It was my eldest brother’s birthday the other week, but as he lives a few hours away and is working hard for his Surveyors Chartership we didn’t get to see him. However, I’ve made him a Succulent Cacti bowl which will make it’s way to him at the end of the week hopefully, courtesy of our lovely Mum. I thought something like this would be perfect for bringing a bit of life to his lovely little light filled Montpelier flat, low maintenance, masculine, I’m hoping it will suit his busy bachelor working life.
To start with you will need…
One distracted toddler, thank you Disney…
🌱A container of your choice, I bought this 28 cm terracotta bowl from my local garden centre for £4.99. There are many options out there so find what you fancy. It doesn’t have to have a drainage hole, if it does and is for indoor use then don’t forget to get a dish for it to sit on, if it doesn’t you can either add drainage holes with a drill or just add more drainage material and be careful not to overwater.
🌱 Cacti/ Succulents. Make sure they are indoor/ outdoor appropriate, which ever you require, this one is an indoor bowl. There are many different varieties out there, choose what colour, shape combinations make you happy.
🌱Drainage material, this could be gravel, broken crockery, small pebbles. I happened to already have some glass chips and I also used some broken plate.
🌱Succulent/ Cactus appropriate compost, I have used Westland Cactus compost, easily available.
🌱Your choice of stones for the top, I’ve used Aquarium gravel, bought at my local Pet store. I have also used Amethyst chips in the past for a beautiful purple hue, but thought this plainer option was better suited to a gift for my brother.
Start by covering the bottom of your pot with the drainage material (annoyingly I forgot to take a picture here) but I used some broken up plate on the bottom, to cover the drainage hole, then a few handfuls of the glass chips. Now fill the pot 2/3 full with your compost.
Next take your plants out of their plastic pots and loosen the root ball. Place in the bowl and decide on their position. Once happy with how they look fill in around the plants with more compost, pressing down quite firmly, in particular around the plants to ensure they are securely bedded in. You may need to dig down a little for any larger plants so the finished soil surface is level for all shapes and sizes of plant.
Once you are happy with positioning and the level of your soil it’s time to add your choice of stones on top.
Add a generous layer of stones, completely covering the soil, making sure to push them in and under the plants. I find a small kids paintbrush is very useful for dusting off any rogue gravel that can get wedged in the layers of succulents or between the spikes of the Cactus. It also helps tidy up and soil that’s got caught.
And that’s it really, pretty simple to do, doesn’t have to cost a fortune (total cost for this one is approx £20) and you have a gift that will keep on giving, providing you don’t over water and give it the right amount of light. I found this very good Succulent care post on Pinterest, courtesy of Dan 330, take a look for hints and tips.
Don’t forget to water the plants, I tend to give a slightly more generous watering after repotting then revert back to my usual as and when I remember. I use a mister which helps avoid water logging the soil, something Succulents and Cacti hate.
Here is a previous one I made using a £2.99 glass bowl and the Amethyst gravel I mentioned earlier..
Succulents are such beautiful and interesting plants, with an endless number of ways to show them off.
Get creative, you really don’t need green fingers and I’d love to see what you come up with.
Don’t forget to pin this post to refer back to at a later date, if you aren’t already then come follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration.