How To Make a Dish Garden from Succulents

It is always a good idea to be surrounded with living plants to keep the air purified. Trees and shrubs are very good to plant around the house if you have enough space in your yard. Their flowers can enliven your garden with a profusion of colors, hovering insects in different colors and singing and chirping birds. But what if you have limited space and do not have the time to tend to a full garden but still want to have some plants around? The solution can be a dish garden planted with succulents that will tolerate the heat and little water. Some succulents also bear beautiful, exotic looking flowers although these are not as prolific as other flowering plants. But it can be a sight to behold. Below are some tips on how to make a dish garden from succulents.

  • Decide where you are going to place the dish garden. There are succulents that will grow well indoors while there are succulents that will thrive better outdoors. Some of the succulents that can grow well indoors include Haworthia cymbiformis, Haworthia fasciata, Crassula “Hobit,” Gasteria batesiana, Echeveria runyonii and Echeveria dondo.
  • Choose a large shallow dish which is at least four inches deep for the garden. Fill the bottom with pea gravel to help improve the drainage and keep the plant roots from rotting.
  • Choose whether you are going to use several potted and established succulents or if you are starting the dish garden from cuttings. Using potted succulents will help to make you enjoy the dish garden immediately. It will take time before you can view the full result of the dish garden if you start it from several cuttings, although this method is more cost efficient.
  • If you are going to use cuttings, fill the container with a potting mixture that is specially mixed for succulents and cacti. Moisten the soil before you start planting.
  • Know the characteristics of each succulent that you plant so you can better plan the layout of your dish garden and provide space for those plants that will grow bigger when mature. Do not overcrowd the garden. It will be easy to fill the gaps later as the plants continue to grow.
  • After you have finished planting the succulent cuttings, move the dish garden to a shady spot and ensure that the soil is kept moist. If you used established plants, make sure that the soil is moist before planting the succulents, move the dish into a shady location and do not water the dish for a week. The moisture from the soil will be enough to keep the succulents hydrated. Water the plants when the soil has dried. Keep the dish garden in the shady location until the leaves are plump again and you can bring the dish garden in sunny location for several hours before moving it back to the shady spot during peak hours until the plants are acclimatized to the hot conditions.
  • If you are going to take the dish garden indoors make sure that it is placed near a sunny window to take advantage of the sunlight. This is more beneficial to the plants although succulents can thrive under artificial light. Indoor plants will require less watering too. Periodically check the soil around the plants. If the soil has become dry and crumbly, it is time to water the plants again. You can use a plastic spray bottle to mist the succulents once in a while to remove the dust. You can also use a small paintbrush to clean the leaves of the plants.

Choose succulents carefully so that the dish garden can show different colors and textures. Add a few decorative items to a dish garden that has been planted with cuttings to fill in some gaps. Succulents are very tolerant of warm weather but are not resistant to the cold.


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