The 12 Best Dish Garden Plants

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Houseplants bring tons of benefits such as boosting your mood or improving air quality. It’s a great pleasure to learn how to nurture a plant and find purpose in its companionship. Houseplants also offer excellent decorative potential. When showcasing a plant properly, the entire room seems to feel more alive. If you already have a collection of plants at home, you’ve probably heard about the concept of a dish garden. It can be considered the next step to evolve your houseplant experience.

A dish garden represents a small arrangement of plants that evokes the feeling of a normal garden on a smaller scale. It’s like a miniaturized landscape that lets you unleash your creative style to build your own personalized tabletop scenes. Depending on the plants used, you can create a more specific theme for your dish garden, such as desert or forest landscapes. There are lots of great options when it comes to dish garden plants. Although there’s great freedom of choice, it’s important to remember that your dish garden will be more successful when pairing together plants with similar care requirements.

Without further ado, take a look at our selection of the best plants to include in your dish garden:

1. Cactus

All types of small cacti work amazingly well for dish garden projects. It’s so well suited for a miniature garden due to requiring very little maintenance. You can use a single cactus as a solid centerpiece of your arrangement or get different varieties together to create an exotic desert theme. Just make sure you’re paying close attention to the prickling spines of the cacti.

2. Pothos

Highly appreciated for their overall resilience, pothos plants could be successfully integrated into a dish garden. The heart-shaped leaves can bring some excellent visual appeal to the whole arrangement. You can take your pick from a wide range of Pothos plant varieties but it’s recommended to opt for dwarf cultivars to match the size of most dish gardens.

3. Poinsettia

If you’re interested in hardy plants with attractive blooms, Poinsettia shouldn’t be overlooked. Anyone crafting their own dish garden can make use of this attractive plant to create a perfect match together with foliage plants. Choose a small variety that’s easy to care for to obtain the most satisfying results. Through their scarlet red flowers, Poinsettias will work flawlessly as focal points of the dish garden.

4. Croton

A great option for a colorful dish garden, Croton has a lot to offer when it comes to visual appeal. This plant boasts a wide range of varieties in shades of red, copper, ivory, pink, and more. The colorful foliage is the main highlight of Crotons but the plants are also appreciated for their leathery texture. Consider using this tropical plant for a larger dish garden that allows it to grow to its full colorful potential.

5. Kalanchoe

When it comes to dish garden plants, few options can be considered more practical than succulents. They’re easy to care for with many interesting species to choose from. Kalanchoes are great succulents to try. Consider them for creating a dynamic display with rich foliage and elegant colors. Dish gardens will also benefit from the succulent’s delicate blooms appearing during the winter.

6. Peace lily

Known by its botanical name Spathiphyllum, the peace lily plant is a highly recommended solution for decorating your dish garden. The gentle blooms of this plant tend to last quite a lot while there’s very little maintenance work involved. Peace lilies don’t need a lot of light exposure or water. Their tall flowering bracts form a beautiful display together with the vibrantly green foliage.

7. Jade plant

Thought to bring good luck, the jade plant is a favorite of many dish gardeners. It has solid ornamental potential when taking into account its fleshy, oval leaves. Mature jade plants will often resemble miniature trees so that makes them great picks for dish garden arrangements. There’s also the advantage of being low maintenance. Jade plants are easy to help thrive as long as you’re careful about optimizing the watering schedule to be as balanced as possible.

8. Snake plant

Another fairly low-maintenance plant to grow in the dish garden, Sansevieria provides a lot of visual interest. Commonly called snake plant, it features a striped appearance with colorful edges and various leaf shapes depending on the chosen variety. Make sure you pair this plant with others that grow short to create a more striking display. Thanks to their solid drought tolerance and general resilience, snake plants are hassle-free plants to grow.

9. Purple heart

The purple heart plant is worth considering for your dish garden if you prefer a more elegant look. It features rich purple foliage that can look very attractive by itself or in combination with other plants. Purple hearts also have a blooming period when they show off their flowers in a lighter shade of purple or pink. Shallow dish gardens will look particularly nice when including purple heart plants.

10. Philodendron

If you want to create a lush backdrop for your dish garden, it’s recommended to opt for suitable plants such as Philodendron. Although it has attractive foliage, this isn’t the kind of plant that will draw too much attention allowing other centerpiece plants to shine. You can find Philodendrons in many varieties, some looking more subdued while others featuring a bolder appearance with colorful variegations.

11. African violet

A good dose of color shouldn’t be missed from a more exotic-looking dish garden. The rich lavender tones of the African violet plant could be an ideal addition to consider. As opposed to other dish garden options, this plant is a little more difficult to care for because it has stricter soil requirements and light exposure needs. There’s some effort involved in growing African violets but the attractive blooms are definitely worth it.

12. Echeveria

Perfect for a rosette dish garden, the Echeveria succulent brings an impressive selection of shapes and colors to make a one-of-a-kind arrangement. Some varieties can resemble miniature cabbages while others create a more striking look through their purple-tipped rosettes. Dish gardens containing Echeveria or other succulents can often look more attractive when placed under a glass shelf to admire them from above more effectively.


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