Gardening > Bottle Gardens

Bottle Gardens

Bottle Gardens

Bottle Gardens
© Jojobob

A really attractive and unusual way of growing plants indoors is to create a bottle garden. If carefully made a bottle garden can last a long time needing very little attention and with the great advantage that the plants do not get dusty and pests, draughts and fumes are excluded. Select a suitable glass container with a lid. The more air tight the lid the less watering the plants will need. Glass sweet jars, demijohns or even decanters can be used. If the container is quite small slow-growing plants should be used.

You then need:

1/ Small pebbles, washed and clean for drainage.
2/ Good potting compost.
3/ Sticks or small tools to make holes and to manoeuvre plants into position.
4/ If the neck of the container is narrow a funnel may be needed to pour in the soil or pebbles.

Very gently, so as not to crack the glass, pour the pebbles into the container. Put in enough pebbles to cover the bottom and then pour in 1 - 1 1/2 inches of compost. When putting in the compost use a funnel or cone of paper so that the sides of the container don't get dirty. Make a hole with a suitable stick and drop the plant into it using a long paper funnel or two sticks. Cover the roots with soil, again using a stick.

Once you have planted the bottle garden dampen the soil and secure the lid. The garden should last for several years without any further care. any dead leaves that appear should be removed.

Examples of plants suitable for a small container:

Scarlet Pimpernel, Various mosses, miniature roses

for large bottles:

ferns, african violets, mosses.