Using a collection of silver pots and some colorful succulents, this weekend project is whole lot of vintage with a healthy dose of rock and roll. I love these vintage silver planters and feel wonderful knowing that I’ve given new life to what was once a beautiful and valuable set of silver and is now getting good use in my home every day instead of hiding in a drawer or cupboard somewhere as these things so often do.
Perhaps you are part for the generation who registered for a china pattern and silver set for formal entertaining. Perhaps you are part of the generation who has had these treasures passed on but keeps them in storage, tarnished and chipped, not fully appreciated and no longer useful. It’s such a shame that a pretty milk and sugar set no longer graces a tea party, but it doesn’t mean the set can’t still hold a prominent place on the table and in your heart.
Planting succulents in vintage silver, pewter, and china makes for charming table centerpieces, thoughtful gifts, or eye-catching garden decoration. Try setting wedding tables with clusters of mismatched sets that can be taken home by the guests. Plant Mom’s favorite silver for a sentimental Thanksgiving gift. Tuck planters around the garden to delight and surprise visitors. All of these ideas ensure that the history lives on, even if you’ve gathered your collection from a thrift shop.
To create container gardens out of found pots, you must first consider whether you plan to use them outdoors or inside. Succulents generally like to go almost completely dry between watering and standing water in the bottom of a pot will likely cause their demise. Outdoor pots will need drainage holes to deal with rain and garden irrigation systems. A very helpful suggestion is to ask your local nursery for help drilling holes if you need them.
As my pots are intended for inside the house, I chose not to create drainage holes. I find that I’m pretty good at managing to not over or under water my plants. I also change up my plantings often, which means the soil will get the needed attention. That being said, drainage holes are recommended if you plan to do a bit less fussing with the plants.
DIY Drainage Holes
There are two ways to make drainage holes in silver pots: using a hammer and nail, or an electric drill.
Method 1: Hammer and Nail
First, protect your eyes with goggles. Hammer a nail where the drainage hole will go to make a divot which will act as your guide for the drill. If the nail goes all the way through, hooray, you have drainage!
If the nail doesn’t easily go through, it’s not worth destroying the piece with dents. Move to Method #2
Method 2: Electric Drill
Use a power drill with a bit made specifically for metal. Set the drill bit on the divot made by the nail in Method 1 and apply steady pressure to drill through the metal. Use a metal file to smooth out any burrs created from drilling. Please note: Metal gets very hot when drilling through it. Do not touch a freshly drilled hole or the bit until they have cooled.
DIY Vintage Silver Planters
- Vintage silver pots
- Cactus and succulent soil mix
- Various succulents
1. Choose you pots, plants, and location. Succulents like to be in bright light indoors, out of direct afternoon or hot summer sun.
2. Removing the succulent from the nursery pot, place it in the silver container and top up the soil with a cactus soil mix. This is generally a mix of peat moss, hummus perlite or vermiculite, and compost. It is specially blended to have good drainage and the right mix of nutrients for these unique plants. See how to make your own cactus and succulent soil blend here.
3. Top the soil with pebbles to create a neutral background for the succulent to shine. Play with composition and use a number of different varieties of succulents in the same pot.
Keep your planters looking gorgeous for good with the tips in this post: the Essential Guide to Succulents.