Dish gardens are one-of-a-kind plant arrangements for indoors or outdoors, depending on the plants chosen. They also make a suitable gift for an office pal, get well surprise or a thank you gift. They can be constructed quickly and fairly easily, with no special skills. Find the perfect shallow planter at a garden center. Ceramic or clay containers work well. Pick up a small bag of gravel for drainage under the soil, potting soil and small plants.
Desert Dish Garden
Cacti and succulents are excellent choices for a dish garden, but plant them in separate dishes. Succulents require more moisture than cacti. Choose small plants from the nursery or garden center. You need enough of them to fill the dish-planter, but not so many that they are crowded. Use a potting soil specifically for cacti and succulents. You can mix your own if it is not available. Combine 1 part garden sand, 1 part peat moss and 1 part regular potting soil. Some good plant choices are any small cacti, jade, aloe, echeveria, agave or euphorbias. Use natural-colored pebbles over the soil, after planting, for a desert appeal.
Indoor Dish Garden
Decide on the location of your indoor garden before picking out the plants. You want all of the plants to require the same amount of lighting. If you don’t choose carefully, you will end up with some plant leaves burning while others may not have healthy growth. For an area with low light, choose small versions of parlor palm, snake plant, birdsnest sansevaria or Chinese evergreen. A location that allows for more light, or direct sunlight, choose grape ivy, dracaena, schefflera or dieffenbachia. Most nursery or garden center plants come with information of the plant’s needs, which includes required lighting.
Violet Dish Garden
Use a variety of colors of small African violet plants along with herbs for a spectacular display for this indoor garden. English ivy is also attractive with African violets. Good herb choices include variegated sage, golden sage, purple sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley or marjoram. These dish gardens are sometimes called European gardens. Place the completed African violet dish garden indoors or outdoors in a full or partial shade location. African violets prefer a moist soil, but it’s best to keep the water off of the leaves because of spotting. Plant the African violets first, with care to keep the bottom of the leaves slightly above the soil level.
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