Growing Succulent Plants in Bowls

The average fancier of succulent plants will keep his plants in separate pots, which allows full individual control of watering. He will, indeed, turn up his nose at plants kept in bowls. But for the person with only a few plants, particularly if they are kept in a living-room, bowl arrangement is both convenient and far more decorative than a number of pots.

Obviously, only plants with similar requirements should be grown together. It is no use growing Aizoaceae which have a winter growing period together with cacti which rest at that time. But the majority of popular succulents can be treated alike.

It is best to use wide, shallow bowls with drainage holes, and earthenware seed-pans are ideal. If these are used, planting and cultivation are the same as for plants in separate pots. However, such bowls are seldom decorative, and if kept in a room need a plate below them to prevent water pouring out on to the furniture. It is perfectly possible to keep succulents in bowls without drainage, and in glazed bowls at that; I myself kept a considerable number in bowls for many years. Designs can be made including small rocks, and a layer of stone chippings on the compost can be added as a final touch.

If undrained bowls are used, it is essential to have a deep layer of small crocks, so that if surplus water collects it is well away from the soil; it is equally important to keep watering to a minimum to prevent too much water collecting, especially in winter. Even so, it is surprising how much water such bowls can receive, and how quickly it will evaporate in warm weather. The bowls are usually shallow, and the deep layer of crocks means a relatively thin layer of soil. Under these conditions the plants may not grow very fast, but obviously it is undesirable for plants in containers of this kind to grow too large. Small plants, seedlings or cuttings, such as are sold by florists, are ideal for bowls. Give them reasonable room, and repot every year to make sure that the roots – which will tend to spread sideways -do not become starved or tangled together.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.