21 Succulent Bowl Planting Design Ideas

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 9 min.
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Succulents are extremely popular at the moment, but if you’re looking to make a succulent bowl, you might be wondering where you should even start.

Once you have the right soil and the right bowl, how do you make your succulents look beautiful and artistic?

The best bowls will take color, texture, and height into account. Contrast is everything when it comes to planting a succulent bowl, so if you have a light colored plant, you should pair it with dark ones. Do not overcrowd the bowl and cram all the plants in, but give them space to breathe.

Choose One of These Succulent Plant Pots

Design One: Pop Of Red

If you want to create a really bright and eye-catching design, get hold of a red succulent to position in the middle of a sea of green.

Red succulents design idea
Red succulents

Stick with just one or possibly two red plants, allowing for maximum contrast with the green.

It’s a good idea to put the red near the center of the bowl, where it will stand out and draw the eye inward.

Don’t put it at the edge, or your bowl will look lopsided and clumsy.

Design Two: Pop Of Green

If you’re a big fan of red succulents and you have access to a few different kinds, you can invert the above design and make the green the color that stands out and drags the eye in.

Cacti & succulents in terrarium
Beautiful terrarium

This succulent bowl may not look as soothing, but it will certainly attract attention.

Choose a neutral bowl color to use with this so that it doesn’t clash or look too bright.

If you can find the right hue, match it to your green for maximum effect.

Design Three: Double Dish

For those who are dealing with especially water-sensitive succulents, the double dish system is perfect.

Put your bowl into a secondary, larger bowl, with a layer of pebbles at the bottom. This will help with drainage, but it also looks pretty.

Double dish design idea
Double dish

It is particularly good if your succulents are long and sprawling, because the second bowl will help to ensure they still feel contained, without losing that wild look.


Nice Tip: It helps if the two bowls match, so using two terracotta pots is an excellent idea.


Design Four: Half And Half

Playing around with color is always fun, and the great thing about succulents is how many different options you can have.

One interesting and inventive thing to do is to build your bowl into sections, so pot up half of the bowl with green plants and half with purple plants.

Half purple succulents Design idea
Purple succulents

You can take this further, doing a quarter with red, a quarter with purple, a quarter with dark green, and a quarter with light green if you prefer.

Make sure you use a large enough container so that the plants have room to grow and spread, rather than looking overcrowded and uncomfortable.

Remember too that the colors need to complement each other, and not clash when planted alongside one another.

Design Five: Trailing Succulents

There are many gorgeous succulents that trail, and one of the most beautiful and whimsical designs takes advantage of this.

Trailing succulents design idea
Trailing succulents

Pot up trailing succulents right at the edges of the bowl and allow them to flow down over the edges of the pot.

You can create a bowl with just one kind of trailing succulent, or a bowl with various different kinds.

If you feel inclined to add some tall specimens as well, these will look great in the center of the pot, but you can stick with the trailing varieties if you prefer.

Design Six: Simple Spikes

Some people prefer spikes to soft fronds, and there are lots of spiny succulents too.

Succulent spikes design idea
Succulent spikes

If you want to create a spiky aesthetic, you should find it easy enough to do so.

Simply plant a few different kinds of succulents such as aloe vera, making sure that the tallest are either in the center, or at the back of the bowl.

This will help to ensure that everything is visible. Make use of different heights to give the eye something to explore.

Design Seven: Combine Large And Small

If you want to plant a succulent with large, broad, flat leaves, try to pair it with some succulents that have small, delicate leaves.

Cacti & succulents planting guide
Cacti & succulents

The contrast between the two will make the most of both, and a succulent bowl filled with size variations should look great.


Works Well: Try to surround the big plants with the little ones, using tall ones near the center and short ones on the outside. This will maximize the way in which the size difference draws the eye in.


Design Eight: Go For A Single Focal Point

Having one succulent that is tall, bold, and striking is a great strategy.

You can combine it with the technique above, but make sure you just have one eye-catching and bright plant, and surround it with “background” plants.

Single focal design idea
Single focal

The background plants will usually be smaller and not brightly colored.

They provide something for the eye to rest on, while letting the focus hone in on the large, bright succulent in the center.

Design Nine: Lone Plant

If you prefer simple designs and you have a beautiful bowl for your succulent, it can be very effective to plant just one succulent, right in the center.

Lone plant design idea
Lone plant

This positioning gives it an air of importance, demanding the onlookers’ attention.

It is a good idea to think hard about the bowl and the position you will have the succulent in.


Your Call: If you’re going for bold, think about the surroundings of the planter and how they will draw in people’s eyes so that the plant enjoys the attention it deserves.


Design Ten: Add Lots

Sometimes, busy planters are the most beautiful. If you are a true succulent fan, you will probably find it hard to choose between them – so don’t!

Succulents bowl design idea
Succulents bowl

Get as many as you like, and select a wide, shallow bowl to plant into.

Take your time in positioning the different succulents, and decide where the front of the planter is.

The lower succulents should all go at the front, working their way backward in order of height.

This will ensure that they can all be seen nicely from the front.

