With the hot sun and the high humidity of our Mississippi summers, having a lot of container gardens sprinkled around my yard usually means I’m going to have to do a lot of watering each week.
Watering my garden is a tedious chore. The hose gets tangled on everything, my shoes usually end up getting wet, and it gives the mosquitoes plenty of time to suck my veins dry.
It’s a Catch-22. If you have container gardens here in Mississippi, you’re going to have to water them frequently.
Or will you? Some of my favorite container gardens have been extremely low maintenance and can withstand periods of no water.
Low-Maintenance & Low-Water Container Gardens
Cacti and succulents are no-muss, no-fuss plants that make low-maintenance and low-water container gardens. Pick the right combination of plants for bright colors and textures that will really catch your eye. I have created several different arrangements for my container gardens, both large and small ones.
How to Create a Cactus or Succulent Container Garden
The most important thing for a cactus or succulent container garden is the type of soil that you use. You will want to use a well-draining soil for cacti, but for succulents, you can use regular potting soil. Succulents can tolerate a bit more water than a cactus can.
We get a lot of summer rain in Mississippi, so I used cactus potting soil in many of my container gardens to ensure that the cactus and succulent plants didn’t stay wet between rainstorms. Wet soil is the fastest way to kill off a cactus and some succulents. The good news is, they are extremely drought tolerant — to the point where some that live on my window sill are forgotten for weeks at a time.
I lined the bottom of the pot with some small rocks to add with water drainage, added the soil on top, then planted the cacti and succulents, filling in between the plants with soil. Around the plants I added large accent stones that I have collected from the various places I have lived and sprinkled in smaller stones and pebbles to fill in the empty spots. It’s as easy as that!
Here are some of my favorite cactus and succulent container gardens I have made over the years.
Flowering Cactus Container Garden
I have arranged and rearranged my flowering cacti into several different container gardens over the years. Whether they were planted in a window box or a round planter elevated on an iron frame to a large green container, they have not failed to bloom and put on quite a show.
Check out the blooms on that cactus! Now that the cacti are in a smaller, easier-to-transport container, I bring them indoors in the winter and place them under a grow light to enjoy the flowers.
Hens & Chicks
A container garden planted with hens and chicks is the ultimate care-free garden. Simply plant them and forget them. Well, you might have to water them every once and a while, but other than that, they are very low maintenance. And they multiply, making more, cute little plants.
These little plants can even be grown in containers with vertical holes. I’m sure you’ve seen them growing out of the sides and corners of a strawberry planter.
I have used them to fill in the spots between my raised beds where there was barely any soil, but enough so that I wanted to avoid growing weeds. Hens and chicks can withstand freezing temperatures too!
Smaller Planters as Gifts
I created this cactus combination for a friend. He loved plants but had a serious black thumb. This little cactus garden was designed to sit in his office window in direct sun and be ignored. Since it has very little water requirements, he was able to keep it alive.