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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Make a Mother’s Day Dish Garden

Lynn Coulter
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Difficulty: Beginner

dish gardenThis Mother’s Day, give your someone special a gift she can enjoy year-round. A dish garden with beautiful flowering plants and easy-to-grow foliage plants tucked into a pretty pot makes a lasting keepsake for her desk or table.

We combined a red anthurium and a violet with purple blooms, but you could substitute her favorite colors. Look for African violets in pink, white, lavender, red, and other colors, and choose plants with leaves in different shapes and sizes for contrast. 


Note: Our dish garden was made in a 10″ diameter pot with 4″ to 6″ plants. Substitute other small plants for any of those listed below; be sure to choose plants with similar light and water requirements.

  • Dish garden planter (we used the Gold Audubon 10″ ceramic pot by Norcal Pottery)
  • Tape
  • Potting soil – (we used the African Violet Potting Mix available in select The Home Depot Garden Centers)
  • African violet – available in select The Home Depot Garden Centers
  • Anthurium
  • Dracaena
  • Peperomia – available in select The Home Depot Garden Centers
  • Spanish moss
  • Saucer (use a saucer larger than your pot to catch drips)
  • Optional: Ribbon or burlap
  • Optional: Gift card



About $50, including plants, more if adding a gift card.


1. Select a pot for your dish garden. If it doesn’t have a hole in the bottom for drainage, you will need to drill one. Decide where you want to drill a hole and place a piece of tape on both the inside and outside of the pot. Drill the hole through the tape and then remove the tape. For a large dish garden, you may want to drill several drainage holes, as shown below.


dish garden drill holes

2. Next, add the African violet potting mix, filling the pot two-thirds of the way up.


dish garden soil

3. Select your tallest plant. In this case, it’s the anthurium. Remove the plant from the pot and loosen the roots slightly with your fingers. Dig a hole in the back center of the pot and put the plant in it.


loosen roots

4. Repeat the planting process with the other three plants, arranging them as you wish. Cover the roots with more soil. After you’ve planted all the plants, put a thin layer of Spanish moss over the soil to complete your dish garden.


arrange plants in dish garden

5. Embellish by adding a bow. We used a strip of burlap and tied it into a bow. To make your present extra special, attach a Home Depot gift card.




When watering your dish garden, avoid getting water on the leaves of the African violet. Tell Mom to place the dish garden in a window with indirect light and enjoy it for years to come!

This dish garden was designed and created by Jennifer Scott (Jen_HD_BOS) at www.community.homedepot.com.

Get More Mother’s Day Gift Ideas in these Garden Club Stories:

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