Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Mother's Dish Garden


My mother passed away last mid-spring.  Part of her legacy to me was her appreciation of plants.  With very little formal training,  she always managed to have at least a few healthy green plants in the house.  I am grateful for her early influence on me. 

This dish garden was given to her couple of  years ago.  It was thriving on her last day.  

Dish gardens should be placed where the plant that needs the most light is comfortable.  In this dish garden you can see the tricolor dracaena,  peeking out from the back,  which has some pink stripes.  It needs the most light of the grouping.  It does best with a little direct sun or very bright indirect light.  This dish garden lived on a coffee table that was positioned a few feet away from a very large picture window.  Nothing was blocking the light from outdoors so it was in a wonderfully strong indirect light position.  

The other plants in the dish garden are a Dieffenbachia, Calathea,  Philodendron cordatum and a Spathipyhllum (with white flower).

The secret to watering a dish garden successfully is placing it in the the sink and making sure it gets a thorough watering throughout the container.  If your sink has a sprayer as part of its setup,  this works beautifully,  You can gently spray the dish garden and clean the leaves, at the same time.  It should be watered when the top of soil feels dry in a few places.  If you add too much water you will see that immediately and can drain it right there in the sink.


  • Care Instructions 
  • The dish garden should be placed in at least the minimum requirement for light that the plant which needs the most light, in the collection, can tolerate.
  • Water when the soil surface is dry in a few place.  It is best done in the sink for an even, thorough soak without worrying about getting water on your furniture.   Spraying the leaves with water at the same time will help to for cleaner, easier-breathing plants.  
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**To see other plants on this blog click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:The Indoor Garden TV show