Introduction: 2 Cactus Dish Garden Makeovers

My cactus dish garden graced the bistro table on the patio off my shed (aka “the office”) in Santa Barbara and was doing beautifully. I moved to the Arizona desert a couple of months ago and brought quite a few plants and cuttings with me. The planting in the Talavera bowl found a spot on the table off of my kitchen and looked great for a few weeks. By the end of June, signs of burn starting to show and I knew it was time to spring into action with my secret weapon for planting cactus.

A new environment meant time for a couple of cactus garden makeovers.

I love cactus and and now that I live in the desert I’ll be using more and more of them. They’re definitely not a soft and fuzzy look but I find them fascinating. A big plus: less watering and less maintenance with no pruning required had me at hello!

Step 1:

This is how the bowl looked before it’s makeover.

The Purple Living Stone aka Lithops in the bowl had completely turned pale green and was starting to burn. I wanted to save it and knew I had to move it to a shady spot in my new garden. I had a few small cacti growing in my pumice stone planter so I pulled a switcheroo – out of 1 planter and into the other.

Step 2: Here’s How I Did It:

The Ruby Ball Cactus was also burning so out it came. I had planted the Bunny Ear Cactus in my succulent bowl (which also needs a makeover soon – stay tuned for that!) just before moving so it found a new home with its other cactus buddies in the Talavera bowl.

Step 3: Here’s Another Great Thing About These Smaller Cacti: They Transplant Beautifully

The area for planting is very small in this pumice stone planter so I just added in a succulent cutting. The amber glass chips add a nice touch & the planting is now happily living in the bright shade next to my Aloe vera.

I used succulent and cactus mix and then top dressed both of the plantings with worm castings and then the chips. This is an easy project but it does require a lot of caution and a bit of finesse when working with these spiny little beauties. I’ll be working with a lot more cacti now that I live in the desert so I best get used to working with them. Time to invest in a pair of welding gloves!

Happy gardening,

Nell

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