How to make a garden in a broken pot


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Space is never a constraint for garden lovers!! Read on to learn how to make a complete garden with variety of plants and awesome decor in a discarded broken pot.

Materials Required

This project only uses items easily found in our homes. So that you can start it right away without worrying about buying new materials. You need a pot, preferably a heavy cement or clay pot so that your garden when completed has stability. If such heavy pot is not available then you can also use any other pot available. Bigger the pot size is better, so that we can included variety of garden elements, we have used a cement pot of height 18 inch.

Other than pot, you need few slow growing plants, wall paint, soil, vermicompost, stones, coir mats, m-seal, thread, small rectangular piece of wood, old cloth and small toys or statues.

Selection of plants is the most crucial step for this projects. Since there is a space constraint, you would not want to use any plant which either has fast growth or require a lot of nutrients.

Plants that we have used are big foxtail fern for background greenery, mid-sized coleus for color variations and small succulents for front. We do not recommend using flowering plants here, rather you can think of selecting plants of different shapes, sizes and variety of colors. Plant at the back will be the focal point of this garden, for this it needs to be bigger, wider and evergreen. We have also used grass in between the steps. You can use any lawn grass for this.

Out of all materials, you will probably have to buy wall paint, mseal and coir mats. Though these can be replaced using plastic sheets or other water tolerant materials, but for natural look, we suggest you to use coir mats. We have provided the amazon's link below to buy coir mats. Paint and m-seal are better purchased from local market, as these products are commonly available in hardware stores and we could not find a reasonably priced seller online.

Step 1: A Day Before

We suggest using an old discarded pot. It can be broken in such a way that its front is open. Do not attempt to get any exact shape, as long as there is a wide opening in the front and some space inside for garden, you are good to go. After its broken, clean the pot with water and let it dry. Also, use an old cloth and smooth clean the broken edges of the pot, you can also use sand paper for this if available.

Once dried, use wall paint and paint the pot completely. We have used Terracotta color from Asian paints (exterior) to give the garden a natural shade but you can go for any color you like. Apply the color using a good quality brush on outer as well as interior surfaces.

Once done, leave the pot for couple of hours to let the color dry. Then, apply a second coat of the same color. Make sure to apply paint on the broken edges of the pot so as to give them a smooth surface.

That's it, work for day 1 is complete, let the pot dry overnight and we will begin the planting tomorrow!!


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Soil Mix, Structure and Planting

Day 2 begins with soil mix, which has to be made to sustain plants for long and encourage only a medium growth rate. We do not want any plant in this garden to grow too big to be sustained by the garden.

Use red or black soil and mix cocopeat, sand and vermicompost to it. For 500 grams of soil, use 100 grams of coarse sand, 50 grams of cocopeat and 100 grams of vermicompost (or any other organic compost). If cocopeat is not available then do not worry about it, make the soil mix without cocopeat. Once ready, apply 3-5 inch layer of soil mix on the pot, this layer is tapered, thinner at the front.

Aim is to create a mountain kind of structure using soil with its peak at the back. This will also help us to setup stairs. Time has come for plants. Use the biggest plant and put it in the soil at the top of the soil mountain. This plant will form the focal point of the garden. We will call it focal point plant from now. Pour some extra soil mix so that to totally cover its root and give it a good grip.

Next step is to take the smaller piece of broken pot and place it half way at the center of the pot, right ahead of the focal point plant. Soil beneath will be able to hold for long but at the beginning, you will have to support it with some rocks. Use few other pieces of broken pot and make stairs out of them. Keep increasing the height as required your soil mix. You can plant small grass plants in between the stairs, overtime their roots will hold together the stairs.

Similarly, whatever space you find on the sides, put the other plants there and use extra soil to cover their roots and give them the grip. With this, all plants have been planted and stairs systems has been created.


"Wrap a coir mat around the lower stem of focal point plant along with some soil in between. This will hold together the plant and provide extra grip to the plant."

Decor & Touch of Art

We have made a swing using a small wooden plank and thick thread. This swing is hanged on a U-shaped wire fixed on the top of the pot using m-seal. Coir mat is used to create roof for this system.

Similarly you can use coir mat to create a small pot and with the help of m-seal fix it on the broken edge of the pot. Make sure to experiment with the decor and come up with your own signature design!!


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