How to Make a Succulent Teacup Garden




Introduction: How to Make a Succulent Teacup Garden

About: New York based designer and maker.

Since a Teacup / Dish Garden has no drainage hole, it requires very similar setup as a terrarium.

Step 1: Materials

- Cactus potting soil
(Miracle Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix, 8-quart, $4.74, Home Depot)

- Gravels
(Mosser Lee Pearl Stone Soil Cover, 5-lb, $4.77, Home Depot)

- Activated carbon
(Petco Activated Carbon, 11 oz, $5.99, Petco)

- Small container
(local cookware store, $1)

- 2-in succulent plant
(local farmers' market, $2)

*You can always purchase the materials online or from a different retailer.

Step 2: Step 1: Choose Your Container

Choose a (at least) 1-2 inch deep container. I purposely chose these funnel-shaped containers, because the narrower bottom can help collects excess water.

Step 3: Step 2: Add Gravels

Rinse your gravels, add a thin layer to your container. It can help store excess water in the bottom in order to prevent root rot.

Step 4: Step 3: Add Activated Carbon

Sprinkle some activated carbon. It can help purify excess water and absorb odor.

Step 5: Step 4: Prepare the Soil

Mix a small amount of activate carbons into the cactus potting mix. Add water into the mix.

Step 6: Step 5: Add Soil

Add a thin layer of soil into your container.

Step 7: Step 6: Unpot Plant

Unpot plant. Massage the root. Try to get rid most of the old soil.

Step 8: Step 7: Add Plant

Place your plant onto the thin layer of soil. Spread the root and cover it with more soil. Add more soil until it covers all the roots. Press the soil down.

Step 9: Step 8: Decorate

This step is optional as I added a top layer of gravels.

Step 10: Maintenance

Place it in somewhere with bright indirect sunlight. Allow the soil to become nearly dry, before you add a small amount of water. That's it. Enjoy.

2 People Made This Project!


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7 years ago

I couldn't find square cups, but round worked fine.


where did you purchase your containers? they are lovely. your photography is also very good----nice composition, clean, minimalist. thank you.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I got them at Cucina & Tavola in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


7 years ago on Introduction

In spite of "Negative Nancy's" comments, I think this is a very good Instructable. The directions are similar to that of the Bonsai plants.

I don't know now long the carbon lasts, so it could be a waste of money if is it short lived, unless the plant needs carbon. The rocks in the bottom of the pot are a definite must. Without them, the plant roots will stay too wet if accidentally over watered.

As far as replacing the old soil, that is a good idea. There is no telling how long the plant sat in that soil before you bought it. Nurseries keep the plants at least a year or two before selling them. Plus disturbing the roots, if done gently can encourage root growth.

The type of soil used should be something that will hold water, but not too much. That is why there are rocks on the bottom. The excess water will filter down and be evaporated back into the soil as the soil dries out. So easy-drain soil may be desirable depending on the water needs of the plant chosen.

The rocks on top cover up the boring dirt and add something appealing for the eye. I think you could also use the larger decorative glass rocks like used in aquariums.

Good job! Well done! I think I know what to do with the jade shoots that are sitting in clear plastic cups on my porch. They will make very nice gifts! Thanks so much for sharing!


7 years ago on Introduction

Very cute. I have some old teacups that will work perfectly.