Gardening Container Gardens Container Basics Cactus Dish Garden Follow these four easy steps to turn an old or thrift store dish into a miniature desert garden worth gushing over. By Viveka Neveln Viveka Neveln Instagram Viveka Neveln is the Garden Editor at BHG and a degreed horticulturist with broad gardening expertise earned over 3+ decades of practice and study. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for both print and digital media. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on August 1, 2019 Share Tweet Pin Email Project Overview Working Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Skill Level: Kid-friendly Thanks to this cactus dish garden, it IS possible to add a desert landscape to your space. This miniature succulent garden can adorn a coffee table, act as a centerpiece on a dining table, or easily grace a windowsill. No matter where you decide to put it, this easy-to-make tabletop garden will last and last, as cacti are one of the most low-maintenance plants around! These miniature cactus plants may look adorable, but don't be fooled—even the tiniest pricks can hurt. Follow these simple steps to create a mini cactus garden of your own, all without pricking yourself. What You'll Need Equipment / Tools 1 Dish 1 Pea gravel 1 Cacti 1 Cactus soil 1 Decorative rocks or sand Materials 1 Scoop or large spoon 1 Gloves Instructions Add Gravel Start your cactus planter out with a wide dish that is at least 3 inches deep. To ensure proper drainage of your garden, pour a 1-inch layer of pea gravel into the bottom of the dish. Doing so will help water drain faster out of the bottom of the pot so your plants aren't sitting in too much moisture. Plant Cacti When handling cacti, we found that two pairs of gloves did the trick in preventing needles from piercing our fingers. Put on neoprene-coated work gloves, then put on thick leather work gloves over the neoprene ones. Carefully place cacti atop the pea gravel in whatever formation you'd like. Be sure that the bases of the cacti are ½ inch lower than the lip of the dish. Fill in Cactus Soil To ensure that all of your plants are at the same height level in the dish, break up roots as needed. Use a scoop or large spoon to fill in the dish with cactus soil.Editor's Tip: Don't mix cacti and succulents in your dish garden—although they're both desert plants, they have different water requirements. Top Off With Decorative Rocks For a final touch, add a top layer of decorative rocks or sand. Place your cactus garden in an area with full sun. Although cacti are rugged plants, they don't like temperature extremes. So keep them far from any heating or air conditioning units. Water your cactus garden sparingly, as cacti appreciate dry conditions.