Improve your living space and celebrate spring year round with a mini succulent container garden you can make yourself, with tips from our friends at the California Cactus Center in Southern California, family run since 1976. Many thanks to guest contributor Malinee R. Romero, who owns the nursery with her four sisters.
To create this colorful indoor accent for a coffee table or covered outdoor patio, use a combination of succulents and, for optimal results, consider coordinating the plant colors with the planter.
For the version above, we used two types of succulents: Anacampseros telephiastrum variegate, which grows about six inches wide, and blooms pink to light purple year round and Sempervivum tectorum, also a small, low-growing rosette succulent, that blooms light pink in the mid to late summer. It dies after flowering but is replaced by new rosettes that grow at its base. (Sempervivum means live forever.)
Feel free to try a variety of small succulents to match you space or taste, as we have done here!
Create the Garden in a Small Container
Use a small container, such as a saucer. Drill a hole for water and cover with a small screen.
Remove the plants from their original pots, loosen much of the soil at the roots and remove any dry leaves.
Arrange the succulent rosettes in the small container. For the smallest containers three plants can be a nice number, for balance and to avoid overcrowding in a small saucer, as we used here.
Add cactus soil, avoiding products that contain peat moss, which is too acidic. Press down to lightly pack.
Add decorative sand or pebbles to secure the shallow soil. Hydrate with water, ideally using a spray water bottle to avoid displacing the shallow soil and sand. Water in this manner every 10 days.
During the winter, you will have to protect the container gardens from extreme cold, relocating indoors if needed. To provide the best living conditions for the plants, find a bright, well-ventilated area inside the house.
Enjoy your new indoor garden!
Mix Your Own Soil
Malinee at the Cactus Center mixes her own soil. You can too, using equal parts of the ingredients below, plus a time-release fertilizer added according to package instructions.
- coarse washed sand
- fir bark
- mycorrhizal fungi