Sunday, February 23, 2014

Indoor Cactus Garden

It's still winter outside, but it's looking more like summer inside thanks to our new cactus gardens!

I've seen these little tabletop gardens on a couple blogs (here and here), and I thought this would be a fun way to add some life and color to our home.

Yesterday the garden guy at Home Depot said I was buying more cacti than they'd sold to all other customers combined, and he was intrigued to know what I was going to do with them. Turns out he had bought one himself for his tarantula cage.

My original plan was to get a large shallow glass bowl and put all of them in one garden, but I couldn't find a bowl to meet my needs. At TJMaxx I found two small glass bowls that I liked, though, so I decided to make two gardens. 

I named this one Sid Vicious, because he stabbed me every chance he got.

Along with the cacti and glass bowls, I picked up some quick-draining soil meant for succulents and some small white rocks. I layered the inside of each bowl with rocks, dirt, then rocks again. Before adding the top layer of rocks, I arranged the cacti inside the bowl.

What those other blogs don't tell you is that a pair of gardening gloves would really come in handy for this project! You will get poked with cactus needles a lot. And it will never be from the cactus you're actually handling - it will be one of the other ones that will get you right in the knuckle when you least expect it.

The second little garden bowl has feet, which I thought made it a little special. Try to ignore the cat butt in the following picture. It's really hard to take pictures around here without a cat photobomb.

If it wouldn't be such a hassle to do this one over, I would actually add more rocks to the bottom layer. This was the first one I made, and I was worried I would run out of rocks, but the proportion of rocks to soil could be more even.

While I worried about running out of rocks, turns out I had an overabundance of cacti. You can't really plant them close together because of all the needles (they poke each other and you), so I ended up with one lonely little cactus who just didn't fit in. 

Don't worry, he got his own little place of honor in the windowsill above the sink. 

This was a really fun weekend project that only took about 30 minutes once I had all my supplies.  The supplies, by the way, were relatively cheap - each little cactus/succulent was $2.50 - $3.50, and you can buy glass bowls at TJMaxx for about $5. The most expensive materials were the soil and rocks (and I did shell out $15 for the fancy footed glass bowl, but I just couldn't resist!). 

I highly recommend that you make a cactus garden for your own home - just make sure to have a pair of tweezers on hand to pull needles out of your knuckles!


  1. Beautiful. Those the cats WILL leave alone...if they're smart.

  2. Such a cool cactus garden, Mackenzie! You should join our Urban Jungle Bloggers adventure ;)