Aren’t succulents just beautiful? They look like they came from outer space, they don’t need much water to grow, and they make great house plants.
My pal Jeanee and I headed up to the garden store to shop for succulents, but what I didn’t shop for was a pot. Why buy something when you can make it, right? I didn’t really have a plan for potting my succulents when I bought them, so last week I spent some time rooting around the house looking for an appropriate…something…to turn into a pot.
It was when Dave and I were out back building a raised bed that inspiration struck. We used plants instead of seeds in this bed, and when we were done planting, we were surrounded by empty plastic pots that were landfill bound. Boo on that! I decided that instead of pitching that plastic, I’d see if I could turn an old disposable pot into something cute and durable.
You could use burlap webbing like I did or make this project out of scrap burlap strips or really any strips of scrap fabric you have in your stash. You just need strips that are the circumference of your pot plus 1″.
Make a Burlap Pot
- burlap webbing or fabric scraps of your choice – the webbing was actually a little bit heavy for this project. You can kind of see where it bows out a bit. Scrap burlap would have worked better.
- hot glue gun and glue
- disposable plastic pot from another plant you’ve already planted or re-potted
- potting soil
- gravel – the finer the better
- tray – I used a square appetizer tray that we hadn’t been using, but a vintage plate would be great, too!
1. Measure your pot’s circumference and height. You want to cut your fabric strips or webbing so their length is 1″ more than the pot’s circumference. Also make sure you have enough fabric to cover it top to bottom with at least 1″ of overlap. My burlap webbing is 3.5″ wide, so two pieces more than covered the height of my pot. If you’re using skinnier strips or a taller pot, you may need more than two pieces.
2. Get gluey! You’re going to work from the bottom of your pot to the top. Heat up your hot glue and lay down some glue where you want your first strip to start. Stick the strip to the glue, wrap it snugly all the way around your pot, then glue it down where it overlaps. Then, slide your glue gun under the fabric on the opposite side of your seam and put a little line of glue down there to keep the far side from sagging.
3. Repeat step 2 with each strip of fabric, overlapping the next strip over the previous one slightly so you can’t see the pot at all. When you get to the top of your pot, make sure you slide the fabric up and under the lip to give the top a finished look.
4. Fill up your pot! Succulents need excellent drainage, so the first thing you want to do is fill your pot about 1/3 full of gravel. Then, create a mix of half gravel half potting soil to fill the pot the rest of the way. My gravel is actually bigger than ideal – the finer the better!
5. You’re ready to plant! Ever so gently liberate your succulent from the pot it came in. Be super gentle, because if you scar the leaves, you’re stuck with those scars forever. Dig a hole in the middle of your planter that’s deep enough to totally cover the succulent’s roots with a tiny bit of room to put some rocks between your plant and the soil.
6. For the first two days after potting, don’t water your succulent and keep it out of direct sunlight. After that, water sparingly.
Succulent Growing Tips
Jeanee is the real succulent expert, and she shared some tips from a class she took on succulents that I thought you guys might find helpful. I covered some of these in the directions above, but it was all such good advice, I thought I’d share it separately, too.
- For an inside pot, mix 1/3 Permatill or gravel with 2/3 potting soil. (Outside, use 1/2 and 1/2.)
- The rosette-type plants like you bought may lose their lower leaves to rot if they touch the soil, so put some rocks under them.
- After you plant, wait two days to water.
- Use liquid (not granular) fertilizer at 1/4 strength.
- Give the plants at least 4 hours of sun.
- After you plant, keep the babies out of direct sun for two days while their roots recover from shock.
Are you guys growing any succulents? I’d love to see pictures (and hear about the pots you’re using!).