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How to Make a Dish Garden

Tools and Materials

Horticultural charcoal
Wide, low-sided container (without a drainage hole)
Potting soil
Decorative objects
Moss or sand

Dish Garden How-To

  1. Sprinkle less than an inch of gravel (for drainage around roots) and charcoal (to keep small amounts of standing moisture fresh) over the bottom of container.
  2. Unpot your plants, and position them as desired, keeping in mind that you are trying to create a miniature landscape. Surround the root-balls with soil, leaving a thinner layer over the nonplanted gravel areas.
  3. Add decorative items (shells, stones, figurines, or other collected objects), and tuck these in with a top-dressing of moss or sand so that there is no bare soil showing.
  4. Moisten your garden with a watering can or in the sink. Let it soak for a few minutes, then carefully tip out the excess water while holding the arrangement in place with your other hand. Repeat this procedure once a week or when the soil feels dry. Make sure your garden never sits in excess water.
  5. Given bright but indirect sunlight, most houseplants will thrive for months or even years in containers. But replace any overgrown or sickly plants as needed.

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