Califonia Bountiful

Pat's 15-Minute Garden: Easy 'succulent pizza' planters

July/August 2018 California Bountiful magazine

Mixing and matching succulents is a feast for the eyes

Easy to plant, easy to grow: I'm a big fan of succulents. Plant a variety of them close together in a single, round planter for a delectable "succulent pizza." The idea is to use large terra cotta saucers—12 to 18 inches across—that go under pots to plant succulents. The saucers are low and wide like a pizza pan, and it's good to have a mixture of plants, like a real, living pizza. 

Depending on the size of the saucer, I use 20 to 30 different succulents, some singly, some in groups of three or more. I try to make sure I have an assortment of shapes and sizes. The rosette types of succulents look good in groups. Also select something tall and something trailing. Experiment, but remember to buy more succulents than you think you need because when you pack them in closely together, it takes more than you'd think to fill the space.

Here's how

  1. Using a cement bit, drill three evenly spaced drainage holes in the saucer.
  2. Pack plants directly on the saucer bottom as tightly against each other as you can. Put the tallest plants at the back. Group in odd numbers; it looks more natural.
  3. Fill in bare spots and along edges with potting soil.
  4. Water the succulent pizza gently every couple days until the plants acclimate and then cut water back to once a week. Don't overwater; succulents hate wet feet. But don't let them get bone dry and shriveled. The planting will last a year or more before plants get too big and start reproducing. Use them to make more succulent pizzas for friends and family.

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