Design Eleven: Minimize The Planter

Most of the time, the bowl that you use will make a big difference to the display, and it’s very important to think about the color and design and how it will look with the succulents.

However, you might want to try minimizing the planter and making it as close to invisible as possible.

Minimize planter design idea
Minimize planter

This will make your succulents look natural, as though they have been planted directly into your home.

You can achieve this by choosing trailing succulents that will hide the edges of the planter, and getting the shallowest planter your succulents will cope with.

If you can inset it so that its top is level with a surface, this will complete the illusion!

Design Twelve: Use A Wooden Planter

Make your succulents feel natural with a rustic wooden planter.

Wooden planter for succulents
Wooden planter

Choose one that is beautifully rough and organic, and fill it with plants that will spill across its edges to maximize the organic feeling.

Design Thirteen: Use A Modern Planter

Because succulents are so versatile, if you aren’t feeling the rustic designs, that’s totally fine.

Modern planter design idea
Modern planter

They can also look amazing in a modern planter, especially if you choose one of the more structured and stiff succulents.

A trailing, organic one may not look as good in a square pot with geometric shapes, but the more shapely, tidy succulents will look fantastic.

Design Fourteen: Mini Succulents

Instead of planting lots of succulents into one big bowl, try creating some mini succulents in tiny planters.

Mini succulents in bowls outside
Mini succulents

You can plant up a whole range and then crowd them together in a tray, each in a unique (or matching) pot!

These look utterly adorable, and it ensures that no plants overshadow the others you are growing.

Design Fifteen: Opt For Flowers

It’s quite hard to get most succulents to flower in your home, but it’s still worth choosing some that are known for flowering.

Flowering succulent design idea
Flowering succulent

You might be able to persuade them to do so occasionally, and succulents in bloom are just stunning.


Don’t Forget: Make sure you leave enough space around your plants so that if they flower, their blooms can be enjoyed!


Design Sixteen: Hanging Succulents

If you are short on space but keen to decorate with succulents, use a hanging container and allow them to spill down over the edges.

Hanging succulents design idea
Hanging succulents

If you hang it at the right height, you can both enjoy the plants and their trailing edges.

Add some moss for an aerial feel, and you’ve got a stunning planter!

Design Seventeen: Make A Wreath

A succulent wreath has to be one of the most stunning decorations you can have in your home, but be warned that these can be challenging!

Wreath succulents design idea
Wreath succulents

You will need a wreath form made of sphagnum moss (so that you can water it effectively) and lots of succulents.

Plant them around the edges of the wreath in clusters, and then fill in any gaps.

Make use of trailing succulents and non-trailers for some contrast, and think about the flow of color.

Some people prefer wreaths to represent one color scheme, while others like more variety.

Design Eighteen: Birdcage Succulents

Birdcages make amazing decorations, especially if you can find a beautiful one.

Layer the bottom with sphagnum moss for moisture retention, and then fill this with succulents of all kinds.

Birdcage succulents design idea
Birdcage succulents

You can wind them up the bars, or let them trail down freely from inside.

It’s a good idea to have a few tall ones in there as well, giving the planter some structure and variety.

Hang this up outside or anywhere in your home for a true talking point of decoration!

Design Nineteen: Terrarium Succulents

If you want to make your home feel tropical, a terrarium is a perfect idea.

Terrarium succulents design idea
Terrarium succulents

Because the glass helps to keep the moisture in, you can grow some of the trickier succulents that need lots of dampness.

Don’t be afraid to experiment here.


Decision to Make: You might find it helps to install a light so that the plants can grow strong and you can control the light levels – some succulents are tricky to handle in terms of their light requirements. Terrariums put you in control.


Design Twenty: A Fairy Garden

Many succulents are attractive because they look like miniature versions of bigger plants, and that makes them just perfect for creating a tiny fairy garden with.

Fairy garden design idea
Fairy garden

Plant your succulents around a miniature house or buy or make some tiny tools.

You can also add a few handmade plants if you want miniature mushrooms, or add a little fairy statue for the ultimate magical garden.

Avoid adding glitter, as this will harm the plants. This is a perfect way to enchant a child and give them a spot to leave letters for the fairies!

Design Twenty-one: Succulent Bookends

Many people feel that plants and books are a match made in heaven, and if you are one of them, you’ll love the idea of succulent bookends.

Succulent bookends design idea
Succulent bookends

Get two matching and reasonably tall containers to plant your succulents in, and then fill these with gravel at the bottom to make them heavy.

Check that they are heavy enough to keep your books upright.

Plant a succulent or two in each one, and position them on either side of the bookcase for a perfect, soothing decor.

It’s best to choose soft, flowing succulents to be in keeping with the book aesthetic, but if you have any personal favorites, use them!

Conclusion

No matter what you choose to do with your succulents, you should end up with a beautiful display.

Just think carefully about height, color, texture, and the pot that you are going to be using.

These are the only things that matter, so get a little creative.

Remember, you can always change a display if you decide that you don’t like it later.

Succulents are stunning because they are living, growing, changing things, and you can redesign to better show off their natural beauty any time you want to!

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