Can succulents grow in rocks? is the question many get after seeing some of the decorative succulents. I was also one of those who thought of planting the succulents in the rocks but back then I did not the correct way of growing succulents in the rocks. So as soon as I planted it within a few days the plant was dead. So getting back to the question can you really grow the succulents in rocks?
Well, the quick answer to the question would be YES! you can grow them in rocks. But to be specific about it they won’t survive for a long time. Because succulents need nutrients for growing and they get those essential nutrients from the potting soil.
If you are growing them just for the short term well then you can start growing them in rocks. But if you want to grow succulents that last long in those rocks then you should know few of the things to do while planting them in rocks.
In this article, I will walk you through the procedure for growing the succulents in rocks and also get to know about the basics things that might be helpful for growing them healthy.
How to plant succulents in rocks?
Growing succulents in rocks can be possible but it will take some extra efforts. As succulents are considered as one of the low maintenance plants but in this case, you need to give them a bit more attention and care. There are two ways to grow them in rocks.
- Planting succulents just in rocks
- Planting succulents in a mixture of soil and rocks
Let’s get to know these two techniques in detail.
1. Planting succulents just in rocks
When planting the succulents just in rocks as mentioned it will take some extra efforts to maintain the plants. So when you plant them in rocks it is important to understand that they will need essential nutrients to grow healthy and for a long period of time. Therefore when you plant them in rocks give them nutrients manually.
Add fertilizers every time you water the succulents. You can use manure tea to fertilize the succulents as they do not burn the succulents even if you overdo it or use fertilize but make sure to use the fertilizer that is mild. Mix the fertilizer with water and then feed them what this will do is that it will provide all the essential nutrients that succulents get through the soil. Also, that will make succulents thrive long. This is one of the simple tricks you can use to grow them in rocks.
Adding nutrients alone will not help succulents to grow because the roots of the succulents need something to attach with. But in while growing them in rocks alone, that is not possible so make sure to add some organic materials into the rocks. By adding these materials will help the roots to hold on to something and will help them grow. Succulents roots do great with Coco fiber or Coir, you can add these organic materials to grow them healthy. You can get these organic materials from the amazon.
Now that you already have these materials while planting succulents just add the Coir or any of the organic material around the roots and leave the succulent alone for a few days. It will start to grow within a few days. It is very important to feed them water on regular basis when planted inside the rocks alone.
Because there is no soil present to give the water to roots so it is important to give a consistent mist to the plant. You should just give a mist frequently so that the plant gets enough moist. This will avoid the underwatering of the succulents.
2. Planting succulents in a mixture of soil and rocks
Planting them in a mixture is a hybrid way of growing succulents. In this method plant the succulents in rocks and the potting soil mixture. Get a pot (it’s okay even if it doesn’t have drainage holes) then at the bottom of the pot make a layer of the rocks. Rocks should have both the sizes small and big, then add the potting soil that is well-drained. The next thing you should do is to plant the succulents in a mixture.
Then you can add top dressing to the succulents to make them look beautiful and attractive. When you plant them in this kind of arrangement it will give succulents well-balanced nutrients and growth that will last for a long time. This is the best way you can grow succulents that looks beautiful, attractive, decorative, and healthy too. Personally I find this the favorite way to grow succulents.
You can grow the succulents in a pot that doesn’t have drainage holes, which frankly I feel satisfying as all my favorite pots usually do not have drainage holes. By growing the plant with these techniques lifts the restriction of having the pot with that has holes at the bottom.
How long can succulents live without soil
Yes, they can thrive without soil but for a short time span. If you are growing succulents for short projects then you are good to grow them without soil. Succulents need soil to thrive as soil provides essential nutrients for the plants. These may look like epiphytes but they are not, epiphytes usually get the nutrients from the air. Succulents can be planted without soil but that comes with disadvantages. These plants also need a special type of soil, unlike other plants. They grow healthy in soil that is well-drained and has a mixture of organic materials.
To prolong the life of the succulents without soil you need to give them all the nutrients that they will lack from the soil. So now the question is how to give them these nutrients, the answer is very simple you just need to give them their food that is fertilizers.
Just add the fertilizers while watering them, the best results you will get is from diluting the fertilizers with the water. When you dilute the fertilizer, water the succulents just enough to moist the plant.
Taking care of succulents planted in rocks
When you grow the succulents in rocks then as I said earlier we have to give a bit more attention and care to the plants. So there are a few basic tips to take care of while growing them.
1. Watering them frequently
It is important to water the succulents frequently when planted in this kind of arrangement because the roots will get dry quickly as there is no soil present to provide them water. So to avoid the plant from getting underwatered you should water them every a few days just moistening them enough. This will help in surviving the plants.
2. Giving them enough sunlight
Every succulent needs sunlight for growing healthy. As we are doing this kind of arrangement for keeping the plants indoor. You should always place them in direct sunlight for at least two hours a day or you can try moving them near the window to get a shade of light. That will help the succulents to grow beautifully.
3. Giving them nutrients
As I have said earlier this is the most important factor to thrive the succulents in such type of arrangement. Always give them essential nutrients and fertilize them so that they can grow properly and will survive in rocks.
Potting pebbles for succulents
These are the types of rocks that can be used as a top dressing for succulents or can be used for drainage. Potting pebbles are generally used for decorative purposes, many people have these pebbles just to give an attractive look to succulents. Mainly these are the two reasons for using potting pebbles.
1. Topdressing for succulents
This can be done just by putting a layer of the rocks of various sizes over top of the soil. For doing this get a variety of rocks by variety I mean rocks of various sizes and colors. You can buy them from any local store or they are available on amazon too. I love to have top dressing to my succulents it changes the whole look of my plant and by looking at the pot it feels good. Sometimes top dressing also helps in providing support to the plant.
Potting pebbles are also used for drainage purposes. You might be thinking how can they use for drainage? well if you want to grow the succulents in a pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole. Then these pebbles can be very useful to grow succulent.
Get a few small and large pebbles and then spread the layer of the pebbles at the bottom of the pot. Then add the potting mix on the top of the layer then plant the succulent. By doing this all the excess water will slide down to the rocks and will sit at the bottom of the pot. And the roots will not get damp and that will avoid the rotting of the roots. Try this if you want to grow them in a pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole.
Thoughts on succulents growing in rocks!
Succulents can thrive in rocks but when not taken care of at all then they will die in a short period of time, but if you give them extra care and attention they will thrive longer and healthy. And these are the above hybrid ways to grow the succulents in rocks which are very effective and I personally find them very useful.
By following that method you can grow a succulent in rocks and you do not have to give them extra care and attention. So next time while growing them in rocks do consider these techniques.
You can also grow these succulents in a terrarium with this type of arrangement. If you wish to learn how to make one make sure to visit Layered Sand Succulent Planter (terrarium).
I hope you found all the answers you were looking for if you have any doubts make sure to leave a comment below and I’ll make sure to get back to you.
These succulents are very tiny and beautiful indoor plants and they make you feel good about yourself. Try growing them from the seeds to make you feel better.