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How to Plant a Cactus Container Garden

Yee-haw! Turn a container into a desert landscape by filling it with prickly cacti and other succulent plants.

Excerpted from Ready, Set, Grow! by DK BooksDorling Kindersley
Creative Wild West Cactus Dish GardenDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Because they store water in their fleshy leaves, stems or roots, succulents, like cacti, can survive in harsh conditions such as deserts, scrublands and mountains. This project takes one hour to complete.

Materials Needed:

  • several small cactus and succulent plants
  • large flower container
  • cactus potting mix
  • garden gloves
  • tongs
  • plastic cowboys and Native Americans

1. Put gravel in the container.

Sprinkle a thin layer of gravel into a seed tray. Most cacti have shallow roots, since they store water in their stems. Add 1–2 in (2–5 cm) of cactus potting mix, and make holes for the plants. Cover your cacti with clear plastic bottles or containers to keep them warm.

Spread Gravel and Cactus Potting Mix in Seed TrayDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Take the cacti out of their old containers.

Beginning with the largest cactus, ease each plant gently out of its old container. Wear gloves and use tongs or wrap the cactus in newspaper, paper towels, or light cardboard.

Plant Cactus Garden Wearing Protective GlovesDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Plant the cactus.

Place the first cactus into its hole. Use the back of a spoon to press the soil down around its base. Transplant the rest of the plants in the same way.

Use Spoon to Tap Down Each Cactus Plant in GardenDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

4. Water the plants.

Mist the soil or sprinkle it lightly with lukewarm water. Repeat after the potting mix has looked very dry for a few days.

Lightly Mist Soil of Cactus Dish GardenDK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Add details.

Add details to give your landscape some Wild West flair. Create a track using sand or gravel, for example, and add model cowboys and Native Americans. Place the arrangement in a warm, partly shaded site.

Excerpted from Ready, Set, Grow! by DK Books

2010

Dorling Kindersley

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