Everyone will agree that succulents look amazing when planted in glass containers, bowls and terrariums. Plus, they make awesome gifts for your loved ones.
But, you have to remember that glass containers have no drainage holes and the glass is not porous. Therefore, managing how much you water them is very important. The crucial thing to remember is not to overwater them, ever.
The Benefits Of Using Glass Containers For Your Succulents
Planting your succulents in glass containers has a number of benefits.
- They look amazing displayed anywhere indoors.
- Having no drainage holes means that you don’t need saucers or end up with water stains on your furniture.
- You can actually see if there’s any water pooling at the bottom of the container.
Types Of Glass Containers You Can Use
Any type of glass container is suitable as long as it’s the right size for the plant you’re putting in it. Succulents have a shallow root system, so even glass bowls are suitable. Here are a few ideas:
- Mason jars
- Any recycled squat-type jars that you’ve washed well beforehand.
- Decorative glass bowls
- Specially-made glass terrariums
- Shorter drinking glasses
Have a look in your kitchen and you’re sure to find some lovely glass containers that would suit your succulents.
Type Of Potting Medium To Use
When planting your succulents in glass containers, it’s vitally important to use the correct potting medium. I can’t stress this enough. Remember, the number 1 killer of succulents is overwatering.
Therefore, you must use a fast draining medium that dries out quickly. Succulents don’t like having their roots sitting in water for more than a couple of days.
Even though the water can’t drain away, an open, grainy potting mix allows for more airflow and this will help the mix to dry out faster.
In fact, most succulents can survive quite happily in dry soil for 2 – 3 weeks. This is because they store water in their fleshy leaves and roots to use when conditions are dry.
So, what type of mix should you use? Here’s a few suggestions.
- Purchase a really good quality commercial succulent mix such as the one from Bonsai Jack.
- Make your own mix by mixing 2 parts regular potting mix with 1 part coarse sand and 1 part perlite.
- You can even use just straight perlite with some succulent species.
Just remember to not make the mistake of adding gravel to the bottom of the container first. Many people believe this helps the drainage. But all it does is encourage the water to pool in the bottom of the container. This will eventually cause the roots of your succulents to rot.
How To Plant Your Succulents In The Glass Containers
Follow these simple steps for planting your succulents in their glass containers.
- Remove the succulent from the container they’re in.
- Remove as much of the soil around the roots as you can, being careful not to damage the roots. The reason for this is when you purchase a succulent it may not be planted in the ideal growing medium and you want to remove this.
- Put some of your premium growing mix into the glass container, filling it about half way.
- Position your succulent in the container. Make sure it’s straight and that you’re not going to bury any of the leaves.
- Add the rest of the growing mix to fill the container.
- Add some decorative pebbles on top of the soil. You can purchase lots of different colors of these at your garden center or even online. Alternatively, you might like to use white or black sand.
- Add just enough water to moisten the mix. Don’t flood the container.
How To Avoid Overwatering Your Succulents In Glass Containers
Remember, growing succulents in containers without drainage holes requires special attention to how you water them. But don’t worry, we have some expert tips you can follow.
- Weigh your container. Once you’ve planted your succulents and moistened the growing mix, weigh the container. When the mix is damp, it will weigh more than when it dries out. Once the container is significantly lighter, you can add more water. But use just enough to moisten the soil and avoid having water pool at the bottom of the container.
- Use a measuring jug. This will require a little practice to see how much volume of water you need to add each time. But, adding the same amount of water each time will eliminate any chances of overwatering your succulents.
- Use a special pipette. If you can get hold of a small pipette or syringe, use this to add just the right amount of water each time. It might take a little experimenting first, but you’ll soon determine how many syringes full you need to add each time you water.
- Use a squeeze bottle. You can purchase a special squeeze bottle that has measurements on the side to water your succulents. This way you can ensure that you’re always adding the correct amount of water each time.
The most important thing to remember is to just moisten the soil and don’t fill the container with water. If you do see water pooling in the bottom of the container, you can mop up the excess with some paper towel or a rag.
Or, you can very carefully just pour out any excess. Just make sure that you don’t lose any mix in the process.
It’s also a good idea to keep a track of when you water, so you’re not watering too often. Remember, succulents can quite happily survive in dry soil for 2 – 3 weeks.
In saying that, different succulents have different watering needs. Therefore, you don’t want to water all your succulents at the same time. You need to monitor each one to see how often it needs to be watered.
If you have a smartphone, have a look in your phone’s app store as you should be able to find a succulent tracker app that you can use. Or, you could just use a notebook.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you plant succulents in pots without holes?
Yes, you can but you have monitor your watering very carefully. Succulents don’t like having their roots sitting in water. Also, make sure they’re not left out in the rain.
What pots are good for succulents?
Because it’s so easy to overwater succulents, the best pots to plant them in are terracotta or ceramic. These materials breathe and release water more easily.
Do succulents like small pots?
It depends entirely on the size of the plant. Small succulents in small pots are fine. They do have a very shallow root system, so pots don’t have to be deep.
Can succulents stay outside in rain?
Most succulents are drought-tolerant plants and originate from areas where there is minimal rainfall. If you do want to leave your succulents in the rain, make sure they’re in pots with really good drainage.
Growing succulents in glass containers is both attractive and satisfying. As long as you get the watering right. There are so many different types of glass containers that you can use. Just have a look around your home and I’m sure you’ll find plenty.
Just remember the two most important points when growing succulents in glass containers. Use a premium growing mix that dries out quickly and definitely don’t overwater.
Are you growing succulents successfully in glass containers? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below.