existing table—requires basic assembly skills and a small time investment." 

Keep Moss In Mind

Though this table is tightly packed with succulents, Asakawa says moss can help fill in any gaps. "Depending on design preference, use moss to finish any areas showing soil," Asakawa says. "But keep in mind that many varieties will spread and quickly fill the spaces." 

Shine Time

Asakawa, host of Garden Compass Radio in San Diego, suggests placing your succulent table where it can see the morning sun.