Monday, March 9, 2015

DIY Succulent Planters


Last summer I was determined to prove(to myself) that I was capable of growing plants. So, unlike all the other times, instead of going crazy with exotic plants and going overboard with the number of plants, I decided to focus on just few  plants especially succulents. 

The first few successes with succulents really encouraged me. Now, some people may think that growing succulents is easy, as these are generally hardy plants. But in the past, on multiple occasions, I have managed to kill succulents, either by over watering or by drying it out for too long. So, it was a major feat when for couple of months I managed to sustain the few varieties of succulents I had. 

With this success, I decided to propagate from leaves. It was a slow process but was quite enjoyable. I really went crazy and tried to propagate all the varieties of  succulents I had plus some  more that I could find in the neighborhood and from friends. Needlesandleaves has a nice article which explains in detail this process of propagating.  With quite a large number of babies, I found myself in need of more pots for my new plants.

I decided to create the DIY concrete planters at home. I used plain cement/concrete mix from the store and followed the instructions on it to make the concrete mix. There are many different versions on the internet to mix other stuff in cement/concrete mix to make the planters light. But I decided to keep things simple(and heavy) for this time.

First we needed various containers in fun shapes and sizes. My son K was responsible for this one. He not only came up with ideas on what we could use, but also cut the containers to desired height.

For one pot: 2 containers are needed: a bigger outside container, and a small container that would fit inside the outside bigger container.

Ideas for outside container:
Milk carton cut to half
Small beach buckets/pail
Plastic Jug

Ideas for inside container:
Thick water/juice bottle
Milk carton
Plastic cups

Here are the steps we followed:

Step 1: Choose a bigger outer planter, and a smaller inner planter. Spray the outer bigger bowl with cooking spray.

Step 2: Drill/Poke a hole in both outer and inner bowl.

Step 3: Insert a straw (thick) between both the inner and outer planter and align them. The straw will ensure that the hole(for drainage) does not get filled up with concrete mix.

Step 4: Pour concrete mix in the outer bowl only, and press the inner bowl into it.  Let this dry for over a day or two.

Step 5: When the concrete has completely dried, remove or cut off the outer and inner planter bowls.

To be safe, I used succulent potting mix for all my succulent babies.  I plan to make many more of these pots once the spring is here.

Happy Planting!


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