Creating a Dish Garden

Succulent plant and low water plants can make an attractive indoor planter for those in cooler climates. This guide is about creating a dish garden.


August 22, 2005 Flag
3 found this helpful

I make and sell dish gardens. The first picture is an old pressed, clear glass bird cage feeder. In it I put little hens and chicks and and English daisy.

The second picture was made from a vintage Fire King cup and saucer. Hens and chicks, sedum/groundcover which will get yellow and red flowers have been planted.

I have lots more ideas, today I plan to make butter dish gardens from some old Pyrex butter dishes I have!

By April

August 23, 20050 found this helpful

I know plants grow, would you ever need to transplant a plant when it gets too big for the cup & saucer? How would you transplant it into a bigger dish without ruining the plant?... I would like to do this... very good idea.

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

You can keep a plant in the same size pot if you repot it when it seems to need it. Take the root ball out of the pot (or cup, in this case), shake off the old potting soil, and cut off the bottom third of the roots. Then repot it with fresh soil.

Only do this with plants you know are hardy. The hen and chicks will definitely take this level of "abuse" of its roots and thrive.

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August 23, 20050 found this helpful

Actually I was thinking about trying to sell the cup and saucer dish gardens on ebay. I know I could pack and ship it with no problems. I would have to separate the saucer from the cup so they would not bang together. I could sell the cup and saucer (with plants) to you for 14.00 if you like Duane. That would include shipping and handling. If your interested you can email me at aprilbapst @ (remove spaces) As far as transplanting, when the dish gets to full, all you have to do is take out some of the plants. You can pick up all the plants that usually have the dirt on the roots and just put fresh new soil under.

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September 18, 20050 found this helpful

Replanting hens and chicks are so easy. All you have to do is pick the hen or chick up and put it in a new place. I know that even a leaf will grow into a hen or chick. They are so versitile. They grow pretty well in the summer, and are pretty prolific. You can just pick up a chick and repot it, and it will become a hen also.

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January 5, 20060 found this helpful

December 5, 2005 Flag
3 found this helpful

Those of us who garden in the cooler zones are denied the rewards and challenges of landscaping with desert succulents (at least most of the year). Fortunately, we can bring a mini version of those interesting desert plants indoors by creating a cactus dish garden. Cactus dish gardens are easy to care for and maintain, and they make inexpensive long-lasting gifts for office co-workers, neighbors or fellow plant enthusiasts. Since cacti appreciate dry winter air, now is a great time to introduce them into your indoor landscape.

Materials You'll Need

Planting Instructions

  1. Place wire mesh or a piece of broken pottery over the drainage hole and fill the dish with potting soil. Leave a little room at the top of the dish so you can dress the garden with a top layer of pebbles or sand. Pre-arrange your design before inserting plants, keeping taller plants in back and trailing plants along the perimeter. These gardens are designed to be enjoyed from close-up, so examine your design from all angles.
  2. For each cactus, hollow out a depression in the soil large enough to cover the root ball. Insert plants (use a tool!) and lightly tamp down the soil around the roots. Tap the dish lightly on a hard surface to help the soil settle and get rid of air pockets.
  3. After planting the cactus, cover the surface soil with a thin layer of pebbles, colored sand or aquarium rocks to give it a finished look. Now you can get creative and add small shells, marbles, or figures (Santa Claus) to make a theme of your choosing. Wait a week before watering to give the roots a chance to adjust.

Caring for Dish Gardens

Many cacti will bloom indoors while they are young (3-4 years old), while others are more difficult to coax into flowering. Cacti usually bloom in the spring on new growth. The secret to getting them to flower lies in proper summer care and some calculated winter neglect.

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