What’s the best number of succulent plants
for a shallow dish?

Michelle asked how many plants would fit into a shallow dish. Here is her question:

I have a shallow clay pot that is 5.5 inches high and 12.5 inches wide. I have some 4inch succulents. How many should I plant in my pot?

xexample container2

My answer is here;

As you can see from the pictures, you can cram in a lot of succulents to any container, the more the better. If a full, lush look is what you’re after, then you can put at least six or seven of the four inch plants.

If you mound the center of the soil in the pot, and add some rocks to make a higher area, then you can put even more plants.

Keep in mind that this type of planting is not permanent – over the course of the summer you’ll notice which plants grow faster than others and trim them back a bit, or remove them entirely.


Succulents, on the whole, do not need a ton of soil; in fact, in many of my crafts they basically have a tiny root ball. That’s it. Of course, they need a bit more watering to keep them plumped up, but they are quite happy.

Generally, their roots are fine and hair like, and they glean the moisture that falls on the surface of the soil, rather than delving down to the bottom of the pot. This means that they don’t need deep soil to survive.


Because of this characteristic, many succulents don’t need a tap root – in a shallow container, this means that you can just cut it off and let the finer roots hold it in place, and support it with the nutrients and moisture it needs.

Place some decorative rocks or mulch around the base of the plants to have more control over the moisture levels (or lack thereof).  The stones or pebbles weigh down the pot, making it impossible to tip over – a real problem as the plants grow.


Another technique that you can use is to cut off the plants at the base of their stems, and place them really close together, not even planting them at all. They will root in on their own.

Mound up the soil in the center of the pot or container to raise the plants up to the spotlight.

Add other interesting accents like a piece of driftwood, or shells.

Hope this helps,
Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist