succulent cutting collection

Container Garden From Cuttings!

by / 8 Comments / 2030 View / October 11, 2010


EdenMaker DIY:

Next time you trim your plants, don't add the "waste material" to your compost like you are encouraged to do.

That's right, I'm offering you advice that goes against the grain.

Why compost "certain" plants when you can use the cuttings (trimmings) to create new plants, or even a gorgeous container garden!


That's what I did!


I had two planters that needed some pruning but I was in a creative mood. I was itching to produce a work of garden art from my refuse material! 


overgrown succulent planter needs trimming

1. Trailing sedum                                                              


overgrown bulbine plant

  2. Bulbine 

The first planter (1) had overgrown trailing sedum that needed to be trimmed. The second planter (2) was home to a bulbine plant that was bursting at the seams and needed to be divided and repotted.

Perfect "donor" plants for a new container garden, I thought.






After gathering my cuttings, I noticed some fledgling echevaria plants  peeking out of another planter, "crying out" to be saved from under the weight of it's decaying mother plant.

How could I resist? 


 succulent cutting collection

  Echevarias, bulbine and other cuttings ready for planting     


I Need a Container!

So you think I was going to go out and buy a container for my cuttings? How silly! Of course not.

I was in the mood for "FREE" and I was confident I could find something to repurpose as a planter around the storage shed. 


But first, my future planter had to meet some requirements:


  1. Made of non-decaying material and stand up to water.
  2. Made of material that I could drill a drain hole into without cracking.
  3. Be of more value as a planter than as something that I never use!!


Repurpose a Copper Container!


I discovered a neglected copper beverage container that was destined for another purpose.

I reasoned that if it was designed to hold ice, it could  function  as a planter.

A little soil and water won't hurt it. 

copper beverage cooler

Copper beverage cooler = great planter!    


     drainage hole

I drilled a few drainage holes at the bottom of my new planter to ensure good drainage. Succulents are not fond of excess water.



Ups A Daisy planter insert 


Before adding soil, I placed an  Ups A Daisy planter insert into the container, about half way down.

The Ups A Daisy insert functions as a barrier between the plant and the bottom of the planter.  Since the plant is suspended away from the bottom of the pot where water drains, roots are never sitting in water.

Another benefit of using a planter insert such as the Ups A Daisy is that less soil is required to fill your container.

Lighter containers!



copper planter filled with soil                                     

I filled my planter with "cactus mix"

You can purchase a special "cactus mix" at the garden center for planting succulents or you can make your own.

Here is a recipe by Jeff Moore as seen on the Fine Gardening website for you avid DIY'ers


5 parts perlite
4 parts bagged potting soil
1 part coarse sand
Pinch of rock dust

Top-dress the container soil with small river rock, gravel, aquarium stone, or a fine-grade roofing gravel to keep the crowns of the plants from rotting.

To increase acidity just slightly—something all succulents like—add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 5 gallons water when watering.

Thank you Jeff.

On with the planting!

I arranged the succulents along the perimeter and created a backdrop of bulbine behind them. I draped the pantyhose in the open area between the plants and tucked them in.

pantyhose and succulents

panty hose for the garden

Pantyhose for the garden


Panty hose  are binding, suffocating and too hot to wear in Los Angeles. But like many things, they can be used in the garden.

Panty hose make a great soil barrier and keep some of my finishing touches such as colored glass or designer gravel from sinking into the soil!

  colored glass

 I topped the panty hose with tumbled, colored glass.


Colored glass is a sparkling accent that provides year-round color to the succulent container garden. The glass also highlights  the subtle colors of the succulent petals. 



Succulent container garden from cuttings and recycled materials.

This stylish succulent container garden only looks like a million bucks! Plants were free and the container was lost treasure!


What can you make from what you have  sitting around your yard?

Want to learn how to propagate other succulents? Watch my video: "Multiply This Plant"

It's fun and easy.




8 Comment

  1. The pantyhose idea is great, thanks. I have been using dryer lints and sewing them by hand. Pantyhose is elastic. Love your blog. I have used blog as reference idea for propagating Kalanchoe luciae, flapjack. Very grateful for detailed postings.

    Thank you for the information, you are a gem in modern gardening.
    Angelina-Ottawa City, ON, Canada

  2. I know this is an old post but I’m going to comment anyway. LOVE the pantyhose idea! I have colored glass on top of many of my pots and I’ve been frustrated with it getting “lost” in the soil (it’s expensive!) The perfect FREE solution! Thank you!

  3. Thanks Bernadette for reading through the post and your comment! I love “FREE” garden design elements for my garden. Now it’s time for you to go on a shopping spree in your yard.

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  5. What a great page! The pantyhose and the colored glass are really awesome ideas. Your creative way of thinking about all of these things has just opened my eyes. I've bookmarked this page so others may benefit from your money saving pointers and creativity. Do you like orchids at all? If so, here's my resource on <a href="; target="_blank">orchid care</a>.

  6. Love it, it's like making a miniature gardens all over your bigger garden.

  7. Thanks Bernadette for reading through the post and your comment! I love “FREE” garden design elements for my garden. Now it’s time for you to go on a shopping spree in your yard.

  8. Great post … such a fantastic idea and the little tips along the way were terrific.  I particularly loved the tip about using pantyhose … what a simple solution to the problem!!  The finished container looks great … I so enjoyed this read.

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