Dish gardens are a cool alternative to potted plants and, unlike actual gardens, can be kept indoors and moved around. A dish garden is a small garden of flowers with similar light and watering needs grown in a shallow bowl. The bowl doesn’t need to be large; a 6” diameter bowl will do the trick.
Flowers such as succulents, shamrocks, cacti, flame violets, and club moss make excellent choices for a dish garden. Just be sure to check and see which plants work well being close together. If one plant requires a lot of water and the plant next to it doesn’t require any, you’re going to have a problem deciding how to water your garden. Some plants need more light than others, some plants need a dryer environment than others. But when you find the perfect combo, you can create a beautifully lush, mini garden.
While dish gardens are generally low maintenance, some care is needed to ensure your garden’s survival. First, find a place in your home with the appropriate environment and lighting. If the plants in your garden like lots of sunlight, keeping the dish in a window that receives a lot of daylight is ideal. If your plants like cool, dim atmospheres, place the dish somewhere out of direct light in a room where the temperature stays relatively cool.
Most garden dish plants don’t require much water. If your dish doesn’t drain, over watering can drown your plants or cause rot on the roots. Depending on the plants, a 6” dish will only require about a cup of water every week. An 8”-10” container may require up to 2 cups while a 12”-16” container may need up to 4 cups. However, the best way to tell if your plants need water is simply to check the dryness of the soil. Stick your finger or a pencil about an inch into the soil. If it feels damp or the pencil comes out dark from being wet, then the plant is fine. If the soil is dry and your plant doesn’t like dry soil, water it. It’s as simple as that.
Dish garden plants do continue to grow, but at a slower rate especially if you nix the fertilizer. If the plants extend too far beyond the dish, you can gently trim them back with a sharp pair of scissors.
With the proper care and handling your dish garden can live a long, healthy life.
Dish gardens also make excellent gifts; they are beautiful, low maintenance and last long after they are given.