What Up, Succa?

Yes, that is a succulent pun. And no, I’m not proud of it.

I’m sort of on a greenery kick (both outdoors and apparently indoors as well), so this is the story of four cheap-o succulents that I impulse-bought from Home Depot and then decided to plant in kind of a weird way.

The two small ones were $2.98 and the two middle ones were $3.98 a pop. Oh and I used to have a red cactus for years throughout middle school and high school. Seriously, I couldn’t kill that thing if I tried. So that’s why he’s in the mix for nostalgia’s sake.

Then I hunted around or some planters or baskets or old boxes to plant them in (Anthrophologie had some great succulents planted in old wooden boxes with pebbles around them and they looked super cool). Then my entire idea sort of shifted when I came up empty on boxes (and didn’t happen to have any cool white pebbles around either) but laid eyes on these old vases just sitting around in my cabinet.

How weird would it be if I planted them in something see-through? Probably pretty weird, but I’m ok with weird. Heck, I embrace weird. I paused to worry for a second that they wouldn’t have any drainage in these glass containers, but I realized that the ceramic pot that my wouldn’t-die red cactus from high school didn’t have any drainage holes (nor do any of the white Ikea plant pots that we have around the house) so I went for it. But they clearly needed more dirt.

So I went outside with a spoon (yes, a spoon) and used it to scoop some more dirt into my transparent little vessels. The verdict: I think they look pretty cool!

I mean, people mulch their gardens for a cleaner look, right? I think the dark brown tone of the dirt looks so pretty against the green of the plants. Plus a lot of our surfaces are white (and nearly all of my plant pots are white) so maybe my eyes just appreciate the contrast (my eyes are such rebels).

As of now two of them are hanging out in the hall bathroom (on the white counter, which definitely makes them pop) and one of them is on the white fireplace mantel in the kitchen (my little red cactus, since he’s quickly becoming my favorite for sentimental reasons). I’ll have to snap a picture of them in their new homes for ya soon. Although plants and pillows tend to migrate a lot around here, so they might pop up somewhere else next week anyway.

Have you ever planted something in sort of an unorthodox way? Or owned a red cactus in high school that straight up refused to bite the big one, even when you forgot to water it for months?


  1. Natalie says

    Those look pretty awesome! Anything you can do to get drainage by using pebbles or rocks would be really good (like some other people said). When I was doing my succulent research I found that drainage is crucial because the roots will rot if excess water stays in the pot or container and can’t drain. The easiest way to kill a succulent is to overwater…. I’m trying to bring mine back from the land of the almost-dead after my cat attacked it (which is kind of weird) but it’s finally turning a corner because I don’t water it a lot and keep it in full sun as much as possible. It’s doing pretty well now.

  2. Jane says

    This is very weird. I just got in the mail (like 10 minutes ago) 2 CB2 wall hung clear glass votive holders ($1.95 each). I had the thought of planting a succulent in them. I actually went online just now to see if there were any reviews on them where people planted an airplant or succulent in them. Lucky for me, your blog was up when I logged into the computer. Now I have no doubt that is what I am going to do! I think I might hang them in my bathroom. :) Thanks!

  3. Naomi S says

    Just replanted my succulent from HD that I tried in an old candle holder, but it wasn’t quite the right shape, so I put him in a wooden salad bowl my husband picked up years ago at a garage sale. Already seems happier!

  4. Kate C. says

    Love the succulents you chose – I also had a red cactus in middle school and junior high that my grandma gave me. It bit the dust when I knocked it off my dresser and tried to “catch” it – ouch!

  5. Adrienne says

    The red one is exactly like the the one I had in high school. It only ever produced that red flower one time, then it fell off, and he became just a green cactus. But he was the only indoor plant that wouldn’t die on me so as he got bigger I replanted him in various containers- basically anything that was the next step up in size. I…ahem..graduated in 1994- and he’s still alive and well. When I went to college my dad kept watering and transplanting him and Mr. Cactus (his name comes from um… well, his shape) is now a happy, almost 12″ diameter, 4 1/2′ high specimen.

  6. mariela says

    When I see posts like this one I go: Why didn’t I think about this before? Hehe. I have 2 of the same round vases lying around in my house. Thanks for the inspiration!! Looks great!

  7. Danielle says

    This is a totally unrelated question- I just got through the second coat of paint on my baseboards. Ive never painted trim before (my family like their wood natural). Do you use caulk to patch the nail holes? Do you also use caulk on the seam between the walls and the top of the board?

    • says

      We use spackle and a spackle knife to patch nail holes in walls, but caulk to fill them in baseboards since we also use it along the seam between the board and the wall and the corners, etc. Hope it helps!


  8. says

    We have some cool succulents we recently transplanted too! We originally planted some in upcycled IKEA candle holders; now into real pots. They are doing great! Careful not to over water then since ours have for a time gotten a slime or mold – its easiest to see on the glass container ones. Ours even flowered!

  9. says

    Love your blog to pieces!
    Just wanted to chime in that people mulch for a plethora of reasons, probably the last being to provide a cleaner look. It creates a protective barrier against frost and other winter conditions, adds a reboost of nutrients and good bacteria, aids in proper watering, and gobs of other good benefits!

    • says

      Haha, true dat. I do it to keep moisture in, weeds out, and because it’s like crown molding – it finishes off the whole area. Haha. Please excuse me for only mentioning one of the many perks of mulch!


  10. says

    well, I never had a red cactus that wouldn’t die, but I did rescue a big, off-balance succulent from a neighbor’s garbage when I graduated high school (12 years ago–GASP!). I repotted it with some stakes and left it at my dad’s house where it got HAAA-uge. he still has it and even gave it a name–marvin or hugh or something.

    ps-I hope my heeya-biscus are the non-biting-the-bullet-type. they look crazy good.

  11. Becca says

    I’m pretty sure I had that exact same red cactus! :) A few years ago, my boyfriend at the time randomly decided to buy me a plant. But he didn’t know if I was good at taking care of plants (hell I’ve never even HAD a plant before), so he got me that little red cactus guy instead! I had it for awhile and gave it away to a neighbor when I ended up moving, so hopefully he is still living on!

  12. Amiz says

    i have to say I totally freakin love your pun-ny titles!! They always make me happy :D I also love that you went with the clear vases! They look awesome. I wish I could grow anything of any kind in the house but our cat refuses to allow it. It’s taking all that I can to get him to not attack our seedlings for the garden haha

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