Stones For Succulents – Best Decorative Rocks For Succulents

Let’s look at the best stones for succulents. We’ve all seen beautiful succulent arrangements for sale – professionally finished with beautiful pebbles and colored stones that perfectly complement the colors of the succulents and make the whole arrangement ‘pop’.

But are stones good for succulents? Which are the best decorative rocks for succulents? And how should you use them?

best stones for succulents

In this article, we’ll be showing you the best stones for succulents in terms of top dressing. That is decorative rocks or pebbles that sit on top of the soil surrounding your succulent.

We won’t be talking about any crushed stone, gravel, sand or perlite you may wish to mix with the soil for your succulents. We cover that in a separate article all about the best soil for succulents.

Why Use Stones For Succulents?

Decorative stones, pebbles and rocks can transform the look of your succulent. And they can have other benefits too.

Here are the top reasons why you might consider using stones for your indoor succulents.

A layer of stones:

  • keeps the soil in place, especially while you are watering your plants (if you water them from the top)
  • protects the top of the soil from sun and heat and also protects the soil and plant roots from the cold; the rocks act as a layer of insulation helping regulate the soil temperature from extremes of heat and cold
  • enhances the decorative look of the plant – you can add complementary color and interesting textures. Stones add an additional natural beauty to your plant pot. And, let’s face it, soil doesn’t look that attractive!
  • helps stop insects from laying eggs in the soil surrounding your plant
  • helps to prevent weeds
  • can help retain moisture in the soil during times of drought (but you do need to be careful in this regard as you don’t want too much water in the soil causing problems)

Stones can add both beauty and function to your succulent design. They help to accentuate the shape and form of the plants and can also provide temperature regulation to the soil and drought-tolerance in very arid areas.

What Kind Of Stones Are Good For Succulents?

There are a variety of stones that can be used for succulents. The best type of top dressing stone to use will depend on the specific plant, your decor and the environment your succulents are in.

You can choose decorative rocks and pebbles based on

  • size
  • porosity
  • color
  • texture

A complementary color, such as purple or dark grey, with a green plant will make the plant really stand-out.

Dark coverings absorb and help to retain heat in the soil whereas light-colored pebbles help to reflect heat. The environment your pot is placed in will help determine which is best for you.

colored stones for succulents

Do beware of using black sand, for example, to surround your plant if you will be placing it in a very sunny, hot spot. The black sand will absorb heat and keep that heat near your plant.

Porous rocks, such as lava and pumice, will help water evaporate from your soil and allow the soil to dry out. Non-porous stones, such as pebbles, will help keep moisture in the soil. Again, the choice will depend on the environment your plant will be placed in.

What Types Of Stones Should I Use For My Succulents?

All the types of stone listed below are available in a wide range of sizes and colors.

Some of the best types of stones for succulents include:

  • Gravel
  • Pebbles
  • Sand
  • Rocks
  • Crystals
  • Pumice
  • Lava

Don’t use sand straight from the beach, as it can have a very high salt content that can be harmful to your plant. Use washed sand only.

Some people like to use moss for the beautiful texture it brings. However, you need to be careful as moss can trap moisture, resulting in the growth of fungus or bacteria.

If you are using colored rocks, ensure the color doesn’t leech from the rocks when you water your plant. Wash the stones first to check color doesn’t come out of the stones.

Glass beads can focus the sunlight onto the soil and are best avoided if you will be placing your plant in bright sunlight.

What Size Pebbles To Use For Succulents?

There are many different types and sizes of stones available on the market. It is important to choose ones that will complement the size and scale of your succulents.

Smaller stones work well with delicate, miniature succulents. Larger stones are better suited for robust varieties. But ultimately, it’s a personal choice in terms of decor and a look you like.

In general, stones should be placed around the edge of the pot rather than flush up against the plant’s stem. This will help create a more natural look and prevent the plants from being smothered or damaged by the weight of the stones.

How Can I Tell When To Water My Plant?

A layer of pebbles on top of the soil will make it difficult to touch the soil to determine if the soil is dry and it’s time to water your plant. In this case, try a chopstick. Poke the chopstick down into the soil between the rocks. If the chopstick comes out clean, it’s time to water. If the chopstick has soil stuck to it, it means the soil is still damp and you should wait to water the plant.

How to Add Stones To Your Succulent Pot

You do need to be careful when adding a top layer of stones or pebbles to your succulent pot. Use a small scoop to gently arrange the rocks around the pot on top of the soil. You can use tweezers if you wish to be really delicate and precise.

It’s a good idea to wash your stones thoroughly before adding them to your pot. This will remove any chemicals, coloring, salts or other substances that may be harmful to your succulent.

Keep the stones away from the stem of the succulent – you don’t want the rocks damaging the stem or causing water the pool near the stem and cause rot or fungus growth.

Wrapping Up

Succulents are a great way to add some life to your home, and with the right considerations, you can make sure they thrive.

When choosing stones for succulents, be mindful of the size and type of succulents you’re planting.

Decorative stones, rocks and pebbles added to your indoor succulent arrangement can add color and additional beauty to your planting design. They help to accentuate the shape and form of the plants.  Plus, they can also provide temperature regulation to the soil and drought-tolerance in very arid areas.

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