new succulents in old pots

succulents in secondhand vintage pots

We took advantage of the summer-like weather this week to plant the succulents bought a while back, the smaller ones from Home Depot, the larger from IKEA. (Guess which were cheaper?) The cactus-mix potting soil and washed gravel were picked up from Fred Meyer during a grocery run one day. And the handmade pots were all sourced from Goodwill and cost between two-to-four dollars each. Even for those like myself who are not master gardeners or terribly crafty, the project is easy and inexpensive and the results polished. Although, if you live near Portland and are one of those people who has more money than time or DIY interest, my friend Jeff will be selling most of these little beauties in his vintage space over at Hawthorne Vintage.

succulent potting prep

We'd come across different indoor-succulent-potting directions on the web but most seemed to advise multiple layers of potting material, from charcoal to gravel to sand. We kept it fairly simple by putting a thin layer of gravel into the bottom of each pot—since these pots lack drainage holes—and then planting with a sandy cactus mix.

succulent varieties in thrifted handmade pots

succulent in repurposed glass pot

The succulent pictured above is tucked into a glass jar that was formerly a scented soy candle given me as a gift. I'd melted the remaining candle wax on low in the oven and then poured and wiped it out, the soy wax cleaning up easily. The glass pot has three layers for functionality and visual interest: gravel, the black cactus soil mix, and a red woody soil holding the roots. How's that for reuse?

succulent varieties in Goodwill-thrifted pots

Potted succulents or cacti would also be a great way to salvage and repurpose a piece of cracked or chipped pottery, like a favorite mug. The large dark-brown pot, for example, has a small chip on the bottom edge that isn't at all noticeable because the handmade pottery and glazing are so organic (read: imperfect), anyway.

In fact, I'm tempted to keep the dark-brown planter for myself. I even added three baby hens and chicks—so, the chicks—from the pot on the porch the day after these photos were taken to fill in some of the empty space and make an odd number of plants. The lesson learned from my first succulent experiment was to take charge and be fearless. After all, they're only plants. If only the rest of life were so easy. . . .

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