Today we’ve got a great activity to get your little ones really revved up for the green-fingered habit. Growing a bottle garden is something everyone can enjoy from the very young, to the very old.


Choose your bottle

The beauty of bottle gardening is that you can use just about anything in which to plant your miniature garden. The only real rule is that your bottle has a round, wide bottom. It also helps if the bottle’s opening has a wide neck just so your plants are easier to access and plenty of air can circulate. When you have chosen your bottle, give it a really good wash out and make sure it’s completely dry before you plant it up.

 


Next, just as with full size container gardening, you will need to create the perfect base for drainage and growth. This step is especially important as your bottle won’t have in-built drainage holes and you don’t want any fungus growing. Fill the bottom of your bottle with a really good thick layer of pebbles and sand – remember this is really the only drainage help you can give your bottle garden so make sure you get this step right.

Some people advocate a thin layer of activated charcoal and moss to help both contain smells and improve drainage even further.

Fill your bottle to about a third, to half its height with good quality, peat-free compost. Make sure it’s nice and damp either before it goes in, or by watering once it’s in position.


Plant it up

There are lots of different methods when it comes to planting up your bottle garden. Some people prefer to create a random planting scheme by dropping in seeds in a haphazard manner. Others prefer to use tweezers to position each seed exactly where you want it. Some people even opt to create their own ingenious chop-stick/tweezer tools so they can easily reach inside. Whatever method you choose, make sure you plant small indoor plant seeds and try to think about eventual plant height. This way, you can try to create a really interesting planting scheme.

 


Tropical plants make really good options for bottle gardens as they like a lot of moisture. Do be careful not to go for plants that have very different demands as this just won’t end well for you, or the plants.

Ferns, peace lilies, and low growing viola all make great plants. Anything that likes a high moisture content is going to be a safe bet. Ultimately, it’s up to you! Decide between an intricate arrangement of plants that grow to different heights, or plants that develop contrasting blooms, or even choose plants based on their scent.

 


Stand back and watch it grow

Water your bottle garden when you can see that the compost is dry – it’s better to under, rather than over-water as bottle gardens tend to be pretty moist environments. You can either leave your bottle garden lidless, or make sure you force some holes in the lid so that air can get in and your plants can breathe.

 

Have fun growing and let us know how you get on!