Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Succulent Green Thumb...

Or at least I'm hoping I have a green thumb with my cute succulent terrariums I made this past weekend. I'd been seeing pictures and DIY instructions around Pinterest for these, and I have always liked the idea of living centerpieces (I like the idea of growing my own plants as my personal fight against global warming - I'm sure I'm not making a dent in that problem, but still).  I discovered I had these two large vases left over from floral arrangements in the past, and I thought they'd be perfect for this project, and they are! (But if you don't have any on hand, there are neat glass containers here) I also remembered I had a bag of river stones from some other arrangements I had made, and a baggie of tiny stones from a former fish bowl.  Its like it was meant for me to make these!

So it's very simple.  I went to Home Depot's nursery and they had a whole table of adorable tiny succulents; they were like $1.98/each, I think. I bought 6, and actually ended up only having room for 5, so one got it's own little home in a pot by itself outside.  I chose ones of different heights and widths for visual interest and balance (as my Jr. High drama teacher always instructed us when grouping on stage: "Levels and depth!")  I discovered that the 99 Cent store sells small bags of soil, and since I didn't need a lot it was perfect (if you actually think about it, doesn't it seem silly spending money on dirt?)

After some quick research on line, I determined that the key thing to do is put the layer of rocks at the bottom so that the soil can drain.  While some blogs recommend that you use Cactus and Succulent Soil, most places said that just regular soil is fine. The key is the drainage.  So down when the rocks, followed by a layer of soil (about an inch and a half.) Then the succulents went in, and more soil around to hold them in place.  That was actually the hardest part, because once the plants are in, there is little opening to get the soil in around the outside edges without dumping it all on the plant.  I did the best I could, but one blog had suggested that you use an cheap paint brush to clean the plants after soiling, so that's what I did and all was well.

Once the plants were secure, I added the thin layer of the small stones across the top of the soil.  One thing I like about these being in the clear glass is the ability to see the layers of the rocks and soil.  I rinsed the glass of with the watering can, and left them in the sun on the patio to dry for a bit, and viola!

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