Caring for Plants with Pebble Mulch

Caring for Plants with Pebble Mulch

Use these helpful hints for taking care of dish gardens and other plants with fixed rocks.
By Katie Savannah Amos

Cacti and succulents are some of the trendiest plants around. Their chic look works in every design style, from formal to country to eclectic. A layer of mulch to cover the potting mix is the perfect way to make these elegant accents look even better.

Pebbles are one of the most stylish mulch options: They look right at home with the texture of fun cacti and succulents, as well as other plants such as sago and ponytail palm. In many of our pots, we glue the rocks in place so you can enjoy a more fuss-free plant.

Watering Tips for Dish Gardens

Not sure how to water plants mulched with these glued pebbles? Good news: It’s easy!

Pots with drainage holes: Place your plant in a sink and run water for 10 or 15 seconds once a week. Allow it to sit for five to ten minutes to make sure all excess water has drained from the pot.  
Pots without drainage holes: Water your plant with a little less water, a little more frequently. For example, water your sago or ponytail palm with 4 ounces of water once a week rather than with 8 ounces every week and a half. By the way: Some of our dish gardens are grown in containers that don’t have drainage holes to make them easier to set on your desk or other furniture.
Note: Tipping your planter on its side will allow any excess water to pour out, helping prevent root rot concerns. 

Our expert cacti and succulent grower, Alfredo Bergolla, recommends pouring a few ounces of water over the rocks of your small cacti and succulent garden about once a week. The water-based glue allows water to reach the soil. Because these plants originated in dryland areas, they have evolved to hold water for long periods and prefer infrequent watering to overwatering.
Trial Garden Tip: Water your plants slowly so the water seeps through the rocks without spilling or splashing.

Lighting Tips for Dish Gardens

Because we grow these plants for indoor use, keep them in areas of medium to bright light in your home. Sunny windowsills are perfect for cacti and succulents!

Bergolla suggests alternating cacti and succulent dish gardens between bright and dim areas weekly. For example, keep your dish garden in a sunny window for a week, then move it to a spot that shows it off better -- such as your living room coffee table -- for a week. Continue this cycle to keep your plant healthy.
Trial Garden Tip: Even though cacti and succulents are tough and take a variety of conditions, don’t place them too close to heat or cold sources – such as air conditioners or kitchen appliances.

Decorating with Dish Gardens

Use dish gardens to pull together unfinished spaces or create a fresh vibe in a familiar place. For example, give a new office space a personal touch with a dish garden and cute accessories.

Houseplant Questions?
We love to talk to other gardeners. Email us your questions and we'll have one of our experts get back to you!