The limited space and booming populace make real estate an expensive commodity in Singapore. Not everyone can afford to live in a home with a big backyard. Each square feet in the metropolis can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars, so we make do with condo-living and small apartment spaces, maximizing rooms with space-saving furniture. Fortunately, innovations in design for urban spaces make it possible to create patches of green even in limited spaces. If you’re pressed for space, you can create a vertical garden, and if you lack time to tend to your plants—succulents are the solution.
Succulents are perfect for limited space and dwellers with limited time for plant upkeep. They can store moisture in their leaves or stems, so they don’t require a lot of water. They can also withstand a lot of heat, which is perfect for the year-round hot climate of Singapore.
Follow these simple steps to create a space-saving succulent garden.
- Pots and containers
- Rubber gloves
- Garden trowel
- Soil or cactus mix
- Sprinkler or mister
- Brush and dishwashing detergent
- Upcycled wooden ladder or bookcase
- Florist wire
- Stones and ornaments (optional)
A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Vertical Succulent Garden
Once you have all your materials, it’s time for the fun part.
1. Clean the ladder or bookcase.
The old ladder or the bookcase will serve as the frame or foundation of your succulent garden. Remove dirt or grime accumulating on the surface of the wood using a brush and some dishwashing soap. Let it dry. You can even sand the surface or put some varnish if you want a more sleek and shiny finish. Otherwise, you can leave the wood as it is for a distressed and rustic appeal. You can also opt to buy ladder or vertical planters available on various home improvement shops.
2. Once your ladder is dry. You can start prepping the pots for your succulents.
Gardening experts recommend terra cotta clay pots for succulents since they quickly absorb water which promotes more oxygen exchange to the soil. Put on your gardening gloves and place a cactus mix up to two-thirds of the way inside the pot. Normal soil will also do, but loose and sandy consistency is more ideal, especially for cacti, since they thrive in dry terrain.
3. Carefully place the succulents inside the new pots.
Oftentimes, succulents you purchase from your online florist already come inside cute little pots or containers. If you’re happy with them then you can actually skip this part of the process. Although it is advisable to place them in containers bigger than the original because succulents can still grow, hence a small pot can crowd out the roots, stunt their growth or slow down oxygen exchange.
Using your gardening trowel, carefully free the roots of the succulents and take them out of their containers. Place them inside the terra cotta pots and add soil until the roots are completely covered. I always look up reputable concrete planter manufacture online, when I am ready to repot them.
4. Place your pots on the bookcase and add ornaments depending on your taste.
The great thing about upcycled ladders and bookcases is that they don’t take up a lot of flat space and you can cram in as many pots of succulents as they can accommodate.
If you’re working with an upcycled ladder, then the florist wire will come in handy to secure your pots on the frame. Secure the pot by wrapping the florist wire tightly twice or thrice around the pot. Bend the end of the wire to form a hook which you can use to hang it on to the ladder.
After that, you can add a decorative stone or other ornaments for a pop of color and added texture. The finished project should look something like this: