Desert in a Pot
This arrangement from Debra Lee Baldwin features slow-growing succulents suggestive of a hike through arid, mountainous terrain. With half-day sunshine and water, it will look good for years.
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- Shallow planter
- Pumice: Use as a lightweight addtion to potting media to enhance aeration and drainage.
- Potting Soil: Succulents do best in a cactus mix or potting soil amended with pumice or perlite.
- Gravel: Comes in assorted sizes and colors (see image).
- Sand: Also available in assorted colors.
- Large Rocks: Try to find stones that are 4 to 8 inches across. Here, Baldwin used Arizona sandstone.
- Tools: (not pictured) Long-handled tweezers, gloves with the fingers wrapped in duct tape, chopstick, soil scoop, scissors, kitchen tongs. Cactus planting kits are also available.
Baldwin's arrangement includes:
A. 'Christmas Sleigh' (Aloe)
B. Bunny ears cactus (Opuntia microdasys)
C. Pincushion euphorbia (Euphorbia enopla)
D. Peruvian old lady (Espostoa melanostele)
E. 'Roller Coaster' (Opuntia subulata)
F. Devil's tongue barrel (Ferocactus latispinus)
G. Thimble cactus (Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis)
H. Thumb cactus (Mammillaria matudae)
I. Spiral Spurge (Euphorbia spiralis)
Fill 3/4 of container with pumice. Add potting soil almost to rim and mix.
Place 3 large rocks in soil — largest in back, smallest in front.
Wearing protective gloves or using tongs, add plants in clusters.
Place plants in soil next to rocks or along the rim of the pot.
Topdress with gravel and large-grained sand, then sprinkle with fine sand if desired, avoiding cacti.
Tuck roots in. Baldwin waits a week to water; after that, she waters weekly in summer, monthly in winter.