How to Arrange Succulents for an Eye-Catching and Long-Lasting Arrangement

Knowing how to arrange succulents can make your collection much more eye-catching. You can do this with your garden or in containers for indoor display. You can even gift a succulent arrangement on special occasions. So, how is it done?

You can arrange succulents by putting together individual plants into a single pot or placing multiple pots on shelves. For single-pot arrangements, follow the thriller, filler, spiller technique. On the other hand, consider colors and shapes when showcasing on shelves.

In this article, I’ll give you a detailed guide on how to arrange succulents and the factors you need to consider before doing so. Read on!

How to Arrange Succulents

The beauty of working with succulents is that you can be as creative as you can with them. That’s even more true if you have lots in your collection. You can play around, not only with plant combinations but also with how you present them.

Succulents 1

Here are some ideas on how to arrange succulents:

1.   Single Container: Follow the Thriller-Filler-Spiller Combo

The thriller, filler, spiller technique is common practice in pot arrangements, including succulent collections. The basic idea is to have the following components in the mix:


This plant draws the main focus in the arrangement. Normally, it’s placed either in the middle or at the back of the pot. A perfect succulent for this part typically has a large size, is vertical, spiky, or with other eye-catching features.

Some common choices are the Echeveria Purple Pearl, Aloe Blue Elf, Sedum nussbaumerianum, and Panda Plant.


Filler succulents, as the name suggests, fill up the pot and take up the most space. They serve to blend other components to make a cohesive look. However, they should also provide a certain appeal with their texture or color.

Few examples of fillers include Haworthia cooperi, Red Graft cactus, Crassula gollum, and Aeonium Lily.


The spiller succulents trail over the rim of the container. These provide a different dimension that makes arrangements more interesting.

Popular varieties used for this purpose are the String of Bananas, the String of Pearls, and the String of Hearts.

Sedum Burrito can play the part, too, but this species has longer trails than the others.

2.   Multiple Pots on Shelves, Plant Ladders, and Stands

If you want to keep your succulents in their pots, a straightforward method to arrange them is to use shelves, plant ladders, or stands.

This can tidy up your collection. Plus, you can easily replace and reorganize items as you wish.

Take into consideration the shapes and colors when arranging. You can also highlight and switch up angles by tilting some pots.

Moreover, bring even more life to the shelves by using pots with attractive designs.

Related: How Long Can Succulents Go Without Water?

Factors to Consider in Your Succulent Arrangement

Arranging succulents is more than choosing varieties that look good together. You need to consider their growth requirements as well. This way, they’ll be easier to maintain and will last, somehow, all at the same time.

Here’s a breakdown of the factors to look into:

1.   Growth Conditions

You already have a good idea about your plants’ needs if you take them from your garden. But, if you’re buying from a nursery or somewhere else, research the specifics. This way, you get an informed decision about which succulents go best for your project.

Below are several growth factors to consider in your arrangement:


Watering Succulents with a dropper

Generally, succulents prefer dry soil, so they require less water. A weekly watering routine is necessary for most and less during the winter season.

Still, needs, as indicated by their leaves, vary across species. Thicker and fleshier foliage store water better compared to thinner counterparts. Thus, they last longer without water.


Full-sun conditions are typical for succulents. However, some varieties love a partial shade. When plants with different sunlight preferences are combined, this may result in improper growth. 

Two of the most common houseplants with low-light needs are the Snake plant and the Aloe Vera.

On the other hand, some sun-loving types include the Green Rose and Letizia Sedeveria.


Temperature is another consideration in the success of your arrangement. Succulents mostly thrive in optimal temperatures of 50–85°F. Outside of this range, they may change color to varying degrees.

Moreover, there are hardy plants that prefer extreme cold. This includes the Sempervivums and some Sedum species.

Differences in temperature preference will make arrangements harder to maintain. This is because, at some point, certain varieties need to be indoors, while others have to be outdoors.

Altogether, it’s best to veer away from the combination of these temperate and extreme-cold-loving succulents.

Nevertheless, you can still use these for short-lived arrangements for display on special occasions.

Suitable Container

A suitable container with the right size should support the above-mentioned growth conditions.

The growing container should have a nutrient-rich potting mix and enough drainage holes. When planting, avoid overcrowding. The lack of space will hamper the growth of the roots and inhibit nutrient intake.

As a rule of thumb, you need your succulents separated at least a half-inch from each other. Plus, they have to be that distance away from the rim of the container.

If you’re thinking of a bigger pot to offer more space in between plants, you may want to reconsider that decision. Using a big pot has disadvantages; it can make the soil harder to dry out, which can lead to root rot and mold growth.

2.   Aesthetic Appeal

The key to a strikingly beautiful arrangement is in the color schemes and the contrasting elements.

Let’s look at them in detail:


Colorful succulents in a pot

Succulents come in a wide array of colors. Besides the usual monochromatic greens, there are also red, purple, blue, yellow, and orange varieties.

Moreover, others boast prominent colors that are mixed with subtle hues. This makes arrangements interesting as you can work around a lot of combinations.

A general guide to use when doing multicolored sets is the standard color wheel. This will give you complementary colors for a dramatic effect.

Examples of combinations are green and red, orange and blue, and yellow and purple. If you look into the color wheel, these are situated opposite each other.

Additionally, you can opt for analogous colors like orange and red, and green and blue.

Nonetheless, you can use monochromatic succulents. To make them more interesting, mix and match different shapes and heights.

Shape and Lengths

Add texture and contrast by incorporating various shapes and heights into your arrangement. Include low-lying types with other taller varieties to provide contrast.

There are a lot of choices for shapes, too. A rosette succulent like Echeveria, for instance, has rounder leaf formations that look like a rose bloom.

There are also triangular-shaped leaves that spike in different directions like in a Haworthia. Plus, you can add columnar succulents, as well, that provide height into the mix.

The Number of Succulents in the Arrangement

A single-potted succulent is already a beauty on its own, but adding more plants can make it more eye-catching. For this purpose, three plants in an arrangement is a good starting point.

Going for two pieces can be awkward, and a comparison is inevitable. Three is better in providing contrast and dynamic for an intriguing collection.

If you want to add some more, do it in increments of twos. In other words, maintain an odd number of succulents.

Reader Also Checked: Variegated Succulents: The Ultimate Guide


This article discussed how to arrange succulents. You can do this by bringing together individual pieces into a single pot or you can keep them in their containers and place them on shelves.

You can employ the thriller, filler, spiller method for the former option. This uses a focal plant, filler components, and succulents that trail over the pot edges.

For a long-lasting arrangement, consider growth conditions and visual aspects in your plant selection. Choose individual pieces with water, sunlight, and temperature needs that are nearly similar to each other.

Lastly, incorporate a mixture of shapes and colors to make your design dynamic and appealing.