Mixed Container With Succulents: Succulents For Thriller, Filler, and Spiller Designs

Container With Variety Of Succulent Plants
succulent tfs
(Image credit: Yana Zhezhela)

Due to their growth habits and huge diversity, a variety of succulents can make for a jaw dropping container display. A container with succulents is an easy-care planting concept that will brighten any corner of the home.

By mixing tall succulents, flanked by trailing succulents, you create a wonderful texture and harmony. These thriller, filler, and spiller succulents will blend together, accenting each other for an amazing planting scheme.

What are Thriller, Filler, and Spiller Succulents?

Succulents are houseplant darlings. They come in a wide range of sizes, growth styles, colors, and shapes. Using a variety of growth styles helps fill in a mixed container, while different sizes will add to the architectural appeal. Picking the right succulents for thriller, filler, and spillers starts with selecting plants with the same light, water, and nutrient needs.

The three descriptors refer to plants with impact, those that help tie in the larger specimens, and plants that will tumble over the edge. Using a combination of these growth habits produces a powerful and, yet, harmonious display of plants.

Generally speaking, taller succulents are the thrillers. Fillers are shorter and often wider, while your spillers trail over the edge, putting a finishing touch on the whole container. Using different shapes, textures, and colors forms a living work of art that is not only beautiful but uncomplaining.

Starting a Container with Succulents

Choose a container that will just fit your selected plants. Most succulents don't mind being a little crowded. There doesn't need to be much depth, either, since the majority of succulents do not get long roots. Do consider that the plants will grow a bit so space them so there is just a little bit of distance between to give them room to fill in. Use a good succulent soil or make your own.

Succulents need good drainage so use a soil base that does not contain soil retaining items such as vermiculite. You will need three parts soil, two parts coarse sand, and one part perlite. This will provide the right growing environment and good drainage. If you use garden soil, sterilize it in the oven to kill and pathogens.

Succulents for Thriller, Filler, and Spillers

The fun part is planting. Check out these fun options to get you started.




Don't forget about cactus too. Cactus are succulents but not all succulents are cacti. However, the two seem to get along fine and there are some wonderful cacti specimens that would add interesting texture to your succulent display as well.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.