Califonia Bountiful

Gardening: Gardening 101 with Steve McShane

Steve McShane of McShane's Nursery in Salinas offers his best planting tips for succulent container gardens.

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Potted succulents are perfect plants for your porch, patio or deck, thanks to their small size, water-saving habits and sun-loving nature. These tips from nursery owner Steve McShane will help you start a successful succulent container garden:

  • Select a container with drainage holes. Spread gravel in the bottom of the container to speed drainage, and top with a potting soil mix designed for succulents or cacti.
  • Plant succulents tightly in the container. They are slow-growing, so pack them into the pot from the start.
  • Be sure to finish off your arrangement by using a top dressing. Your design will look more professional. As always, be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole and if your arrangement is outside, use pot feet to give your plants better airflow.
  • Let the pots dry out slightly between watering. Succulents store water in their fleshy leaves and flourish in dry conditions.
  • Add details to give your landscape your own personal flair. Place the arrangement in a warm, partly shaded site.
  • Bring containers indoors to a bright windowsill in winter.

For more information about McShane's Nursery, visit

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