How to make an indoor succulent garden.
Variety is the spice of life, so I hope you don’t mind little here – I know this is predominantly a fashion and style blog but sometimes its ok to throw a little curve ball, right? Or maybe I should just stick to fashion. What do you think? Being in California brought out my creative side which I’ve been missing. I think I’d lost my way before I went away, because since I’ve come home, I have so much creative motivation. Like, all the ideas I’ve had, I’ve previously not had the emotional energy to turn them into something real. Or maybe its because I broke my elbow so I can’t exercise, so I have loads more free time now. Ha, that would make sense! Let’s go with the first one, it sounds better.
For some time now, I’ve wanted to make an indoor succulent garden. They’re the prettiest, coolest way of displaying a collection of bluey-green plump leafy plants – they’re low maintenance and they don’t cost too much to make but look a million dollars. And today, I made one. And you can too! Though if I know you, chances are I might make you one for Christmas so beware. Would you like to know how to make one? Ok. Let’s go:
Selection of cacti and succulents;
Cactus compost or multi-purpose compost and chicken grit;
A planter or vase;
White stones or white sand
1) Buy a selection of small succulents with a couple of cacti thrown in if you fancy. Choose ones with varying heights for some visual depth, or not – its entirely up to you. When you buy them, arrange them in your basket how you see them being planted together, to make sure you have the right selection.
2) Buy either 1) cactus and succulent compost or 2) multi-purpose compost and chicken grit or broken shells. These plants don’t like a lot of water, so regular soil will retail too much moisture. Ideally, specific compost is advisable however I couldn’t find any so was advised to use half multi-purpose compost and half chicken grit. I chose oyster shell chicken grit, just because it looked a bit nicer, though you can’t see it in a ceramic planter.
3) Choose a planter. Either a round glass vase with a large opening or a shallowish bowl. It doesn’t have to be a plant pot, it can be anything which is strong and practical (I saw an indoor garden planted in a wooden drawer today – looked pretty cool).
4) Buy some small white stones or white sand – this will be used to finish off the garden. I used those little white stones used in orchid arrangements so you can find them in the orchid section of your garden centre or in flower arranging.
5. When you’re ready to plant, add gravel to the bottom of your planter for additional drainage. There needs to be enough in the bottom so theres no chance your plants will be stood in water, because that will kill them.
6) Add your compost/soil. Leave enough of a gap at the top of the planter so that you don’t have to remove too much once you’ve planted your succulents. You can always fill in gaps with more when you’re nearly finished.
7) Position all your plants in their pots on the soil, in an arrangement you’re happy with then begin planting. Tip the succulent carefully upside-down into one hand – with the other, remove the pot. Plant and gently cover the base of the plant with the soil. If you’re planting cacti, use gloves to plant those prickly devils. A spike in your nail bed is painful.
8) When you’ve finished planting, mist the cacti and succulents with water from a plant mister (or your water misting feature on your iron, like I did since I don’t have a mister).
9) Cover all the soil with the white stones or sand.
10) Take lots of pictures and proudly sit and look at your indoor garden over a cup of tea, invite all your friends over to ogle and explain its a designer centrepiece made exclusively for you by a long-term Gold Medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show.
There are lots of different ways to make your own succulent gardens – (take a look here for more ideas), this is the way I made mine – but of course you’re totally free to follow whatever instructions you prefer!