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#56791 November 10th, 2006 at 02:59 PM
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Patty S Offline OP
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In the past I've picked up quite a few nice tropicals & other salvageable plants that Walmart hadn't cared for properly, & have been able to revive them, so I always check out their "abused plant" section whenever I go there.

Today I found these little 1 1/2 - 2" pots of succulents & cactus that were marked down to 50 CENTS EACH!!! (And they aren't "leftovers" ... there were several full trays of them, that appeared to be "new stock"!)
[Linked Image]

I don't care that much for cactus myself, (because they don't like me & I don't care for puncture wounds!) but I bought 12 of them, thinking that I could use them in a dish garden arrangement for my daughter, who is a cactus freak.

I'm not real sure that I know exactly how to go about building an arrangement though, so I'm open for ideas. I found the 2 containers (shown in the pic) in the corner of the garden shed... I've had them for years & have never used them for anything, so I thought they might work for this. (I also have a terra cotta dish that might work out too, as I think I've seen nice looking succulent dish gardens in those.) Duh

Now that I look at the plants & the sizes of the containers, I think maybe all 12 plants might be a little overkill for one dish. I don't want it to look junky!

My main concern, although my daughter DOES know how to take care of cactus, is that those containers don't provide any drainage.
  • Does that matter?
  • Will terra cotta keep too much moisture in?


I'm also wondering about the planting medium. I thought the clear glass dish would look cool with swirls of different colors (earth tones) of sand, but do succulents like to be in just sand?

For "decoration" I'm thinking maybe small pieces of wood or pretty rocks. Duh

Any ideas?

#56792 November 10th, 2006 at 03:12 PM
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Patty, Those plants look great. Will be following this thread cuz I am going to hit WM myself and see if I can find any. Those arrangements, once done are going to make a great gift!

#56793 November 10th, 2006 at 08:50 PM
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Wonderful plants! Good drainage is ESSENTIAL for healthy cacti/succ's. Terra cotta is the best for them as it is porous(sp?) and does not hold water in. They are going to want some organic material in the soil, so just sand won't work. Maybe you could put small terra cotta pots with the plants in a good cactus soil in the clear container with the sand swirled around them? Decorating with sticks and stones is fun!

#56794 November 10th, 2006 at 11:35 PM
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Patty S Offline OP
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Quote
cactus soil
grinnnn

Right now these little sweeties feel awfully dry to me. I'm telling myself, "They're cactus, they do dry! Maybe as with Orchids; when in doubt, DON'T WATER!" [Linked Image]

But I don't know how long they sat at the store without water!
Should I? [Linked Image]

#56795 November 10th, 2006 at 11:55 PM
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Should you know how long they sat at the store without water??? laugh kissies

But seriously... terrific finds for a terrific price!
Can't wait to see what you do with them.
I agree with Margaret about the clay pot being best, though I have been known to put them in ceramic pots without drainage. They do pretty well for a while, but usually bite the dust ( laugh ) sooner or later...

#56796 November 10th, 2006 at 11:58 PM
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Patty you are correct...DO NOT WATER THEM! Great buy though, I found some of these at a WM awhile back for the same price and they had 6 shelves of them.

#56797 November 11th, 2006 at 12:26 AM
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Text and photos of 11 Steps on How to Construct a cactus Dish Garden at:

http://www.cactusmuseum.com/cdish.asp?PhotoID=1#phototop

Quote
Can't get out to the desert as much as you would like? Me too. Let's bring a small portion of the desert to us in the form of a dish garden. In the photograph above, are the materials needed to complete the task. From left to right:

* A Shallow Bowl (8 - 10 inches in diameter)
* Potting soil
* Large Stones
* Coarse Sand
* Assorted Small Cacti and/or succulents
* Pea Gravel
* Mixing Bucket
* A Broom (not shown)
* Gloves (not shown)
* Water (not shown)
* Western-theme Decorations (not shown)
I have had no luck in caring for cactus. Our son who used to work at Grand Canyon, AZ sent me miniature cactus in a round dish. As I remember, the watering instruction was to give the cactus a couple of drops of water every week.

#56798 November 11th, 2006 at 12:38 AM
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Patty S Offline OP
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Lynne, I suppose I could ask the Brain Deads in the gardening department, but I think they'd probably just say [Linked Image] "HUH?" [Linked Image]

(Where do they get their "specialist" employees, anyway? Things are no better inside the store than they are in the parking lot! When I was there, they kept announcing over & over that somebody's dog was running around in the parking lot, so if anybody brought a dog that might have gotten out of their truck, they needed to go put him back!) grinnnn Thanks!

#56799 November 11th, 2006 at 01:24 AM
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Love the assortment, Patty!! Great buy!

cactus soil= potting soil(plain) mixed with small(tiny) gravel or very coarse sand to allow for good drainage. I don't know what the "experts" would say about it, but I have used fish gravel as the "mixer" for the soil. I always use a terra cotta unglazed pot so that they dry out well in between waterings. Keep in mind- they thrive on neglect!! My kind of plant! laugh laugh

Make sure you get pics of the arrangement!

#56800 November 11th, 2006 at 01:28 AM
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I LOVE that link to set up a cacti garden. Thanks for that one!

