DIY- Shells with Succulents

Jul 2012

This DIY is a perfect project for a summer retreat. Small enough to carry along to a rental, done in multiples, it can have quite an impact on a deck or special space that you’re lucky enough to own. Shell + sand + low maintenance succulents = a perfect combo.

Most succulents are very hardy and, unlike many other plants, thrive on neglect! They require minimal care and, by following just a few simple guidelines, will do well.
When potting, the following recipe is a good one.

5 parts perlite
4 parts bagged potting soil
1 part coarse sand
Pinch of rock dust

If the shell will balance the right way, and you have space, top dress the container soil with small river rock, gravel, aquarium stone, or a fine-grade roofing gravel to keep the crowns of the plants from rotting.


There are so many more plants in the marketplace today then there were just a few short years ago. The wide variety gives you a good opportunity to match the decor of the mood you are trying to create.

Succulents can be grown either inside or outside but, like other plants, they need plenty of light. Most require either filtered sun most of the day or 1 to 2 hours of direct sun each day. Many will survive quite well in full sun, but in summer you will need to introduce them in stages: 1-2 hours the first week, 3-4 hours the next week, then all day. Some species just require good light, for example: Aloe, Scilla, Gasteria, Haworthia.

The amount of water required depends on many factors: position, heat and humidity being key. Because the shells are not terribly deep, let the soil go dry before rewatering. When in doubt, it is better to underwater than overdo it.

Succulents store water in their stems and leaves and can tolerate periods of dryness without harm. To increase acidity just slightly—something all succulents like—add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 5 gallons water when watering

During the cooler months, water less frequently and less deeply. Try to water in the morning when a sunny day is expected so that any excess will evaporate in the sunlight.
If you have purchased a small plant it will, in most cases, be a baby, and require a little more care. It will dry out fairly quickly in summer and will need watering more often until its roots are fully grown.

Make sure to share your photos of this DIY project, I’d love to pass them along to other readers!