I love plants, but in the past have been negligent about having them in the house. Mostly because I know how much work it is and I just never got around to getting it started.
Well, The Hubs and I have been wanting to improve the air quality in our house (which is part of a bigger life project – reduce toxins in our day to day life), so plants seemed like a great place to start. We have a wall of plants now off of our kitchen and we also have a few plants in our master bathroom around our tub and some on the wall. Even if it’s not improving our air quality (I really think it is!), it sure looks nicer than it did. Plants just make me smile :)
I have bought the pre-made planters from places like Target or the grocery store before. It’s shameful, I know. But especially in college, when the rooms had walls of concrete blocks and just bleh (prison, anyone?), and I was extremely busy with school + work, I tried cheating by buying these types of pre-made centerpieces. I remember one specifically, that had GLUE around the rocks that the plants were planted in. Um, and I wondered why it was in decline from the day I bought it? Needless to say, if you’re interested in having plants in your house and you want them to be cute and designed like the ones in the store that come pre-done, just do it yourself. It really doesn’t take that long and it’s a lot cheaper too.
DIY Succulent Centerpiece
1 low glass bowl (Michaels craft store, w/50% off coupon – $4)
6 bags of small decorative rocks (Dollar General – $6)
1 plastic drip tray (Home Depot – $.25)
3-4 cups planting mix soil (Home Depot – approx $1)
3 succulent plants (Home Depot – $3 each)
Process: Start by cutting 4-5 slits into the plastic drip tray and cleaning the glass bowl (removing any stickers, etc). Then line the bottom of the bowl with 1 to 2 bags of river rock. Place the plastic drip tray inside the bowl. Note: be sure the plastic drip tray fits inside the bowl prior to buying all these materials! If you want to try this with a bowl that has a smaller opening, it may not work as well. Or try it with less plants. Place more rocks around the edges of the plastic tray, until they come up the sides just a bit. You want the plastic tray to be as low as possible, so try not to let any additional rocks get below the tray.
Add a few inches of soil into the plastic tray, then remove pots from the three plants you have selected and place them in the plastic tray, facing out (see the picture at the top if this doesn’t make sense). Slowly add soil around the base of the three plants until they are all surrounded. Then filling in the remaining space with the decorative rock.
Total Cost: $14.25
Not bad for a nice ‘designed’ centerpiece planter! Most of them at the store will go for at least $20. And this one is thriving on our kitchen table. We’ve had it almost 2 months now, and it’s really doing great.
More about the plants I chose. Jade plant (Crassula ovata) is very easy to grow indoors so it was an obvious choice. My reasoning was even if the other plants die out at least I’ll still have a jade plant. No seriously. And if it gets too big, just take the tops off or remove leaves back from stems (and part of the stem too). It’ll do just fine! You can even stick the broken off pieces in soil elsewhere and get a new plant; the leaves will root. I chose the second plant based mostly on height, so chose a variety of Echeveria. Unfortunately I can’t say which one, because, well, I got it from Home Depot. I’m lucky that it said ‘Succulent’, a lot of times it may only say ‘Houseplant’. But the price is right. ;) Lastly I chose a variety of living stone (Lithops species) because it’s low. I like a little dimension in my plantings, hence going for different growth habits. But really, anything you think looks nice will do :)
For maintenance, this centerpiece doesn’t need a lot of water. AKA, a small amount once a week is plenty. But if you do tend to overwater, the plant should still be okay. I am a classic over-water-er (mostly because I forget when I watered last), so that’s why I have the built in ‘safety’ of the holes in the plastic tray. This way excess water can drip down into the rocks and keep the plant roots from rotting.
Hope you enjoy!
This DIY Project is linked to Handmade Hangout.