By Susan Albert
As a Lowe’s regional contributor I was given a $100 gift card for a summer project. Since I already have a variety of flowers, I thought it would be nice to create a succulent bowl for something different. Plus, it can get very hot and dry in this region, so heat-loving succulents are the way to go in late summer.
I have a lot of pots on my back patio, and a bowl would just get lost in the shuffle. To remedy the situation I created a pedestal for my succulent garden to make it the center of attention.
My pedestal couldn’t have been easier. It’s made out of an inverted tall plastic pot, with a granite tile glued on top.
Here are the materials I needed for both projects:
- A tall, rectangular garden container. The one I chose had a grayish cement look, although it was made of plastic.
- One piece of tile wider than the inverted container base
- Liquid Nails®, weather-resistant
- Large planter bowl
- Bag of cacti potting mix
- Variety of succulents in contrasting shapes and colors
- Decorative mulch such as stones or pebbles
To start off, I inverted the tall container and applied the adhesive to the ridge on the bottom of the pot. I pressed the granite tile on top and checked to see that the tile overlap was even on all sides. Liquid Nails is forgiving, so you have about 20 minutes to adjust your projects.
Then I added some pebbles to the bottom of my planter bowl for some extra drainage. Succulents require excellent drainage, and rot in overly moist conditions. I filled the pot with cacti potting mix, and then the fun began.
First I tried out some different arrangements of the succulents in the bowl, with the plants still in their pots. Design wizards say it’s best to use an odd number of plants, such as three or five, for an eye-pleasing effect. I kept ending up with six plants in the bowl, however.
Once I finalized my arrangement, I eased the plants out of their pots and carefully filled the bowl. I had a decorative rock with two holes going through it (a leftover from an aquarium) that I placed in the bowl, and fit two small succulents through the holes.
The plants I chose included Graptosedum ‘Alpenglow’, Sedum clavatum, S. adolphii, and Portulacaria afra ‘Variegata’. All are drought tolerant once established. None is hardy in my USDA Zone 6B, however—the lowest temperatures they tolerate are 30 to 40 degrees F.
So I have to bring the bowl inside for the winter.
My succulent bowl on a pedestal stands out well on the patio and contrasts nicely with the other plants around it. The bowl also makes a colorful addition to a tabletop outdoors. And the pedestal doesn’t have to be used for a succulent bowl. A pot filled with a vibrant, trailing plant, such as petunia or sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), makes a nice display.
Check out my video on this easy summer project (below).
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