#56801 November 11th, 2006 at 07:02 AM
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Patty.... I just made mine I didn't have a drain hole in my pail so I used horticulture charchol, then a layer of sand ,then catus succulent soil,, and didn't water for 3 days: then I only watered very lightly. I just planted what would grow tallest in the back, what would grow widest in the middle and all the little ones around the front and sides.. and topped of with rolled pea gravel, and threw a few larger stones I had here and there...,
[Linked Image]

#56802 November 11th, 2006 at 07:39 AM
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Looks good Diane. I wanted to use my Wild Willy in one as well. Yours look right at home in the desert!

#56803 November 11th, 2006 at 08:54 AM
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Wow Diane, your pic looks fantabulous! grinnnn Our garden club is hosting a holiday luncheon in a couple weeks & I thought that with a little fancying up with colorful cellophane wrap & ribbon (& maybe a touch of glitter), they'd make nice little favors at each place setting! I called the lady who is in charge of the luncheon, who agreed with me & asked me to go get them.

When my garden helper/Granddaughter & I got them home, we had to re-pot them because we discovered that unlike yesterday's haul, the soil in these was very wet... in fact, a couple of them are going back, because they're mushy at the bottom & I saw no sign of roots. For lack of "cactus mix", we used a mixture of light (peat based) potting soil, sand & Perlite. I hope that getting them out of the wet soil & into a dry medium didn't happen to late... I have no idea how long they'd been "soaking".

#56804 November 11th, 2006 at 09:44 AM
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Patty - I am the green eyed monster here - so jealous!!!

You MADE me go into WalMart today while I was in that shopping center! p frown :p
This one only had 6 very sad looking pots of cacti - pathetic I tell ya!!!

I'm glad you went back for more.
Not glad some were too wet. I hope your new soil perks them right up, and that the garden club loves them!

#56805 November 12th, 2006 at 12:34 AM
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Patty Oh What a great idea for party favors!!!

It sounds like your soil mix will be fine Patty.

#56806 November 12th, 2006 at 01:26 AM
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I went to Walmart myself today and picked up 13 of them... getting ready to do some combinging and playing around with them today. Gotta love a bargain!

#56807 November 12th, 2006 at 11:26 AM
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I decided to make a few small dish gardens instead of only 1 big one... but my terra cotta dishes aren't deep enough! Instead of spending more money, I decided to build up the sides with rocks, using my trusty dusty glue gun......

[Linked Image]
(I see that the candy canes that my little helper hung on the cactus needles show up in the pic!)

It's more work than I thought it would be, so I only have it half done... need to let my fingers cool off for a bit. (I think that hot glue can alter a person's finger prints!) shk

#56808 November 12th, 2006 at 11:29 AM
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That looks great Patty! Clever idea!

#56809 November 12th, 2006 at 11:45 AM
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Looks great, Patty - what a neat idea.

But... I don't see any candycanes???

#56810 November 12th, 2006 at 01:13 PM
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Patty S Offline OP
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You gotta look closer, Lynne... they're itty-bitty!
[Linked Image]

(Maybe it was just cuz I knew where they were! Duh ...I also lightened it a little, just for you.)

#56811 November 13th, 2006 at 08:55 AM
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Very creative building a rock wall there Patty!! thumbup grinnnn

the candy canes are itty bitty where ever did you find them sooo tiny!???

#56812 November 26th, 2006 at 01:07 PM
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Kick me hard... I was asked a question 2 weeks ago & am just now paying attention! (Sorry Diane!) shocked

Those itty bitty candy canes came from a close-out sale when one of our dollar stores shut down last year. The kids & I had already used most of them up on different craft projects, but we found one package of 24 when we cleaned out the craft cabinet a few weeks ago. I'd like to find some more but I'm batting Zero so far... I even checked out Michael's & they don't have them. That dollar store still has a branch open about 100 miles from here, so if I take my daughter to the Dr in that town this coming week, I'm hoping that I'll be able to take the time to swing by the store & see if they have any. They're so cute on the cactus, but there needs to be more than just one!

The "walls" that I built up on the sides of the terra cotta dish worked out real well (but it took forever) & I finally got 2 of them done & loaded.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Now I'm wondering what the heck I was thinking when I bought a dozen cactus plants for "a" dish garden!
(Obviously wasn't thinking of a big enough dish!)
I'm going to make one more of these, & I'll put it in the silent auction at our garden club's Christmas luncheon. We do that every year & the proceeds go to the local Children's Christmas Fund.

I'm still working on prettying up the 20 little cactus pots for the luncheon. A gal pal & I got half of them done last week, but we quit when my hands gave out on me! I still have 10 days to git 'er done, & will try to remember to take a pic.

#56813 November 26th, 2006 at 10:44 PM
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Wow those look awesome Patty and that's a lot of wall building!! My goodness no wonder your hands got tired! eek but the results looks great kissies angell clp

#56814 November 27th, 2006 at 01:46 AM
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Those planters look great, Patty!
Very creative, and different looking.

I'd be curious to know how much something like that brings in for you at the silent auction - it's a very nice idea indeed!

#56815 November 27th, 2006 at 12:55 PM
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Those turned out great Patty!

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