Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Cacti and succulents need not grow alone. These indoor plants feel perfectly at home in dish gardens, uncovered terrariums, and other mixed planters.
It is so easy to care for dish gardens and other indoor planters so long as you select plants that have the same cultural requirements. Here are some suggestions on mixed indoor plantings.
Mixed Cactus Gardens
These mixed planters are very popular. Just select an assortment of species with the same growing requirements. The shapes or growth habits should also be compatible so the plants donít crowd each other. Cactus gardens with desert cacti will need full sun. Avoid mixing jungle and desert cacti in the same container gardens as they require different amounts of light and water.
Succulent planter gardens
For these mixed planters, a selection of striking plants is often selected. Gasterias and haworthias have long been favorites. The echeverias and aeoniums with their rosette forming foliage are also good choices. For contrast, include plants with other types of growth habits, such as upright or columnar succulents. Other suitable plants include the felt bush (Kalanchoe beharensis), panda plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa), and Kalanchoe millotii as well as the tender sedums.
Jade plant (Crassula argentea)
Jade plants are an excellent choice for these mixed planters. This species needs bright light in order to flourish. Allow the potting soil to dry out between waterings. Though mature plants can be fairly large, jade plants are fairly slow growing. So it will be some time before they outgrow the planter. For the planter, start with a small established plant or take some cuttings. The variegated jade plant looks especially nice in dish gardens and other succulent planters.
Most any of the snake plants are suitable for indoor mixed planters. These are slow growing, and wonít overcrowd the neighboring plants. All of these species need a moderate amount of light for best results. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Recommended species and cultivars include Sansevieria zeylanica, Sansevieria trifasciata laurenti, and Sansevieria trifasciata Hahnii
Selecting Planters for Mixed Cacti and Succulent Gardens
For best results, select a planter with good drainage. Terrariums are sometimes used. However, youíll need to have a thick layer of charcoal and gravel in the bottom since the water canít drain out. Leave the top off the terrarium, and water very sparingly. Allow the potting soil in terrariums to dry out thoroughly before watering. Suitable succulents and cacti for terrariums include air plant (Kalanchoe pinnata), snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata Golden Hahnii), bunny ears cactus (Opuntia microdasys), and rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii).