driftwood succulent planter

43 Creative Succulent Planter Ideas for Indoor or Outdoor Use

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Displaying succulent arrangements in your home is a lot of fun and makes for great conversation pieces. But bringing home new plants in those generic plastic planters for the first time can be overwhelming.

When I brought home my first batch of new succulents, I had no idea what to do with them. The thin plastic planters that they came in were eye-soars, and they could hardly stand up with the heavy, overgrown succulents they held. All I wanted was to mimic those fresh displays with succulents spilling over the edges from every angle.

It took me a while to learn how to create the perfect succulent centerpiece, but now that I’ve discovered just how many items around the house make great DIY succulent planters, the sky is the limit!

What Makes a Great Planter for Succulents?

While almost anything that can hold a few handfuls of well-draining soil mix doubles as a succulent planter, there are certain requirements to remember. Succulents are easy to keep alive once they are planted in the right conditions.

  • Breathable material. The best succulent planters are made of materials like terracotta, clay, unsealed wood, and anything that allows airflow through the soil.
  • A drainage hole. As long as you can drill a hole in the bottom of a container, it can easily work as a succulent planter.
  • Succulent soil mix. You can either buy a premade mix or make your own using potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite.
  • Open to allow sun. Most succulents need either direct or bright filtered sunlight to survive which means the container should not create too much extra shade on your plants.
  • Enough depth. While tiny items like spoons and nutshells make adorable succulent planters, these can only work temporarily for baby plants.

Related: Best Succulent Gift Ideas

All-Time Best Succulent Planters

Since creating a comfortable environment for your succulents is important, these first few planters are my top recommendations. Between your attic, garage, and basement, you might find a few similar options lying around. But generally, these first few suggestions are not as easy to “DIY” when you’re just starting out with succulents.

1. Basic Terracotta Pots

Terracotta pots are breathable and well-draining planters for succulents. You can find them in all shapes and sizes in your local garden centers or order them online. These pots are basic (some might even say “bland”), but they are perfect for adding a cohesive look throughout your home. Simply add a succulent to each pot and place it near bright sunlight for the perfect decorative touch.

2. Stylish Cylinder Terracotta Pots

cylinder terracotta succulent planters

If you like the functionality of terracotta but want to take it one step further and give your planters a more modern look, these cylinder pots are great options. You can keep the well-draining, breathable material which makes the perfect succulent planter, but still keep your home looking stylish.

3. Aztek Black and White Planters

You’ll notice I’m still talking about terracotta pots–that’s because they truly are some of the best pots for succulents (but I digress). If you’re still worried that terracotta won’t match your home decor, it’s important to know that you have even more options to modernize your pots.

You can hand paint, spray paint, or order various designs to cover the orange glow that the traditional terracotta pots cast. These geometric designs instantly bring your planters up to speed in this modern era.

4. Hand Painted Clay Pots

hand painted clay pots

Gather any clay pots you can and create a plan to design them using accent colors that will complement your space. They can be dirty, cracked, and even chipped yet still double as some of the best planters for succulents. As long as your pots have a drainage hole, your plants will love the airflow and comfortably dry conditions that clay can offer.

5. Plastic Planters

black plastic planters

While plastic succulent planters look basic and sometimes even cheap, they can be useful. You can use these to line coffee mugs or containers that don’t allow good drainage. That way you can lift them out to water your plants and ensure the water flows out of the bottom (rather than sitting in your container and causing root rot). You can also spray paint them to match your home decor if you’re looking for an affordable succulent planter for propagating new plants.

6. Shallow Baskets

I use shallow baskets as succulent planters all the time. Instead of lining them and filling them with soil, I usually place different pots (either plastic or terracotta) into the baskets. I enjoy doing this because I can freely switch plants around without reporting them. Simply lift the pot out of the basket and create new designs as desired!

7. Wicker Garbage Can

Tall baskets or wicker garbage cans make cute succulent planters. You can clean and repurpose used containers (make sure to disinfect them!) or buy them new. You could even weave your own baskets if you’re into that!

8. Hollowed Wooden Cubes

Hollowing out small logs or blocks of wood can look amazing as succulent planters. The less treated the wood, and the more cracks that form down the sides of your blocks, the more your plants can breathe. Drill a hole in the bottom to keep your succulents drained and happy.

9. Painted Wooden Crates

wooden crate succulent plant holder

Wooden crates are versatile containers that many families have laying around. You can paint or stain them to your liking and turn them into some of the best planters for your succulents. Similar to baskets, you can arrange and rearrange your plants freely by leaving them in their plastic nursery planters and then placing them into the crate.

DIY Succulent Planter Ideas for Indoor Use

Caring for succulents indoors comes with a few nuances that you might not have previously considered. These DIY planters for succulents are best kept inside your home where you can control the amount of water that enters them. If you do wish to display them outside, just keep in mind that extra drainage and attention may be needed in order to help your succulents thrive.

