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DESIGN, PLANTING, AND CARE FOR DISH GARDENING

Apr 28

Have you ever attempted to make a dish garden? If you don't know what a dish garden is or how to make one, think of it as a miniature landscape in a shallow pot. It normally develops inside rather than outside. I hadn't created one in a few years and was inspired by some peperomias I'd just acquired. This is dish gardening 101-everything you need to know about planting and caring for your plants.

 

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO MAKE A DISH GARDEN

In the video below, I demonstrate these two methods. The plants in 1 remain in their grow pots. The plants in the dish garden in the first shot are immediately planted in soil. This is how I like to create them, and it's how most dish gardens are done. The turquoise ceramic one will be displayed in my dining area for a long time.

There are a few reasons to leave the plants in grow pots: they are lighter, there is no need for soil, the individual plants can be simply swapped out, the container you're using doesn't have a drain hole, and you want to pull the plants out to individually plant them. This is also more convenient if you're conducting a one-time planting.

Temporary vs. Permanent

A temporary planting is one done for an event, as a present, or for a special occasion such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. Because this is a temporary arrangement, you may use any combination of plants.

A permanent planting is one that will last for a long time, so pick plants that will grow well together. One of the dish gardens is a cactus garden, while the other is a combination of Peperomias.

Design / Fashion

If you like, you may choose a design or style. Desert, fairy, old fashioned, Japanese, tropical, sleek & contemporary, and festive holiday are all popular options.

They are suitable for a variety of occasions, including wedding centerpieces.

Options For Containers

This is where you can be creative, along with the plant selections and adornments. Baskets, earthenware, and terra cotta are the most common alternatives for dish garden containers, which are often shallow. Resin (or plastic), metal, and glass are also often utilized.

Flea markets, garage sales, and your attic are all terrific locations to look for unusual containers. For an example of a fun dish garden a kid may construct, I utilized my father's childhood dump truck, which you can see here.

Drain holes may or may not be present in certain containers. Drainage is required for dish gardens, so make sure to follow the recommendations here for utilizing stones and charcoal.

Plant Selections

I prefer to utilize plants that are different in height, texture, form, and color. Having said that, I like a cactus or fleshy succulent dish garden comprised exclusively of low plants. Anything that is attractive to the sight is essential.

A word of caution: be sure that the plants you're merging have similar watering and exposure needs. I wouldn't mix cactus (high light, low water) with pothos and peace lilies, for example (lower light, more water).

Allow space for the plants to grow. The yellow kalanchoe was added not just for color, but also to fill up the gap in front of the peperomias as they grew.

 

DESIGN, PLANTING, AND CARE FOR DISH GARDENING

A lady with a blue top and pink blouse holds a dish garden in a turquoise glazed ceramic pot.
Have you ever attempted to make a dish garden? If you don't know what a dish garden is or how to make one, think of it as a miniature landscape in a shallow pot. It normally develops inside rather than outside. I hadn't created one in a few years and was inspired by some peperomias I'd just acquired. This is dish gardening 101 - everything you need to know about planting and caring for your plants.

 

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO MAKE A DISH GARDEN

In the video below, I demonstrate these two methods. The plants in 1 remain in their grow pots. The plants in the dish garden in the first shot are immediately planted in soil. This is how I like to create them, and it's how most dish gardens are done. The turquoise ceramic one will be displayed in my dining area for a long time.


There are a few reasons to leave the plants in grow pots: they are lighter, there is no need for soil, the individual plants can be simply swapped out, the container you're using doesn't have a drain hole, and you want to pull the plants out to individually plant them. This is also more convenient if you're conducting a one-time planting.

Two dish gardens and a glazed turquoise pot are displayed on a work table outside a garage.

Two dish gardens are already built, as well as a ceramic bowl waiting to be planted, on my trusty old work table.


For Your Reference, Here Are Some Of Our General Houseplant Guides:

  • Watering Indoor Plants: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • Repotting Plants: A Beginner's Guide
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  • How to Keep Houseplants Clean
  • Plant Humidity: How I Increase Humidity For Houseplants (Winter Houseplant Care Guide)
  • Buying Houseplants: 14 Tips For Beginners In Indoor Gardening
  • 11 Houseplants That Are Pet-Friendly


Temporary vs. Permanent

A temporary planting is one done for an event, as a present, or for a special occasion such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. Because this is a temporary arrangement, you may use any combination of plants.


A permanent planting is one that will last for a long time, so pick plants that will grow well together. One of the dish gardens is a cactus garden, while the other is a combination of Peperomias.

