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Succulent Dish Gardens, By Troy McGregor

Oct 31, 2016 10:32AM ● Published by Troy McGregor

Succulent Dish Gardens

Dish gardens make wonderful gifts during the holiday season and are extremely easy to create. Let’s break down the components.

·       The Dish Get creative! The dish is just as important as the plant as far as design is concerned. If it holds soil, it will do fine. Ensure there is a hole at the bottom for drainage or create one with an appropriate tool. To prevent soil from falling through the hole, cover it with insect screen or drywall tape.

·       The Soil Not all potting soils are created equal. Many bagged products labeled as cactus and succulent mix are mostly organic with a small portion of perlite for drainage. These products start off well, but once they break down, air is limited for the roots and drainage is hampered. We prefer our own mineral Ruth Bancroft Blend, which holds its structure longer, thereby allowing for good drainage and healthy roots.

·       The Plants Choose small-scale plants such as Echeverias, Sedums, and Sempervivums. These have shallow roots and enjoy each other’s company in a confined space. Always utilize odd numbers of plants and the Thriller-Spiller-Filler rule for a unique and natural arrangement.

·       Top-dress Small pebbles or stones add a finished look to an arrangement. Not only does it cover the soil, it stops the lower leaves from rotting if they are in constant contact with the potting soil. Avoid round pebbles, as they tend to roll off and create a nuisance if the dish garden is bumped.

If this all seems a little too difficult or time consuming, stop by the nursery and we’ll be happy to give advice and send you off with the right pots, plants, and soil. We also stock a healthy range of prebuilt dish gardens, can custom build to your requirements, and offer regular workshops so you can create one yourself. Visit us at 

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