9 Succulent Container Garden Recipes

Add water-wise pizzazz to your porch, patio or garden with these container designs for hot- and cold-hardy succulents.

October 08, 2019

Winter Gems

With succulent containers, you’re going for foliage, not flowers, so zero in on the leaves and mix a variety of shapes, textures and colors. This container recipe mixes and matches hens-and-chicks and sedum varieties hardy to 20 degrees below zero, so it can survive outside on your patio in deepest winter, under a blanket of snow. RECIPE: ‘Cebenese’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum arachnoideum ‘Cebenese’, Zones 5-8); ‘Black Pearl’ Sedum (Sedum album ‘Black Pearl’, Zones 5-8); ‘Old Copper’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum ‘Old Copper’, Zones 5-8); ‘Oktoberfest’ Sedum (Sempervivum ‘Oktoberfest’, Zones 5-8); Job’s Beard (Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Irene’, Zones 4-8); ‘Ruby Mantle’ Stonecrop (Phedimus spurius ‘Ruby Mantle’, Zones 4-8)

More Tips: Growing Succulents in Containers

Fall Fling

Pack a tall container full of cold-hardy succulents that will give you foliage ranging from chartreuse to ruby red to black during the winter and blooms that open in the fall and last through the winter. Use fast-draining soil and place in full sun. RECIPE: ‘Wildfire’ Sedum (Sedum SunSparkler ‘Wildfire’, Zones 4-8), 2 plants; Job’s Beard (Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Jade’, Zones 4-8); ‘Boromir’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum ‘Boromir’, Zones 4-8), 3 plants; ‘Elsie’s Gold’ Sedum (Sedum spectabile 'Elsie's Gold', Zones 3-8), 2 plants; ‘Dream Dazzler’ Sedum (Sedum SunSparkler ‘Dream Dazzler’, Zones 3-9); ‘Touchdown Teak’ Sedum (Terra Nova TOUCHDOWN Series Sedum ‘Touchdown Teak’, Zones 4-9)

Dynamic Duo

This simple mix pairs sedum with hens-and-chicks for a container of plants that can stay outside all winter in most places. There’s a mix and match of foliage texture and color, with the glossy chartreuse leaves of one plant contrasting with the spikey ruby red ones of the other. Use a wide dish to accommodate the spreading habit of each plant. RECIPE: Golden Japanese Stonecrop (Sedum makinoi 'Ogon', Zones 6-9), 3 plants; ‘Pacific Shadows’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum ‘Pacific Shadows’, Zones 5-8), 4 plants

Silvery Shadows

Heat-tolerant thrillers, fillers and spillers pack this container of silvery-green succulents, with echeveria adding a pop of warm color on their red-tinged leaf edges. If you can’t get your hands on Blue Pickle Vine, substitute any succulent with a trailing habit. Use fast-draining soil and place the plants in full sun for a fabulous container that can take summer’s heat head-on. RECIPE: ‘Caribbean’ (Echeveria 'Caribbean', Zones 9-11); Blue Pickle Vine (Senecio radicans glauca, Zones 10-11), 3 plants; Peacock Echeveria (Echeveria peacockii, Zones 9-11); Little Jewel (Pachyphytum compactum, Zones 9-11), 2 plants; Mini Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens, Zones 9-11), 3 plants; Echeveria pollux (Zones 9-11); ‘Blue Ruffles’ (Echeveria ‘Blue Ruffles’, Zones 9-10); ‘Afterglow’ (Echeveria ‘Afterglow’, Zones 9-10); Pachyveria 'Noel' (Zones 9-11), 3 plants

More Tips: Best Soil for Succulents in Pots

Under the Succulent Sea

The huge rosettes of the aeoniums and the ruffly, aquamarine leaves of the Lady Aquarius echevaria make this succulent container look like a bouquet of aquatic flowers and coral, but foliage is the star of this show. Add a trailing vine like String of Pearls and a couple of mini jade plants, and you get a heat-tolerant container that looks downright aquatic. RECIPE: String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus, Zones 10-11); Echeveria ‘Flag Day’ (Zones 9-11); Echeveria ‘Lady Aquarius’ (Zones 9-11); Black Rose (Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum ‘Black Rose’, Zone 9); Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra 'Green', Zones 10-11); Kalanchoe ‘Oak Leaf’ (Zones 9-11); Blushing Beauty (Aeonium ‘Blushing Beauty’, Zones 10-11); Large Leaf Elephant Food (Portulacaria afra forma macrophylla, Zones 10-11)

August Afternoons

We've got your summer succulent container right here, with a mix of foliage colors, textures and shapes that can take as much heat as the summer can dish out. Give ‘Sea Glass’ echeveria room to grow into the star of the show, and surround it with fillers like Pink Moonstone and jade plant, and let graptoveria ‘Bashful’ handle the job of spilling over the sides of the container. RECIPE: Echeveria ‘Sea Glass’ (Zone 9); Pink Moonstone (Pachyphytum oviferum, Zone 10); ‘Blue Burrito’ (Sedeveria ‘Blue Burrito’, Zone 9); Graptoveria 'Bashful' (Zone 9); Jade Plant (Crassula ovata 'Tricolor', Zone 9); Sedeveria 'Pink Granite' (Zone 9)

More Tips: Showy Succulents for Warm Climates

Hens-and-Chicks Heroes

Don’t let this collection of cute little hens-and-chicks (sempervivums) fool you. They’re giants when it comes to cold-hardiness, tough enough to handle a brutal winter. Leave them on the porch or patio all winter, and they’ll provide color, even when the rosettes are peeking out from under a layer of snow. Some of these varieties hit peak color in the summer and others in the winter, so you’ll have a lovely little garden year-round. RECIPE: Sempervivum ‘Grammens’ (Zones 5-8); Sempervivum ‘Bronco’ (Zones 5-8), 2 plants; Sempervivum ‘Thayne’ (Zones 5-8); Sempervivum ‘Pinkerine’ (Zones 5-8), 2 plants; Sempervivum ‘C. William’ (Zones 5-8)

Succulent Showstopper

This hanging basket of sedums, dunce caps and those rubbery roses known as sempervivums can take the cold all winter long and the heat all summer long. Suspend it from your porch so you see color when you look out at the winter grays. RECIPE: Variegated Creeping Blue Sedum (Sedum sieboldii variegatum, Zones 6-8), 2 plants; Chinese Dunce Cap (Orostachys iwarenge, Zones 5-10), 2 plants; Dunce’s Cap (Orostachys malacophyllus, Zones 5-10); ‘Royanum’ (Sempervivum tectorum ‘Royanum’, Zones 5-10), 2 plants; ‘Quintessence’ (Sempervivum ‘Quintessence’, Zones 4-10), 2 plants; Blue Boy’ (Sempervivum ‘Blue Boy’, Zones 5-10), 2 plants; ‘Blue Spruce’ (Sedum reflexum ‘Blue Spruce’, Zones 4-10), 2 plants

Succulent Sunset

This container is packed with hot oranges, reds and burgundies and balanced with cool limes. The echeveria, stonecrops and kalanchoe will keep their color in the heat, giving you a spring and summer of nonstop color. RECIPE: Coppertone Stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum, Zone 10); Six-Angled Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sexangularis, Zone 9); ‘Sorrento' (Sedeveria 'Sorrento', Zone 10); Sedum adolphii X (Zone 10); 'Frank Reinelt' (Echeveria agavoides 'Frank Reinelt', Zone 9); 'Melaco' (Echeveria 'Melaco', Zone 9); 'Black Prince' (Echeveria 'Black Prince', Zone 9)

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