Design / Fashion

If you like, you may choose a design or style. Desert, fairy, old fashioned, Japanese, tropical, sleek & contemporary, and festive holiday are all popular options.

They are suitable for a variety of occasions, including wedding centerpieces.

Options For Containers

This is where you can be creative, along with the plant selections and adornments. Baskets, earthenware, and terra cotta are the most common alternatives for dish garden containers, which are often shallow. Resin (or plastic), metal, and glass are also often utilized.


Flea markets, garage sales, and your attic are all terrific locations to look for unusual containers. For an example of a fun dish garden a kid may construct, I utilized my father's childhood dump truck, which you can see here.

Drain holes may or may not be present in certain containers. Drainage is required for dish gardens, so make sure to follow the recommendations here for utilizing stones and charcoal.

A dish garden made in an ancient dump truck with cactus, air plants, pumice stone, and glass chips stands on a table.
My father's old dump truck was transformed into a wonderful dish garden container. In the pumice stone planter, the cacti were planted.


Plant Selections

I prefer to utilize plants that are different in height, texture, form, and color. Having said that, I like a cactus or fleshy succulent dish garden comprised exclusively of low plants. Anything that is attractive to the sight is essential.

A word of caution: be sure that the plants you're merging have similar watering and exposure needs. I wouldn't mix cactus (high light, low water) with pothos and peace lilies, for example (lower light, more water).

Allow space for the plants to grow. The yellow kalanchoe was added not just for color, but also to fill up the gap in front of the peperomias as they grew.

If you're constructing a temporary garden, you may mix and match anything you like!

For smaller dish gardens, 2′′, 3′′, and 4′′ plants are employed. In bigger pots, we normally use a combination of 6′′ and 4′′.

Plant Selections

PLANTS IN FULL BLOOM

Bromeliads, kalanchoes, cyclamen, small roses, African violets, begonias, Easter Cactus, mums, Christmas Cactus, and poinsettias are all excellent selections that are quite simple to come by.

PLANTS ON THE WAY

Hoya, grape ivy, English ivy, creeping fig, pothos, arrowhead philodendron, heartleaf philodendron, arrowhead philodendron, heartleaf philodendron, arrowhead philodendron, heartleaf philodendron, arrowhead philodendron.

PLANTS THAT STANDOUT

Aglaonema, dieffenbachia, neanthebella palm, spathiphyllum, peperomia, snake plant, jade plant, button fern, bird's nest fern, succulents, aglaonema, dieffenbachia, neanthebella palm, spathiphyllum, peperomia, snake plant, jade plant, button fern, bird's nest fern, button fern, bird's nest

 

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR BEAUTIFUL DISH GARDEN IN TOP CONDITION?

Make sure your dish garden plants are hydrated a couple of days before you want to place them to minimize any stress. You should water the plants again soon after they've been planted.

Watering

Rather of watering the whole garden, I prefer to water each individual plant root ball. This seems to keep it from becoming too wet. This is best done using a watering can with a long, narrow neck. In the video, you'll see which one I use.

Because Tucson is still hot, I'm watering this peperomia dish garden every two weeks. I'll cut down to every 3-4 weeks throughout the winter.

Depending on the sort of plants you're utilizing, the amount of light required will vary. In Tucson, my cactus dish garden blooms in full sun outdoors, whilst my peperomia garden grows in medium light in my dining room. It's roughly 10 feet away from a bay window and gets plenty of natural light throughout the day.

Fertilizing

Make sure you don't over-fertilize your dish garden. They're in shallow pots, so salts and other minerals may accumulate. They need very little fertilization, if any at all, particularly if you've used high-quality potting soil. If yours is in need, once in the spring should enough.

If you have it, liquid kelp or fish emulsion would be good, as would a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer (5-5-5 or lower). In the spring, dilute any of them to half strength and apply.

You shouldn't fertilize houseplants in the late autumn or winter since that's when they're supposed to be resting. If your houseplant is strained, such as bone dry or dripping wet, don't fertilize it.

Every spring, I give my dish gardens, as well as all of my houseplants, a light coating of worm compost, followed by a light covering of compost. It's simple — a quarter-inch coating of each is plenty. Here's where you can learn more about my worm compost and compost feeding.

Extra Care Is Required

Dish gardens, on the whole, are low-maintenance. You may need to cut off a wasted leaf now and again, or replace a plant that isn't performing well or has grown too large. Keep an eye out for pests (and make sure your plants are free of them before planting)— certain dish garden plantings are susceptible to spider mites.