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  • How to make a succulent and cactus bowl
  • For Keeps

How to make a succulent and cactus bowl

How to make a succulent and cactus bowl

You may have noticed our latest obsession with everything planters, succulents and cacti.

We love them.

Growing succulent plants in a container garden is easy and super satisfying. Succulent plants come in an array of incredible colours and textures, and combining them is fun and looks amazing. Colours and textures that you wouldn’t think would work well together can be put into a beautiful arrangement.

The best part about succulents and cactus is as the roots  are relatively shallow, a bowl or dish works perfectly, and looks great. A perfect centrepiece to any dining table or coffee table, indoors or out. 

Succulent Garden
image from

There are hundreds of succulent plants to choose from and many have varying light and care requirements. It’s best to check the plant tag for specifics and make sure that plants in the same pot have the similar needs. Many need protection from getting scorched in the mid-day sun, but almost all need some bright, indirect light. 

The best part?

There are no plants better for growing in pots than succulents. Succulents store water in their leaves, stems, and roots, enabling them to resist drought. This means they don’t need to have overly frequent watering, so you can go ahead and enjoy a week away without worrying that you’ll be burying ‘Sally the Succulent’ out in the garden with the other plants you’ve killed.

Here’s the very first planter bowl I made. And how amazing does it look? If I do say so myself. *wink, wink*

This one took me about 45 minutes to create — it’s seriously so easy.

Succulent Garden

Here’s how:


Succulents and cacti — enough to fill your pot, but no overload
Cacti and succulent potting mix
Small rocks or pea gravel
Pot or bowl — When choosing a container for succulent plants, make sure not to use one that is too big. Succulents have a shallow root system and prefer shallow pots
Stones, polished rocks and/or figurines (available at craft stores)

1. Since succulents dislike standing water, try to use a dish, saucer or other container with a drainage hole. If your pot doesn’t have one, drill one in it or put a layer or two of small rocks or gravel on the bottom. This will help drain water away from the roots and stop the roots rotting.

2. As above, if your container doesn’t have holes, put a layer of rocks at the bottom and then fill your container with a potting soil made for cacti and succulents. Leave about a cm or two at the top for the small rocks or gravel (these you will place later).

3. Plant the succulents using your fingers and gently firm the soil around them. If you’re planting some prickly cacti you can use a facecloth or towel to hold the cactus by the top.

4. Cover the soil with a layer of pea gravel or small river rocks. This helps keep moisture away from the base of the plants, which might cause them to rot. Water lightly, and keep your dish garden near a sunny window.

5. Wait until the soil feels dry before you water again. If your dish garden is sitting in a saucer to catch any drainage, be sure to empty it often.

6. Now you can decorate your planter however you like. I used some little dinosaur figurines and also some lovely rocks from the garden.


How to keep ’em alive?

When your succulents are actively growing, feed them with a fertiliser made for cacti and succulents, following the product directions. If you use a potting soil that already has fertiliser in it, you won’t have to fertilise for about six months.

Succulents need a rest period of about 2 or 3 months each winter, so when the growing season ends, move them to a spot that stays around 10 to 15 degrees celsius. While they’re resting, water no more than once a month, unless you see it’s needed, and don’t fertilise until you move them back into a warm place and they’re actively growing again.


Bec & Tess



  • For Keeps