When I think about sharing a space with each other and making our favorite corners of the house really feel like home, it all comes back to the personal touches that Maryal and I have collaborated on throughout the house. My best buddy Roman has taught me everything I know about gardening and the dynamics of the windowsill ecosystem. His words of wisdom are always with me when I take on a mini project like these DIY . Maryal, on the other hand, truly feels like she has a black thumb and kills everything she plants. A beloved plant dies, she gets sad and calls it a day, never to plant again. But, I know she loves the way the plants make the house feel and that she genuinely has fun learning how to give plants the love and care they need to thrive, and I've loved every second of helping her reach her greenery goals! I definitely don't have the interior design eye to buy anything that would help “style” the house, but it's amazing what a reward it is for both of us to watch these little green guys take off - I consider planting and caring for the plants my contribution to the beautification of the space Mar loves so much. Succulents are definitely a fun, beginner-friendly way to dive into indoor gardening and add a little life to your home, and you can plant them in virtually any vessel that strikes your fancy, which I know is pretty appealing to Mar. So here's a simple step-by-step for creating your own DIY succulent planters and collaborating on a project you'll both enjoy the benefits of!
1. Find some cool vessels to make into your planters. We went to Maryal’s favorite home store in our neighborhood in Phoenix, Urbana, and picked up these awesome large mugs that she's had her eye on forever, along with some cool tumblers. After that, take her to a local nursery or Home Depot and let her run wild. Help her out with the right sizes, colors and shapes for each cluster. We bought 3 of the smallest size they had for each of the large mugs. We also got the next size up for the glass tumblers.
2. Grab some cactus soil so that the plants can breathe and drain. Then go outside and find some gravel. This is so important for maintaining the right moisture and oxygen level for your plants, especially if it doesn't have drainage holes like the mugs and tumblers we used. You will need a small handful of gravel for each vessel. Once we were all set up outside, we turned on some tunes, made some lemonade and brought Hamlet out for some springtime-backyard fun.
3. Put a few pinches of gravel in each vessel and then top it with a small handful of soil.
4. Squeeze the plastic pot just hard enough to free the root ball, without crushing the delicate limbs and leaves. Separate the roots with your thumbs.
5. Tightly nestle the succulents next to each other so that the base of the plant sits flush with the rim of the vessel. You don’t want the plants to sit recessed inside the vessel, nor do you want them to mound out of the top.
6. Again, being very careful not to murder the little plants. Stuff soil down in the gaps between them, and make sure to displace any little pockets of air.
7. Wet the soil inside and clean them up. That's it!
Now for the tricky part. Water and light. The good news is that you can put them anywhere in the house that she wants. You don't want to forget about them and leave them for her to find, shriveled up and on the verge of death. Sad day. You also don't want to over water them, turning them yellow and soggy. Light is also incredibly important in keeping the plants, and in turn, your favorite girl happy. She may want to put them in the bathroom, and in Maryal’s case, by the shower. Cool. Just need to put them out in the sun a few times a week to stay happy. My solution is to sun and water the plants 3 days a week. If they get over watered and the soil looks soupy - let them dry out outside for a couple days. This should do just the trick and keep everything growing, including your love for each other. Happy planting!