How do I choose the right succulents for a small pot?

by Bronwyn

I've thoroughly enjoyed looking through your site and was hoping you could advise me as to which succulent species stay small and manageable.

I'm asking because I planted a group of baby succulents in a pot and was disappointed to find that some withered and died whilst others completely took over, grew tall and unwieldly and produced yellow flowers!

I chose my plants at random, so have no idea which species they were. Which species are best for succulent crafts and pots with a design made from small succulents that don't grow too big?

Hi Bronwyn - thanks for visiting! Without an idea of how big or deep your planter is, I'm flying blind, but here are a few hardy succulent plants that tend to not mind too much if there isn't much root run that I use exclusively for crafts and tiny hypertufa pinch pots:

Sedum for Containers

Sempervivum, in particular Sempervivum arachnoideum


These are the tender types that will work well in containers:

Crassula - look for the small species like Crassula perforata, C. brevifolia and others, not the larger ones that are the Jade Plant, Crassula argentea, and C. ovata.

Echeveria types to look for that tend to make smaller clustered rosettes: (all Echeveria have small root systems, so any of the small ones will work)

Echeveria pulidonis

Echeveria 'Black Prince'

Other types of succulents that you may be able to find are Portulacaria afra, the elephants food; Graptopetalum and other generic hybrids like x Graptoveria, x Sedeveria (a cross between Sedum and Echeveria) and others. Usually these will be listed with the x in front of the name, which just means that they are a cross between two genus, not two plants of the same genus.

There are so many out there that will work in a small pot, it's a matter of testing them in your conditions. Don't be afraid to prune them if they get out of hand and overgrow their spaces.

Hope this gives you some ideas!

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