8 Best Stones for Succulents

Stones or rocks are a great option for a gorgeous garden/plant arrangement. But what are some of the best options for your succulents?

Well, here are the 8 best stones for your succulents:

  1. Mexican beach pebbles
  2. White pebbles
  3. Gambler’s gold crushed rock
  4. Red lava crushed rock
  5. Brown wood pebbles
  6. Baja Cresta rubble
  7. Desert gold crushed rock
  8. Gold quartzite boulders

From the list above, you’ll notice words like pebbles, crushed rock, boulders, and rubble. Understanding what they stand for is very important as they denote the various categories the different rocks fall into, hence, how you can use them. So before we dive into the individual rocks, let’s look at what each of these categories means and why they matter.

Categories of Stones for Succulents

Here’s what you need to know about these different categories:


Pebbles are the smallest class of rocks you’ll find – at least in relation to growing succulents. Outside of houseplants and gardens, they’re second smallest ranking just above granules but below cobbles in geological terms.

Still talking geology, a pebble is considered so if its diameter falls between 0.16 and 2.52 inches in diameter.

The colors and textures here vary but all pebbles are generally smooth thanks to years of water abrasion.


Boulders are the biggest rocks which naturally means you can’t really use them in containers. Gardens are certainly the best use here if you have the kind of succulents that can carry on just fine regardless of the conditions in your area.

The word boulder itself might bring up images of large immovable rocks which is only natural given that’s how it’s used in daily life. But in our case here, a boulder is anything above 10 inches in diameter.

Crushed rock

Crushed rock is exactly what it sounds like – a large rock is broken into various pieces of desired size.

This type of stone is primarily useful in macadam road construction where the rocks interlock thanks to their angular faces thus strengthening the road. Other important uses include:

  • Shoreline protection (rip rap)
  • As composite material in tarmac, concrete, and asphalt concrete
  • And, of course, landscaping.


Rubble is basically just crushed rock but larger, irregularly shaped, and of varied size. Also, unlike crushed rock that’s strictly man-made, rubble can also be natural – in which case it’s referred to as brash.

Brash is found in the soil, usually becoming noticeable with plowing.

Best Stones for Succulents

Now that we understand the different categories of rocks you can use for your succulent exploits, here’s a closer look at the specific types you can go for.

Mexican Beach Pebbles

As you can tell from the name, the Mexican beach pebbles you’ll find in the market are sourced from Mexico – more specifically from the Baja California Peninsula. They fit the perfect description of a pebble, that is smooth thanks to getting endlessly pummeled by waves over the years.

Colors vary but grey and black are pretty common although it’s not uncommon to run into some reds as well.

White Pebbles

White pebbles are, well, white and are the go-to option if you’re a fan of squeaky clean vibes they bring.

They come in two options, namely polished and unpolished with the former being more reflecting and thus brighter.

Gambler’s Gold Crushed Rock

These stones are both gold and pink depending on when you’re looking at them. You’re going to see gold if you check them out at noon and pink during sunrise and sunset. Depending on the kinds of succulents you have, the colors can be something to behold.

So the crushed rocks are definitely a great option if you’re a sucker for hues.

Red Lava Crushed Rock

This rock’s name gives away pretty much everything that you need to know – that is, it comes from volcanic activity and it’s red, a perfect color to emphasize the beauty of green succulents.

Besides the aesthetics, red lava rock improves the soil’s drainage, aeration, and helps prevent root rot. These are some of the biggest problems with growing succulents, so having something to help is definitely a plus.

Brown Wood Pebbles

Also referred to as bean pebbles, these stones stand out for their sandy brown color – and give off that laid-back yet elegant look. But the appeal is a little more than the looks.

Brown pebbles generally last forever (or at least long enough), so you wouldn’t even need to be replacing them every now and then. That goes a long way as far as savings are concerned.

Baja Cresta Rubbles And Boulders

As the name suggests, these boulders and rubbles primarily come out of Baja California in Mexico. The stones come in a variety of earthy colors ranging from brown, golden, and rusty red.

These colors and the obviously large sizes mean you’re better off incorporating the stones in your garden rather than containers.

Desert Gold Crushed Rock

The rocks here come in a variety of shades including grays, golden browns, and a couple of tans. Unlike the Baja Cresta rubbles and boulders, the desert gold crushed rocks are a great option for container plants.

Gold Quartzite Boulders

These are primarily made up of gold and silver quartzite stones, making them quite durable and able to withstand extreme weather. This composition also gives the gold quartzite boulders their common colors, namely streaks of gold and gray against a silver-white background.

A great option for a wide array of sunlit surroundings.

Preparing Stones for Succulents

As with anything, you need to do a bit of prep work before pimping out your succulents.

For starters, washing your stones is a must. You have to get rid of anything that might spell doom for your succulent like salt on handpicked beach pebbles, for instance.

To clean up your stones:

  • Fill a sink with warm water
  • Add a few drops of mild odorless soap
  • Place your stones into a colander and lower them into the warm water
  • Let them soak for a few hours before rinsing them thoroughly with clean water, taking care to rid them of all the soap.

This same procedure follows for pebbles that you’re moving from another pot.

Benefits of Using Stones for Succulents

You might have been drawn to stones because they look good. But there’s more to using them than their looks. Here are some of the ways your succulents can benefit from having stones around them.

Light Reflection

Of course, this is specific to the bright stone types like the polished and unpolished white pebbles.

Light bouncing off the pebbles not only looks good but only helps the plant in two main ways:

  • Keeps the soil temperature at an optimal level which, of course, benefits the roots and consequently the whole succulent.
  • Gives the lower leaves access to more light which can go a long way if your succulent isn’t getting enough rays.

Reduces Compaction

The topsoil getting regularly hit with water means could lead to its hardening and thus limiting the amount of water that reaches the roots below (not very common but it does occur). This is more likely if you’re growing your succulents outside in the ground.

Some stone cover helps prevent this.

Weed Control

Besides preventing direct water impact, stone cover just like mulch leaves no space for weeds, especially in a garden. That’s definitely something to look forward to since there’s one less task for you to do for some time.

Prevents Soil Erosion

This still comes down to the cover the stones provide in the garden which, on top of preventing direct impact, breaks up raindrop forces and slows down the resultant water flow. That helps keep your garden soil and nutrients around.

Final Thoughts

Stones can add even more beauty to your cute succulents. And depending on what you’re looking for, there are more than enough options to create your dream succulent arrangement.

The important thing to remember is to clean the pebbles you’re going to use – whether it’s your first time using them or you’re transferring them from another pot.

And don’t forget – the stones offer more than just mere aesthetics. Your succulents will benefit a lot from that cover.