I am no plant guru by all means. I’ve only really gotten into plants when we moved to a bigger house last October. Today, I have an aloe vera, a snake plant, lucky bamboo, an aglaonema, a golden pothos, and a dying bonsai (there’s literally no more hope for it). Other than my dying bonsai, everything has been going swell!

In March, my S/O Mike gifted me 6 succulents that got my wannabe-plant-guru self going psycho for a DIY succulent arrangement. In fact, I was too excited that it backfired – I did the newbie mistake of arranging it in a plant pot with no drainage hole. Biggest no-no for succulents, yet I still did it and now some of them look a little janky.

FEAR NOT, I took them out of that arrangement before they all wittled away in misery.

With that mistake, I ordered a new plant pot with a drainage hole from Amazon and properly made my first succulent arrangement.

Here you can see some of the succulents, especially the tall one, are hurt from my rookie mistake. Do not put succulents in a pot without a drainage hole.

When you pick out your succulents, make sure you have a variety in color, height, and shape. I had a smaller succulent with a bit of red, a taller succulent to loom over the others, a bigger succulent with deeper shades of green, and one “statement” cactus.

To start off, I gathered my tools and materials: succulents, cactus and succulent soil mix, 6 inch plant pot with a drainage tray, white marble nuggets, and potting tools, such as tweezers so I don’t get pricked by the cactus.

Succulents, cactus & succulent soil mix, marble nuggets, and plant pot.
Gardening tools to make the job easier.

Since some of the succulents have very short stems, I softly patted down enough soil to cover the base. By doing this, I don’t have to go through the trouble of squeezing soil under the “low” succulents and possibly ruining them.

Don’t pack down your soil because throughout this process, you will be moving the soil around as you figure out how to place your succulents.

If you have a very tall succulent and are using a shallow plant pot like me, I suggest starting with that one first. You will need room to build a solid foundation around your tallest succulent, so it’s better to do this when no other succulents are placed.


If you notice any dry pieces on your succulents, remember to gently remove those. You probably don’t have to do this if you didn’t do the same mistake as me.

I am still so mad at myself for not using a pot with drainage.

Since it is a little difficult to put soil under the shorter succulents, I used my “finger” tool (I literally don’t know the name of this) to get under the succulents. If you don’t have one, using a pencil or something similarly shaped will suffice.

Using a tool like this will help you avoid breaking your succulents.

To add a little more pizzazz to the arrangement, I placed marble nuggets all around and under the succulents. Do this before planting your last succulent so that you have room to arrange the nuggets. In my case, I planted the succulent with the shortest stem last.

Once you place most of the marble nuggets, go ahead and plant the last succulent and more marble nuggets as needed.

5/6 succulents arranged.
I ordered this off of Amazon if anyone was wondering!

By the end of all this, your succulent arrangement is going to look pretty messy. With a brush (a paint brush will do), gently clean up your succulents and the marble nuggets.

A brushy brush for my succulents.

Et voilà! After 30 minutes, any beginner like me can create a lovely succulent arrangement! Besides the succulents, everything was purchased from Amazon. Since Amazon has longer delivery windows, I do encourage you to visit your local Home Depot or even grocery store (if they have a plant section) to get your tools, materials, and succulents.

Hopefully this inspires you fellow plant-guru wannabes and I wish you lots of fun making new plant arrangements!

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