Introduction: Upcycled Succulent Planters - Trash to Treasure

About: Anthony Neil Tan | Founder of Student Makers

Hello! My name is Anthony and I’ll be your instructor for this workshop! I’ve been hosting succulent workshops for over four years. I started in high school when my succulents began to overrun my backyard garden; so I came up with a solution. I would host succulent workshops where I could give away surplus succulents and share my love for gardening with others!

Except… I had one issue. I had lots of succulents and backyard soil but no extra planters. A couple days later the solution came to me. I had finished eating some canned fruit and I was about to throw the empty can in the trash when I realized it could be a pot!

Without further ado, I’ll show you how to create your own upcycled succulent planter.


  • Cans
  • Nail and mallet
  • Succulent cuttings
  • Well-draining soil

Step 1: Upcycle Cans to Planters

  • Save your cans; don’t throw them in the trash!
  • Wash the interior thoroughly to remove sugars (unless you want to attract hordes of ants. I’ve got to admit, I’ve made that mistake before).
  • Remove the can label to expose the beautiful aluminum.
  • Use a nail and a mallet to poke drainage holes through the bottom of the can. Three is sufficient but the more the better.

Step 2: Add Succulents and Soil

  • Choose succulent cuttings that have begun to develop roots. They are the easiest to propagate; for alternative methods of propagation, check out this blog: If you don’t have succulents, ask friends; they would be glad to share.
  • Fill the upcycled planter a quarter of the way to the top with well-draining soil, or cactus soil.
  • Start adding succulents and soil little by little. Arrange succulents so that there’s variety in species and sizes.
  • Take care of your succulents by providing them with:
    • Bright but indirect sunlight
    • Water when soil is dry ~ once a week

And there you have it! Beautiful upcycled succulent planters at no cost.

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