Most miniature succulents are baby plants or cuttings which haven’t achieved their full size. They can be planted on their own or with other plants. They can also be glued or wired onto whatever arrangement is being used, be it a wreath arrangement, a wall art, a wood planter, etc.
Do Mini Succulents Grow?
Yes. Mini succulents grow, but they are not fast growers in the beginning. Once they reach a certain size, do expect their growth to get faster until they eventually outgrow their containers. As an example, I will use this echeveria and haworthia (zebra plant) to show you the progression of their growth in this tiny pot. I planted them in this tiny pot at the same time. All these plants are baby plants. The echeveria was propagated from a single leaf and the haworthias were offshoots from the mother plant. Here’s the how they have grown this past year:
They quickly became sunburned and I lost this one on the far left. I moved it to a shadier location and watered more often, about once a week, to prevent from drying out.
Planted Jan. 2018
April 2018, 3 months later
May 2018, 4 months later
October 2018, 9 months later
December 2018, 11 months later
How Fast Do Mini Succulents Grow?
When confined to a small container, their growth is slowed down because they are not given room to spread out and grow. If the mini succulents are planted tightly and compacted in a small space or pot, they can stay in this space for quite a long time, months or even years, depending on how they are cared for. What soil medium they are in, watering techniques and lighting play a huge role in how they grow.
It also depends on the type of plant you are using. Plants grown out of leaves, baby plants or cuttings tend to grow slower than already established plants. Some succulents also have a tendency to grow large, no matter where they are placed. An example of this are aeoniums. Aeoniums grow upwards and their rosettes multiply outwards so they are probably not a great choice for miniature arrangements. Haworthias and echeverias like the ones I showed above are great choices because they do not grow as fast or require too much space. Sedums are also a good choice because they are hardy and can withstand different growing conditions. They also stay on the small side when kept in a tight environment.
If you want your plants to stay small, minimize watering to a bare minimum; or only spritz or spray to prevent the plants from drying out. This should slow down the growth of the plants. Succulents are pretty hardy plants and can withstand harsh conditions for a long time. Keep in mind that a lot of the mini succulents used in these types of arrangements are cuttings or baby plants, which are not as resilient as mature plants so be prepared to lose one or two of them along the way.
How Long Can Mini Succulents Stay in Small Pots?
Mini succulents can stay in small pots anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, or even years. It all depends on the type of plants you are using and the care they are receiving. Eventually, they will begin to outgrow the tiny pot as they continue to grow. If you don’t move the plant and keep it in the same pot, you will begin to notice the plant looking unhappy, or the plant spilling out of the container. If there are holes in the pot you may even see roots growing out of the holes. These are all signs that they are outgrowing the pot and need to be repotted. Simply take it out of the pot and repot in a larger container. If you don’t feel like repotting the entire plant, you can trim the plant to keep it small and take little pieces to propagate and grow elsewhere. It is upto you how you want the plant to look aesthetically.
If the plants are not planted in soil and you begin to notice roots growing, you can carefully pull the plant out and plant it in soil.
How Big Do They Get?
While growth may be stunted while kept in a tight pot, once replanted elsewhere and given enough room to grow, the plant should be able to keep growing and reach its full growth potential overtime. But if it’s kept in the same pot, then it will harder for the plant to reach its full growth potential. If you want to see the plant thrive, you inevitably have to repot to a bigger container. The fun part is now you can pick out new mini succulents to plant in your mini garden once the other plants have outgrown it.
How to Plant Your Own Mini Succulent Garden
I prefer to plant mine in soil because they seem to last longer. I also like using very tiny plants grown from cuttings, often leaf cuttings because they are very slow growers at first and will stay tiny for a long time. Once fully rooted and established, I carefully plant them using cactus soil mix combined with perlite for extra drainage. I also like to use pots with a drainage hole in them. Since these are tiny plants, it is best to keep them out of direct full sun to prevent sun damage and sunburn.
If you cannot plant them in soil, you can use coir or sphagnum moss along with wire or glue to hold the plants in place. The glue shouldn’t hurt the plant.
I separated these two plants and put them in their own pots to give them more room to grow and spread out.
They could have stayed together in the same pot for a few more months, or even a year, but I wanted to speed up the growth so I put them in their own pots.
How Long Do Mini Succulents Live?
It depends on the environment they are in and the care they receive. Typically, they last longer when planted in soil rather than when glued on or placed in sphagnum moss or coir materials. When planted in soil, their roots will have something to hold on to and secure themselves. When the plant becomes rooted in, they are able to absorb the water from the soil better than when the roots are not holding on to something or are glued or attached to something. They also get some nourishment from the soil they are planted in. When given the proper care they can live for a long time, from a few months to even years in the same pot or container.
How to Care for Mini Succulents and Keep Them Alive
Caring for a mini succulent garden involves proper watering techniques, the right soil medium, and enough sunlight.
Since the containers are small, they hold less water and dry out quicker. The plants I’m using are also not mature and grown from cuttings, which may require a little more water than mature plants. What I like to do is use a squirt bottle or a spray bottle and aim towards the soil and not the top of the plant when watering. You want the water to get to the roots of the plant and not the body or leaves to avoid rotting. I water about once a week. Keep in mind that I live in a very dry climate and I also have my plants outdoors. If you live in a humid climate, you may not need to water as much. It is best to check the soil for moisture before watering, especially if unsure. You can check out moisture meters to see if they are helpful. Moisture meters measure the moisture and humidity in the soil and air.
Succulents prefer a well draining potting mix. They do not like to sit in wet soil for too long. This can promote root rot. Aside from good watering techniques, the type of soil you use is very important. Choose a well draining soil, or amend the soil to add drainage. An easy way for me is using a standard cactus potting mix and adding perlite for more drainage. To read more about what soil to use for succulents, please click on Best Soil and Fertilizers For Succulents.
Mini succulents, with the exception of some sedums, will not be able to tolerate intense heat or full sun. A lot of mini succulents are from cuttings, so they need some protection from direct sunlight. Provide bright light but keep away from direct sun, especially intense afternoon sun. Morning sun is not as intense and is better tolerated. As a general rule of thumb, provide about 5-6 hours of sunlight or artificial light to see the plants thrive.
Succulents are really not big feeders, so fertilizing is really not necessary especially if you want to keep the plants small. The only time I would consider fertilizing mini succulents is if they are in an arrangement without soil and you’ve had them for quite some time. You may consider fertilizing the plants to give them nutrients that they would otherwise be getting from the soil or potting mix. You can do this by adding diluted fertilizer about 1/4 or 1/2 strength into the water you will use to water or mist the plants. This way you are providing the plants some nutrients they need to grow. Again this is really not necessary unless you’ve had them for a while, about a year or so.
I have kept many miniature succulents over the years in tiny little pots around my house and they have fared very well.They are really no different from other succulent plants, meaning they require very little care and attention. Give them some TLC, but for the most part, leave them alone and they will be fine. At least that has worked for me. Good luck and happy gardening!