10. Ceramic Coffee Mugs

teacup coffee mug succulent planter

Reach into your cupboard and dust off one of the coffee mugs or teacups you no longer use. These dainty cups make adorable planters for succulents! You can either drill a hole in the bottom (making sure to use the right drill bit depending on the material), or you can cut a plastic liner to size.

11. Tea Pots

Antique teapots of all colors, shapes, and sizes make the perfect planter for your succulent plants. If your teapot is no longer in service, you can carefully drill a hole in the bottom for drainage. Or if you hope to use it to serve tea one day down the road, simply slide a plastic liner into the pot.

12. Matching Cups or Containers

white and pink ceramic succulent planters

Search through your cupboards, shop at second-hand stores, or visit your local Dollar Tree and gather cute matching cups or containers to use as succulent planters. You can either use the cups as they are or spray paint them to match your home.

13. Tin Cans

tin can succulent planter

Whether new and shiny or old, dented and rusty, tin cans make perfect succulent planters. It’s easy to drill holes in the bottom of a metal can using any standard drill bit. Tin cans can be painted or displayed naturally depending on your design preferences.

14. Wide-Based Shallow Bowls

wide shallow white bowl succulent planter

Shallow bowls with a wide base make lovely planters for succulent arrangements. Mix and match your tiny plants and cover any of the remaining dirt with moss or decorative pebbles.

15. Narrow Based Wide Rimmed Bowls

black bowl succulent planter

Consider a large shallow bowl with a small base for a more modern succulent arrangement. You may even find a lovely planter sitting inside of your cupboards just waiting to be dusted off!

16. Pedestal Planters

ceramic pedestal succulent planter

Pedestal pots look fantastic with succulents planted in them. If you purchase them new, look for planters with predrilled drainage holes or plastic liners.

17. Random Ceramic or Clay Containers

cute animal face succulent planters

Thrift stores are one of my favorite places to find succulent planters of all shapes and sizes. I’ve come across all kinds of styles for as little as $.50 apiece. While clay and ceramic containers often work the best, you can also consider plastic and glass as well.

18. Copper Containers

copper succulent planters

Copper-toned pots look fantastic with green succulents in them. Copper is a great material for succulent planters because it helps to reflect heat and light. This makes it perfect for hot, sunny areas. You can find old copper containers at thrift stores, or even purchase new ones at your local home improvement store.

19. Oblong Shallow Dishes

green oblong shallow dish with succulents

Plant your succulents in oblong containers like gravy boats or decorative serving bowls! They are easy to assemble and look perfect on tables, shelves, or a fireplace mantle.

20. Macrame Hanger

hanging macrame succulent planter

Trailing succulents can quickly outgrow their planters. Hanging macrame pots make the best planters for trailing succulents for this exact reason! Or if you have curious cats, hanging your succulents is the best way to keep them out of reach.

Temporary DIY Succulent Planters

If you’re looking for succulent planter ideas for a wedding, party, or seasonal decoration, these temporary planter ideas might be just the thing. Tiny or non-draining containers can’t work in the long run, but these resilient plants can live for many weeks in a less-than-desirable location. Once your babies outgrow their container, you can graduate them into a more permanent solution.

21. Random Shallow Bowls, Dishes, or Ashtrays

heart shaped shallow dish succulent planter

If you have any random bowls, dishes, or ashtrays lying around your house, put them to good use as succulent planters! Just add some rocks to the bottom to ensure your plant doesn’t sit in water. And keep in mind that these are only temporary placeholders for planters with proper drainage.

22. Walnut Shells

Dried and cracked walnut shells make the perfect planter for baby succulents. Instead of placing them in crowded large pots, each tiny plant can have its own dedicated space. Simply fill the shell with a well-draining soil mix and add your succulent.

23. Conch Shells

white conch shell succulent planter

Similar to walnut shells, conch shells can make beautiful and beachy planters for baby succulents. Arrange a few in a tray or on a windowsill for an elegant display. Add sand, smooth rocks, and sea glass to your arrangement to bring the beach to your home.

24. Spoons

white spoons with succulents

Whether they are metal, plastic, or wooden, spoons can double as tiny planters for succulents. Just be sure to add drainage holes if you plan to keep your plants on them for a significant amount of time.

25. Pumpkins and Gourds

pumpkin with succulents

Succulents make the perfect fall decoration, and what better way to show them off than in a pumpkin or gourd? Simply hollow them out, cut a small hole in the bottom, and then add your soil mixtures. Arrange your succulents in the pumpkin or gourd to your liking.

26. Cylinder Glass Vases

clear cylinder glass vase succulent planter

Tall, thin, and elegant, cylinder glass vases make the best temporary planters for succulents. These gorgeous arrangements are great for weddings, parties, or just everyday home decor. Keep a close eye on your succulents and keep watering to a minimum to avoid allowing them to sit in wet soil.

