Can You Plant Succulents in Rocks? Succulent Care Tips!

Succulents are resilient, easy to care for, and stylish both indoors and outdoors! Succulents generally require little maintenance and thrive in a variety of growth environments. Plus, who doesn’t love their round, appealing shape and tiny sizes? If you’re embarking on your first adventure in succulent growth and hoping to use rocks as a decorative component, you might wonder: can you plant succulents in rocks?

In this article, we’ll not only answer whether or not you can plant succulents in rocks, but we’ve researched enough about the plant to tell you the answers to a few frequently asked questions related to the topic!

These include how much soil can benefit a succulent versus a rock bed and how to grow succulents on rocks. Let’s dive in and explore the truth about succulent planting!

Can You Plant Succulents In Rocks?

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The answer to the question “can you plant succulents in rocks?” is: yes, but they are not likely to grow much more once they are placed in a rock bed.

Succulents require plenty of drainage no matter where they’re planted, and both rocks and sandy ground provide that drainage.

However, rocks don’t typically contain any nutrients for plants. A succulent may be a hardy type of flora, able to store plenty of water in it’s leaves and requiring little maintenance, but like all living things, it needs nutrients to get big and strong.

For this reason, some soil should be used when planting a succulent if you’re hoping it will prosper. 

How to Plant Succulents in Rocks

Here’s a list of actions to take when deciding to plant your succulents in rocks, especially if you’d like them to reach their full potential!

  • Hide soil with a layer of rock
  • Plant succulents in a terrarium
  • Use LECA instead of rocks

Let’s take a closer look at these steps to ensure that your succulent will be as happy as possible if planted among rocks!

1. Hide potted soil with a layer of rock

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Though you need to make sure that your succulents are receiving nutrients from soil, this doesn’t mean you can’t still have your succulent look like it is growing straight out of rock!

Simply hide your pot soil with a layer of rock. This can be done by making sure a layer of soil is scattered, either in a pot or in an outdoor planter or garden area. Then, cover the soil with granite, marble, or even quartz before placing your succulents on top

The succulents’ root system will be able to reach down through the spaces in the rocks to reach the nutrients in the soil hidden beneath. Not only that, but the rock layer will actually keep the succulents’ roots lifted out of any excess moisture left by overwatering and prevent root rot!

2. Plant succulents in a terrarium

Another option, especially for those hoping to have the appearance of rock-growing succulents indoors, is to plant in a terrarium. Terrariums are a stylish option for hanging in a room, but they are typically made of glass, which might make it seem impossible to hide soil.

Actually, all you need is a little more care about how you layer the interior components of your succulent garden! First, place a light layer of rocks at the bottom of the terrarium, covering it.

Then, scoop a light layer of nutrient-rich soil on top. Fill the rest of the space in with rocks, sandwiching the soil between two layers of stone. Afterward, top it off with your succulents.

In the same way the soil will be hidden by using the above method of planting, your terrarium should have all the appearance of containing only rocks and succulents, while all along, your plants are able to reach the secret nutrients they require!

3. Use LECA instead of rocks

Best Plants for LECA

Instead of using rocks, it may be a good idea to try an alternative. This is especially helpful if the space you’re using won’t hide soil sufficiently. The perfect alternate to using rocks is lightweight expanded clay aggregates, also known as LECA.

LECA looks just like rocks, but is actually made of clay. Clay can not only provide the nutrients that regular rocks won’t be able to give your succulent, but it also absorbs water! This makes it perfect for the drier habitat a succulent’s roots typically need.

More on succulents: Can I Use Succulent Soil For Other Plants?


So what is the answer to the question, can you plant succulents in rocks? Yes, you absolutely can: but they won’t be able to grow any further unless you make sure they receive nutrients.

As covered above, nutrients can be provided for succulents by hiding soil underneath the rocks, whether you’re using a terrarium, a pot, or an outdoor garden area.

Rocks may be stylish and useful for lifting a succulent’s susceptible roots out of a dangerous moisture level, but they can’t give succulents what they need to grow. Only soil or LECA clay can do that, and now you’ll have a few creative ways to incorporate these into your garden!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Succulents Grow in Rocks Without Soil?

No, succulents cannot grow in rocks without soil. They may be able to survive there for about a week, but they will need some kind of nutrition source to carry on growing. This can be given through potting mixtures, soils, or even clay.

Should Succulents Be in Soil Or Rocks?

Succulents should not be on rocks without soil, though rocks are a great way to keep an overwatered succulent from suffering from root rot. Rocks that can be used to grow succulents on are clay, marble, granite, or even quartz!

How Do You Grow Succulents On Rocks?

Succulents can be grown on rocks by making sure that the layer of rocks is no thicker than five centimeters, and is resting on top of nutrient-rich soil. This will provide your succulent with enough support to stay out of excess moisture, but still have access to the minerals it needs to grow.

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