Nestled Pots For Succulents – Nestling Succulent Containers

Colorful Succulents In A Nestled Pot
(Image credit: MaximFesenko)

As we expand our succulent collections, we might consider planting them in combination pots and search for other ways to add more interest to our displays. Looking down on a single succulent plant may not show much diversity. One way to make our displays more eye-catching is by nestling succulent containers inside each other. 

Nestled Pots for Succulents

Planting succulents in nestled pots, a pot inside of another pot, provides space to add a variety of succulent types to expand interest. By allowing a couple of inches (5 cm.) in the bottom pot, we can plant cascading succulents like string of pearls or string of bananas and add color by using a semi-succulent type such as Tradescantia zebrina

Most often, nestled pots are the same, just in different sizes. However, the outer pot may be more decorative with a smaller simpler pot nestled into it. The inner pot sets on soil in the outer pot, making its rim an inch or two (2.5-5 cm.) higher, sometimes several inches (8 cm.) taller than the outer container. This varies and since many succulent pots in pots are DIY creations, you can put them together any way you choose.

Choose pots that are compatible and that complement the plants you’ll put into them. For instance, plant the purple Tradescantia zebrina in white pots for the contrast of color. You might choose plants first and containers afterward. This way, you’ll know what soil is appropriate for the succulents you’ll use.

Cracked or broken pots may be used for the outer container. Pieces of broken terra cotta pots can sometimes add an interesting element when visibly located in one of the pots. You can use as many pots in this display as you can comfortably stack. All pots should have drainage holes. Cover these with a small square of window screening wire or coir to hold the soil in.

How to Make a Pot in Pot Container

Fill the bottom pot with the appropriate soil and tamp down. Bring it high enough that the inner pot is at the level you desire. 

Once the inner pot is at the right level, fill in around the sides. You may plant the inner pot when it’s in position, but it is easier to plant in before you position it into the container. I do it this way unless the inner pot will hold a delicate plant. 

Leave room for plantings in the outer pot. Plant them after positioning the inner pot, then cover them with soil to an appropriate level. Don’t put soil all the way to the top of the outer pot, leave an inch (2.5 cm.), sometimes more. 

Keep an eye on the appearance as you’re planting the outer pot. Use cuttings for an easy way to fill the outside container. Leave some space for young plants or cuttings to grow and fill out.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.