27. Glass Bottles

clear glass bottle succulent planter

Glass bottles of all shapes and sizes can be repurposed as planters for succulents. I love using old milk bottles, but almost any bottle will work. When it comes time to remove your succulents and replant them into a more permanent home, be prepared to gently break the bottles if necessary.

28. Glass Fishbowls and Terrariums

clear glass fishbowl succulent planter

Tropical plants like succulents love the high humidity of a glass terrarium. If you have a fishbowl or other deep glass bowl, you can create a beautiful and peaceful oasis for all types of succulents. Just understand that unless your terrarium has a drainage hole (not likely), your succulents will need to be repotted as they run the risk of root rot due to standing water.

29. Glass Jars

glass  jars with succulents

Mason jars, jelly jars, and other glass jars can be turned into charming planters for your succulents. These are perfect for decorating windowsills, side tables, and shelves throughout your home. Using a diamond drill bit, you can even add drainage to your jars.

30. Random Glass Containers

glass container succulent planter

You can pretty much use any glass container as a temporary planter for your succulents. Get creative and see what you can find around your home, or visit local thrift shops and yard sales to see what you can find.

DIY Succulent Planter Ideas for Outdoor Use

Succulents are native to hot arid climates like Asia and Africa, but that doesn’t mean that can’t thrive outdoors in other areas of the world. In fact, these resilient plants are known to go dormant during the cooler seasons, and can even live through frost and snow as long as you don’t water them too much during this time. As long as you provide the proper care for your outdoor succulents, these gorgeous planter ideas can spruce up any space.

31. Old Wooden Chairs

old wooden chair planter

Paint or stain an old wooden chair and add a succulent planter to the seat. Nail or wire your trailing succulents in a small pot to the back of the chair as well! These make great conversation starters that can be placed on a porch or inside your garden.

32. Mailboxes

old mailbox succulent planter

Turn an old metal or wooden mailbox into a unique planter for your succulents. These make great decorations for any garden or outdoor space. Be sure to add drainage holes to the bottom of your mailbox, and consider using a liner to protect the metal from rusting.

33. Pots, Pans, and Pie Tins

frying pan succulent planter

Get creative with your outdoor succulent planters and repurpose old pots, pans, and pie tins that you no longer use. These can be placed on a windowsill, steps, or even directly on the ground in your garden.

34. Rustic Tin Cups

old tin cup succulent planter

For a more rustic look, try using old tin cups as planters for your succulents. These make great decorations for a country-themed garden or outdoor space. You can even string a few of these together to create an outdoor succulent chandelier for your patio.

35. Driftwood

driftwood succulent planter

If you live near a beach, you can collect driftwood to use as planters for your succulents. These make beautiful and natural decorations for any garden or outdoor space. Just be sure to soak your driftwood in distilled water for a week or two before using it so that it doesn’t rot.

36. Bark

piece of bark succulent planter

Bark planters are a great way to add some natural elements to your succulent garden. You can find these at craft stores or collect them from fallen trees and branches around your home.

37. Roller Skate or Ice Skate

roller skate succulent planter

For a unique succulent planter, try using an old roller skate or ice skate. With the proper drainage, these can be placed directly in your garden, on a patio, or around your mailbox. As it collects rain, your succulents can soak up their desired amount of water before the soil mix dries again.

38. Galvanized Metal Tubs

shallow tin succulent planter

For a more industrial look, try using galvanized metal tubs as planters for your succulents. These can be placed on your outdoor steps or right in your garden. Plus, drilling holes into metal is easy to do with almost any drill bit!

39. Old Metal Gas Cans

An old gas container succulent planter

If you’re looking for a truly unique planter, try using an old metal gas can. These can be placed directly in your garden or on your patio. Just be sure to add drainage holes to the bottom, and consider using a liner to protect the metal from rusting.

40. Bicycle Wheel and Spokes

bike wheel succulent planter

For a fun and funky planter, try using an old bicycle wheel. Leave your succulent in their original containers and use wire to attach them to the spokes.

41. Bird Cage

bird cage succulent planter

For a more delicate look, try using an old bird cage as a planter. You can hang this from your covered porch or set them on an outdoor side table.

42. Broken Plaster Busts

broken plaster bust succulent planter

If you’re looking for a more unique planter, try using a bust. These can be found at thrift stores, at yard sales, or often in garbage piles. The more cracked and broken the bust, the easier your succulents can breathe and grow.

43. Clay Jugs

jug succulent planter

For a more rustic look, try using clay jugs as planters for your succulents. These can be placed on your outdoor steps or right in your garden. Plus, they come in a variety of sizes so you can choose the perfect one for your succulent!

Almost Any Container Can Become a Succulent Planter

Once you have the mindset that any container can potentially be a succulent planter, it’s easy to envision your next project.

No matter what type of planter you choose, be sure to add drainage holes to the bottom. This will help to prevent your succulents from rotting. Also, consider using a liner to protect your planter from rusting or leaking.

With these examples and pictures, you’ll be sure to find the perfect succulent planter for your home!

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