HOW-TO: SUCCULENT GARDEN

WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER

In recent years, succulents have saturated the market. Nearly every chic boutique that I've been into has a pop of green courtesy of a potted cacti; my Instagram feed is regularly peppered with pictures of echeveria. And much like the perennially popular (and ever reusable) Mason Jars, here's hoping that this trend has staying power. Succulents aren't just for pretty: these plants are drought-smart, easy to care for, and capable of surviving most any season provided you bring these little guys indoors during harsh winters.

When shopping for succulents, be sure to check out your local nursery. I've had family friends living in dry areas that have taken plants for free from the soil. This is disruptive to natural ecosystems and unkind to the succulents. So stick to nearby garden centers and take advantage of the opportunity to talk to a skilled horticulturist. Herewith, a short and sweet guide to get you started on some succulent adventures.

WINDOW SILL GARDEN

Want to put together a succulent garden this very day but short on money? Get the most bang for your buck with these three plants: aloe vera (ideal for healing sunburns) jade plant (it doesn't take much to grow a lot!) and the resilient snake plant (it's been known to come back from the dead). This mix of medicinal and showy succulents brightens up any room and is especially ideal for those who are new to gardening.

HANGING PLANTER

Check out our how-to from earlier this summer. It really is the perfect afternoon activity if you're looking to do a little light gardening as well as makes a great gift to give.

VERTICAL GARDEN

Vertical gardens are an excellent way to shed light on succulents. You have a couple options depending on how much you want to spend.

Looking to keep the budget low? Forage for a couple of pallets at your local construction store and be sure to scoop up landscape fabric, organic soil, and a sturdy staple gun. Lay pallet face-down on the ground and staple the fabric to the wood frame in order to provide a stable backing. Flip over and fill with soil. Plant succulents in between pallet bars, taking care to not squish their leaves (if it won't fit, don't try to wrestle it in). Your pallet garden will need to lay flat for two weeks or so as the succulents take root.

Want a garden with some staying power? Invest in Woolly Pockets. These living wall container gardens are ridiculously easy to use and can be hung on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Follow the instructions that come with the pockets to build your very own wall.