How to Create a Beautiful Succulent Bowl
OK--It's winter, and there is not much happening in the garden right now. I'm REALLY missing getting out there in the garden and playing in the dirt! What can I say? So I decided to make a succulent bowl for my Mom-in-Law, who loves succulents and terrariums! I had some older succulents hanging on in my house, and I went out and bought a few more plugs, a cute bowl, and a decoration.... See how easy it is to make your own succulent bowl (terrarium), and what a great gift it is too! :-)
We have a rule around this house that everything needs a purpose. Therefore, I don't have a lot of kitschy things hanging around. With that being said, this is actually a gift I'd like to have myself! I was sorely tempted to keep it! :-) Its purpose is to make a person happy looking at it!
What's a Succulent? And How Do You Care for Them?
A succulent is a fleshy, generally smallish plant. They can be super cute, stay small, or become beautiful trailing plants. Sometimes they are very colorful too! The leaves hold in water, and that's why they feel moist and fat. There are all kinds of succulents out there, cacti included. The type I'm using for this bowl grow great indoors in bright indirect light. They hold water well, so it's a good idea to let them dry out between waterings.
Succulents can actually go quite a long while between waterings, but if you want to keep them healthy, a little once every week or so is sufficient. Actually, if you live in a humid area (like Southern California, where these plants grow wild, rampantly and beautifully, outdoors), you don't have to worry much about watering them very often.
What You'll Need to Create a Succulent Bowl:
1) Succulents, plugs or even stems without a completely developed root system.
A plug is a 1 to 2 inch piece of plant with a fairly immature root system. They generally do well in these bowls, and you can really pack them together because their root systems stay small. They come in a huge variety! You can find them in your garden center, OR if you like, check out etsy.com and do a search for succulents. There are people who grow them to sell, and I personally like helping out the small business person!
2) A pretty bowl on the shallow side.
I found this cute bowl at Hobby Lobby. It's a bit large, but that's ok. Succulents will grow in incredibly small spaces. I even have one growing in a tea cup. It's been there for three years, and is doing great!
3) Cactus potting mix
Cactus potting mix is a very well draining mix of soil. It's not expensive, and you can find it at your nearest nursery or garden center.
4) Course sand or small pebbles for extra drainage
Since this bowl doesn't have a drainage hole, you'll need some gravel.
5) River stones for cover on the top of the soil....Or you can use peat moss. Or even both.
6) A decoration...If you want.
As you can see, a cool decoration that goes with the plants and the bowl really can create a beautiful piece!
How to Make a Succulent Bowl:
1) Place a 1 inch or so layer of the course gravel/sand/pebbles on the bottom of the bowl.
2) Now add about 2 inches or so of the Cactus Mix Soil on top of the pebbles.
3) Figure out where you want your main decoration or eye-catching item (it could even be one of the plants) to go. Then begin placing the plugs.
4) Now fill in with more soil, and gently pack it down around the roots. This step is actually what takes the most time. I'm trying to hurry! The sun's going down!
5) Once the soil is packed in around the plugs, add a layer of the river stones on top. If you want to add some peat moss first (helps keep in moisture), then go ahead. I just put the stones on top and left it at that because I was in a bit of a hurry.
6) Make any adjustments or changes....And that's it! :-)
Happy planting and gifting! :-)
And as always, Hugs & Self-Reliance!
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These are great succulent plugs!
You can use any kind of shallow bowl for a succulent garden. This is a really nice design, as it's easy to care for, and the succulents really shine!
And in case you want to learn from an expert--- I love reading books about how to do things!