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How to Turn Your Succulents Into a Living Centerpiece

Succulents are delightful, hardy plants that never fail to become a talking point when given their moment in the spotlight. Compact and adaptable, these plants are beloved by serious water-wise gardeners and those whose gardening dreams are confined to their tiny inner-city apartments.

There are three main reasons why everyone loves succulents. The first is that they are basically indestructible. Secondly, they are super easy to propagate from cuttings (which makes them collectable and shareable among friends, families, and fellow gardeners). Finally, they’re super versatile!

Put your succulent collection front and center by displaying them as a living table centerpiece! It’s a surefire way to get everyone talking at your next dinner party or get-together. Here’s how to create a gorgeous living succulent centerpiece that’ll blow a plain old table runner out of the water.

What You’ll Need

  • A planter to suit the shape of your table (think a long rectangular planter for a large table, or a round bowl design for a smaller tabletop)
  • Succulent potting mix
  • Gravel
  • Horticultural charcoal
  • Succulent varieties — Houseleeks Sempervivum (aka “Hen and chicks”) are a foolproof variety as they grow closely together for a seamless finish. To create interest, you could also include String-of-pearls (Senecio rowleyanus), or mini cacti.
  • Decorative pebbles (optional)


  1. Prepare your pot: If you’re using a glass vessel or a pot without drainage holes, ensure you fill the bottom with 1/2-inch worth of gravel (or pebbles) followed by 1/2-inch worth of crushed charcoal. This will help prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.
  2. Fill the pot: Fill the pot with succulent potting mix (succulent potting mix is specially formulated to be quick draining). Leave a gap of about 1/2-inch between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot.
  3. Plant your succulents: Place the succulents carefully into the prepared soil. Ensure their roots are covered with soil. As you place each plant, take a step back to ensure you’re happy with how the centerpiece is progressing overall. It’s up to you whether you plant the succulents close together or leave a little bit of breathing space between them.
  4. Add finishing touches: Depending on how closely together your succulents have been planted, you may want to hide the soil gaps. This is where decorative pebbles come in handy.
  5. Clean: At this point, the succulents may be covered in a thin layer of soil and dust, so it’s a good idea to dust the leaves of the succulents with a soft brush. A small paint brush or old pastry brush works perfectly.
  6. Water: Moisten the soil with water and you’re done!

This article was originally written by Tahni Mesann. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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