Succulent bowls

Succulent bowls

How to make a mini succulent garden (with dad’s help!)

Every summer I visit my parents’ home, I ask my dad the same question: how did you make those fabulous succulents and cacti bowls? The answer is always the same: you just plant them in a pot and they grow together. He was right – or almost, since cacti can be painful to work with. I asked him to help me create a step by step guide for all us plant lovers. Yeah!

Succulents are amazing, they require very low maintenance and they can live both indoor and outdoor – my dad moves the arrangements indoors in the coldest winter months. They enjoy bright indirect sunlight and moderately water.

You will need:
  • A variation of succulents and cacti. We have taken these from the mature arrangements but you can find them at any plant store and they are not expensive.
  • A shallow bowl, pot or container
  • A mix soil and some sand for better drainage
  • A spoon to work the soil and move the plants
  • Gloves (or your dad’s tough farmer hands)

Use a drill if your container doesn’t have drainage.

Ceramic bowls can crack easily. Cover the surface with tape to lower the vibration and use an adequate drill-piece for ceramics. Drilling is very noisy and can take up to 2 minutes until the drill goes through.

Pre-arrange the plants around the planter to create a mental picture of your arrangement.

Start with the middle plant. This will hold the arrangement together.

We have chosen a Haworthia Fasciae “Zebra Plant” because of its fast horizontal growth and yeah, it looks amazing.

Make a hole in the soil with you fingers and place it in gently.

Don’t press the soil yet, we will be moving the plants until we are happy with the result.

The plants you choose depends on your personal taste.

We have chosen Aloe vera for the sides of the arrangement.

Plant cacti that grow upwards towards the back to create a triangular shape in the arrangement.

Choose peanut cacti that grow downwards and will hang out of the arrangement on the front.

Use the spoon to work with the cacti and try not to smash them.

Finish the arrangement with some decorative succulents.

Remember to remove the lower leaves in order to create a stem.

Leave some room for the plants to grow.

It will take a couple of years to be a fully grown arrangement like my dads.

Give them love and enjoy the blooming of the cacti in the summer months.

Don’t hesitate to ask me (or my dad) questions in the comments box below or on my instagram @afabuel .


Alex Fabuel

Alex Fabuel is a Spanish plant dad living in the vibrant city of Malmö in the South of Sweden. He spent most of his childhood helping out his family vineyards in La Mancha region. His parents have always inspired him and shared their knowledge and passion towards nature. Now he works as an Art Director for a Swedish furniture company. Far from his family greenlands, Alex still enjoys growing plants — but indoors. His most loved green companions are the ones he grows from pits, seeds and cuttings.

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