Do Succulents Like Small Pots?

Do Succulents Like Small Pots
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Do Succulents Like Small Pots

Do succulents like small pots? In this post, let’s answer this question. I will share what I learned from growing my own succulents. I hope this helps.

Pots or planters can significantly affect the growth of any plants. Succulent is no exception. Some plants need bigger pots while others do not.

So, do succulents like small pots?

The answer to this question is, it depends on the root system of the succulent. This is because some succulents have shallow root systems while others have deeper root systems. But generally, most succulents like small pots. The root systems of the plants directly affect the pot choice.

Succulent Root System

It is a real challenge to choose the most suitable pot size for plants, especially with succulents. Perhaps, a big room for plants’ roots will give them enough space to grow and be healthy.

There are these two kinds of succulent roots. The taproot that seems to be fleshy and able to hold excess moisture and there are also succulents that have smaller and finer hair roots that can have access to morning dews and rainy breeze.

Pots in bigger sizes, in most cases, are not suitable for succulents. It will be one problem for green thumb holders because too big pots will not make succulents healthy.

Big pots only mean having a bigger volume of soil and having a bigger volume of soil means storing too much water. And succulents are known for not really wanting too much water because they can hold water in their leaves themselves, these plants are known to be water-rich.

In fact, bigger pots that contain bigger room for roots will not make the plant fill the pot with its roots. Smaller pots, on the other hand, can promote succulent plants’ growth because roots will easily hit the sides and bottom parts of smaller pots that allow the plant to grow upwards.

Also, smaller pots mean smaller soil volume and a smaller amount of soil will not store too much water and that will be good for special water-rich plants like these beautiful little succulents.

Take note that succulents have their very shallow root systems. Pot size for most of the succulents should be about five to ten percent bigger than the actual succulent.

However, there are succulent types that need more depth acknowledging their extensive root system. But succulent growers should be mindful of adequate drainage for each succulent to avoid storing too much water content.

The Risks of Too Small Pot Size

Small pots can surely be helpful for succulents but having your pots too small can also affect the growth of these beautiful sight-friendly succulents.

Too small pot size can cause constriction for roots, and it may lead to slow plant growth. Too small pot size can limit the succulent size while it is on its growth process.

There will also be fewer nutrients for growing succulents to absorb because too small pots hold lesser soil.

There are mini succulents that are being planted in small pots tightly for house display and being kept as a miniature. They can stay in such small pots for a long time, they could even stay for those small pots for years. On this account, small containers and too confined pots slow down the growth of the succulents.

Points to Consider When Choosing the Right Pots

Growing succulents can be relaxing and challenging at the same time. Determining the most suitable pot size and finding the best pot can be confusing sometimes.

If you are facing the same challenge, then this section of the post is for you. I will share with you some of the tips on the important things you need to consider in choosing the right pots for your succulents.

  1. Drainage system— In choosing a pot, it is very important to consider drainage holes so that soil will not be able to store an excessive amount of water that can be very detrimental for succulents.

If pots are bought without drainage holes, an electric drill can be used to make holes and be certain that succulents will not have to deal with too much water.

  • Pot size — This one will be a lot challenging. What I do mostly, in this case, is to see the root system of the succulent that I am dealing with. I always make sure to leave a half-inch space between the surface of the pot and the succulents. This will give good aeration for my succulents.
  • Pot material— Both Terra Cotta and Ceramic are breathable materials and will work well in both indoor and outdoor succulents. These two will work in a place that falls short of airflow.

Just make sure to not place these pots in direct sunlight because they heat up too easily. But of course, you can always choose what is best for your plants.

Wood pots or containers can be an interesting place for succulents. Aside from having your beautiful succulents placed in eye-catching containers, wood is really helpful for succulents and can be kept in direct sunlight. These pots help balance the temperature at it stays cool and helps retain just enough water.

Plastic pots, on the other hand, can easily be brought anywhere anytime because the material is not as fragile as Ceramic. But they are not as breathable as the first two. It is also harder for water to evaporate for pots that are made out of plastics.

Glass pots, aside from being breakable and extremely fragile, they are breathable. Glass containers may be beautiful and will give expensive look for the succulents but they usually have no drainage holes.

  • Colors — Choosing textures for pots depends on the succulent species. The color of the pot is preferably in line with the color scheme of the succulent for a beautiful color palette. The plant will surely look visually appealing if the pot color compliments the succulent color. But always remember that basic colors would let the succulent stand out.

Things to Avoid When Growing Succulents

As much as we would like to give our succulents the best care needed, we would also like to make sure not to do the things that could badly affect their growth. To be able to avoid doing bad stunts for the sake of these sight-freshening succulents, here is the list of the common mistakes we forget we are actually doing;

  1. Placing succulents in poorly lit areas. Direct sunlight can put an end to succulents that are probably why some people think placing succulents in poorly lit areas will be the best thing to do. But just like other plants, succulents also need natural light.

Related: When To Bring Succulents Inside?

  • Putting succulents in one pot together. Different succulent species packed together in one container may look creative and may look one for the magazines. But this overcrowding plant arrangement is one way of promoting infestations of molds and insects. Too many succulent species in one pot also means competition for food and water.
  • Not watering succulents enough. Yes, succulents are water-rich plants that are known to have rock-like leaves that function as a water tank to hold water for itself. Maybe that is the reason why some people do not water succulents enough, and because too much water will kill the plant, they do not water them at all. Be mindful of the soil, water it and wait until it’s dry to water again.

Related: How Often to Water a Succulent?

Why Keeping Pots of Succulents Around Is Beneficial to Us?

Growing succulents have several benefits. These plants are not just for display. The following some of the benefits.

  1. Happiness— Planting and the process of taking care of succulents may be a little tricky and challenging but seeing your own succulents grow healthy can improve moods and help contributes to emotional well-being. As you watch them grow, their development gives off positive feelings and so, happiness.
  • Better breathing— One well-known advantage of keeping plants around the house is the oxygen they release. Having a pot or two around the living area, dining and just anywhere can improve air supply because it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the air replacing it with oxygen.
  • Focus— It is an interesting fact that there are studies that show how keeping plants around us contributes to the increase of our memory and having green leafy succulents even in small pots helps in increasing concentrations.
  • Reduce air pollution— Keeping succulents around helps reduce air pollution as they increase humidity. Air pollutants and dust levels decrease and the temperature lowers down.

Final Thoughts on Do Succulents Like Small Pots

Pots can surely affect the growth of the succulent plants. So before choosing which one to use, make sure that you know the root system of the plant.

The quickest way to do is by knowing whether a variety you are about to plant grows bigger or stays small. The size could tell you what pot or planter to use.

I hope that this simple guide helps you grow your succulent plants healthily.

Happy planting! To learn more about succulents, visit my Succulent Guide.


I am a university teacher by profession, researcher, blogger, and gardener.

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