How To Make An Ornamental Dish Garden

Bring nature inside your homes by creating your own dish garden. It’s a great gift and a great source of additional income.

One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors during this rainy season is by bringing nature inside. And the simplest, easiest way to achieve this, even in a small apartment or office is by making your own dish garden.

Dish gardens can also be great living gifts that can truly make a loved one feel special. It can be made in a few easy steps, and both parents and kids will surely enjoy making. It’s an art that can be accomplished in as little as two hours, and can be a perfect relaxing activity for busy people. Since there are so many plants and pots to choose from, selecting what to use for your garden is already in itself fun to do. Just remember to choose plants with shallow roots that can thrive in your chosen dish or pot.

Create Your Own Dish Garden in 7 Steps

1. Choose your pot.

The first thing to consider when choosing a pot is its depth. If the dish garden is intended as a desktop or table top garden, consider getting shallow pots or planters. Planters come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, not just the typical bowl shape. There are planters that are originally intended for other uses but can very well work as a dish garden pot.

2. Select your plants.

When selecting your plants, remember that the container will have limited space and depth, so it is ideal to choose plants that do not grow too quickly. Choosing slow-growing plants also avoids overcrowding in the planter, which can eventually lead to sickly plants. Another tip in plant selection is to choose a group of plants that need relatively similar amounts of light and water. This way, the dish can be cared for as one unit. Garden supplies stores usually offer starter plants in 2 and a half inch pots.

3. Prepare the tools.

A few tools will be needed to start a dish garden aside from the planter. Make sure you have enough potting soil to fill your planter. Also remember to prepare tools such as scissors (for trimming plants), an old paint brush (for cleaning), a spoon (for handling the soil), tweezers (for handling plants carefully), and a sprayer (for misting the plants). Don’t forget to prepare your plants too.

4. Construct your garden.

To construct your dish landscape, line your planter with a piece of newspaper. This will keep the soil
from going through the drainage holes. The paper will alter decompose, but by then the plants have already grown enough roots to hold the soil in. After lining* the planter with paper, fill the planter with potting soil halfway. You may want to consider adding small rocks and pieces of wood to add dimension to the dish garden. Then add the plants in the planter.

Position the plants depending on where you want them to face or take spot in the planter. After which, you can fill the rest of the planter with potting soil.

5. Use decorative accents.

Accents like small rocks or garden stones, and pieces of wood can be added as decorative accents. Use field moss, small gravel, fine bark, or grasses to cover bare spots. You can push down the moss into the soil with the tweezers.

6. Trim the plants.

Once the plants are in place, and accents have been added, trim unnecessary moss and( clean up the planter.

7. Water your garden.

Use the sprayer to mist the plants with water. Make sure to water individual plats are the base.

Your dish garden is done!

Tips for maintaining your dish garden

  • Water the dish garden everyday with the sprayer especially during hot temperature weather.
  • Place the dish garden in an area where it will receive the appropriate amount of sunlight, depending on your selected plants.
  • Never let the soil become too dry or too soggy.
  • Trim your garden regularly to prevent overgrowth in the planter.

source: Carmela Abaygar, Marid Digest, photo from

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