Hens and Chicks in Vintage Silver Dinnerware

Vintage Silver Planters

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.Succulents in Vintage Silver

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. Hens and Chicks planted in vintage silver cream and sugar serving set

Planting succulents in vintage silver, pewter, and china makes for charming table centerpieces, thoughtful gifts, or 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.

Hens and Chicks in Vintage Silver Dinnerware

Plant up vintage silver for a stunning table display

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 from the book is to ask your local nursery for help drilling holes if you need them.

Related: Thrifty Gardening: How to Divide Succulents

Bromilead in vintage silver creamer

As my pots are intended for inside the house, I choose 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.Vintage Silver

DIY Drainage Holes

There are two ways to make drainage holes in silver pots: hammer and nail, and electric drill.

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 Step #2 and use a power drill with a bit made specifically for metal. Set the drill bit on the divot made by the nail 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.


  • Vintage silver pots
  • Cactus and succulent soil mix
  • Various succulents

Planting Succulents in Vintage Silver

Make it!

1. Choose you pots, plants, and location. Succulents like to be in bright light indoors, out of direct afternoon or hot summer sun.

Succulent combination of plants in Silver Planters

2. Removing the succulent from the nursery pot, place in the silver container and top up the soil with a cactus soil mix: 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.

Potting up Succulents in Vintage Silver

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.

Kiwi Aeonium in silver sugar bowl

Keep your planters looking gorgeous for good with the tips in: the Essential Guide to Succulents.This is THE Guide to caring for succulents - choosing, planting, water, light, pruning and even container ideasMore succulent projects to see here:

About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Mandy
    MandyAugust 17,12

    Hi, I love this and wanted you to know I mentioned this post on my blog today!


  2. Carlene@Organized Clutter
    [email protected] ClutterAugust 18,12

    The succulents are so cute in the silver planters. I didn’t know hen and chicks could be grown inside!

  3. Michele
    MicheleAugust 19,12

    I got out three silver containers to use for succulents a couple of months ago and have done nothing beyond polishing them. Your post makes me want to get them filled and on display, so now am inspired to get going on my own version this week.

  4. Sarah
    SarahAugust 22,12

    Beautiful! I like to use silver containers for succulents and other plants. This is a lovely post.

  5. Rachel
    RachelAugust 24,12

    What a great idea! I love the vintage look. These would make great centerpieces for a wedding or other fancy event!

  6. Jeannie-JB
    Jeannie-JBAugust 25,12

    Love Love Love your vintage silver and the creative way you found to use it..

  7. Angela
    AngelaAugust 27,12

    I absolutely love succulents planted in silver! Yours look wonderful and I am definitely going to have to get that book. Found your link at BNOTP.

    Have a great day!

  8. Becky
    BeckyAugust 27,12

    These are simply charming! Just love how they look all grouped together!! Thank you for sharing the how to!! Might give these a whirl!! Popped over from Met Monday!!

    Have a lovely week!!

  9. Kate
    KateSeptember 2,12

    they look amazing! :D I’ve got a similar container but didn’t think about using succulents. I’m absolutely going to try your idea ;)

  10. James
    JamesSeptember 4,12

    I love what you’ve done, using silver pots as planters looks beautiful and sophisticated but effortless at the same time, what a great idea for anyone’s unused silver. I am also quite curious to read Debra Lee Baldwin’s book.

    Thanks for sharing,
    James @ Capital Gardens

  11. christine from decorated life
    christine from decorated lifeSeptember 10,12

    Love what you have done here. Any ideas on how to stop the silver tarnishing? Also if you use plated silver does that make a difference to the plants? Thanks!!

    • Stevie
      StevieOctober 1,12

      Hi Christine, I like the silver to tarnish – I think it gives it that vintage look. But I can imagine it wouldn’t be difficult to polish it with the plants in if you choose to. I have mine in a variety of kinds of silver and pewter and it makes no difference to the plants in my experience.

  12. Megan
    MeganJuly 22,13

    Where did you get the silver from?! I LOVE those pieces and would like to get some for myself for this project. They look so gorgeous!

    Thanks much!

  13. stevie
    stevieJuly 22,13

    Hi Megan, I picked them up at a thrift store. Hopefully you have a good one in your area!

Leave a Reply