Are Succulents for the Birds? You Bet!

Bird houses, bird nests and bird cages with succulents…some of the designs I’m seeing are quite fetching. There must be something eggy about succulents, or they have the look of plants that grow on thatched roofs. Like this beautifully designed birdhouse by succulent floral artist Cindy Davison. Her business, The Succulent Perch ships nationwide.

Another Succulent Perch design. The twig circle here and in first one really enhance the composition. These can be hung in the dappled light of a tree, perhaps near a window, and they’re fully functional should a bird want to move in.

This rustic look is by another of my favorite designers, Sam Maybery of Seaside Gardens nursery in Carpinteria, CA, near Santa Barbara.

How about a bird cage stuffed with succulents? This is by Sergio of Plant Play nursery in Carlsbad, CA. The succulent in bloom is a stapeliad.

I saw these at the home of Jeanne and Barry Meadows in Fallbrook, CA. I love the way the ornate bird cages look against a blank wall. The yellow succulents are Sedum nussbaumerianum.


And last but not least, a bird’s nest of succulents by Chicweed, a floral shop in Solana Beach, Ca.

Succulents are fine in airy containers because the plants store moisture in their leaves. They’ll send roots into the moss (no soil needed), so all you have to do is spritz it from time to time. The birdhouse roofs and nest are basically floral arrangements with lasting power. Rosette succulents that grow on the tips of ever-lengthening stems (echeverias and graptopetalums) will get leggy over time. Sempervivums tend to look the same for longer. Pinching back the plants and tucking the cuttings into gaps will refresh the composition.

My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog postsnewsletterspublic speaking and workshopsphotosvideosmerchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardensand Succulents Simplified. 






About Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin gardens on "an inhospitable half acre" in Escondido, CA, near San Diego. She is an award-winning photojournalist and artist with hundreds of articles and columns to her credit. Debra's books are Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplified.

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11 Responses to Are Succulents for the Birds? You Bet!

  1. Fran Sorin August 4, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    Debra….What an inspiring post….and one that’s going to motivate me to go to some flea markets to find some old bird cages. Thanks for the magnificent photos…as always…Fran

  2. Candy Suter August 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    What a great post! Do you remember the birdcage I planted this summer? I put it under my gazebo on a pedestal in the corner! It looks so pretty! I think I will do a post on it and link your blog to mine!!!

    Please do, Oh Sweet One! — Debra

  3. Dawn August 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Debra, I just love, love these ideas! I have a bird cage that is just hanging as ‘jewelry’ /’art’ -in-the-garden, and I’m going to make work for me as you suggest in your post. Thanks!

    Wonderful, Dawn! Keep us posted, OK? — Debra

  4. Karen Chapman August 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Great inspiration!

    Thanks, Karen. Will we be seeing anything like this in your jardin? — Debra

  5. Gartenbau Starnberg August 7, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Awesome explanation on this topic. I like the way you presented it. It makes me think that I’m going to revive my blog site.

    Blogging is a labor of love. I enjoy sharing what I find. It’s so good to know that I may have inspired you to start doing it again. — Debra

  6. Mark@Alternative Eden August 7, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    I love this, great ideas, especially the birdcages :)

    Glad you like them, Mark! — Debra

  7. mae August 7, 2012 at 7:26 am #


    ;+) Debra

  8. Jennifer August 7, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    What great ideas, I think I will look at the thrift stores to see if I can find some bird cages.
    Thank you

    Hi, Jennifer — I go thrifting a lot and have yet to find anything like these. I’m thinking Ebay might be a better source. But you never know. — Debra

  9. Toby Lander August 15, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Love the bird cage idea. I definitely need to try and plant some of those.

    Hi, Toby — Please do, and be sure to let us know what you come up with! — Debra

  10. Cindy Davison August 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    I’ve got my eye on birdcages now! Found a wall frame in the shape of a flat onesided birdcage that uses clothespins to attach photos onto it…I’ll be ‘attaching’ succulents! I purchased a vintage birdcage at Rolling Greens Nursery in Costa Mesa last weekend…the birds will be happy to know it’s for (more) succulents~

    Hi, Cindy — I love the retro look of some of the wire birdcages that can be bought new. I’ll have to get up to Rolling Greens. Wish they’d open a store in the San Diego area! — Debra

  11. Danielle Moher August 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm #


    You are truly amazing! Succulents and birdcages…perfect idea!

    I can’t wait till your next workshop!


    Thanks, Danielle! I look forward to seeing you, too! — Debra