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. 

From: DK Books - Ready Set Grow
Creative Wild West Cactus Dish Garden

Creative Wild West Cactus Dish Garden

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

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

Step 1: Put Gravel in the Container

Spread Gravel and Cactus Potting Mix in Seed Tray

Spread Gravel and Cactus Potting Mix in Seed Tray

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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 of cactus potting mix, and make holes for the plants. Cover your cacti with clear plastic bottles or containers to keep them warm.

Step 2: Take Cacti Out of Old Containers

Plant Cactus Garden Wearing Protective Gloves

Plant Cactus Garden Wearing Protective Gloves

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Step 3: Plant Cactus

Use Spoon to Tap Down Each Cactus Plant in Garden

Use Spoon to Tap Down Each Cactus Plant in Garden

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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.

Step 4: Water Plants

Lightly Mist Soil of Cactus Dish Garden

Lightly Mist Soil of Cactus Dish Garden

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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

Step 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. 

Next Up

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