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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

Avast Ye Pirate Planters

pirate mug planters

My friend’s new company has a pirate theme, so I sought out these pirate mugs on eBay and turned them into succulent planters. Here’s how.

Succulents are perfect for small, weird containers because they have very shallow roots and can take all manner of abuse. The only thing you have to watch out for is standing water, which can cause the plants to rot. So these first few steps are to ensure that water never collects at the bottom of the planter.

Step 1: Drill a Hole

step 1

This is easier than it sounds. All you need is a drill and a bit that’s meant for ceramics. Drill slowly and don’t put too much pressure on it and you’ll be fine. You can wet the surface with water if it gets too hot and smokes while you’re drilling.

Step 2: Ensure Drainage

step 2

Soil can clog up a small hole over time, so I did a couple more things to ensure good drainage. I added sticky foam tape to the bottom, which lifts the mug slightly off the ground. I also added a mesh inside the pot to keep the soil off the bottom. You can use rocks for this. I used a product called “Better Than Rocks” which is made from recycled plastic.

Step 3: Add Soil

step 3

Use a cactus or succulent mix that’s designed to drain quickly. Once the mugs are half full, I dampened the soil. I like to do this in advance to make sure there’s moisture there for the transplanted roots.

Step 4: Plant!

step 4

I used a few succulents I had waiting for a project, as well as small cuttings from other succulents that will root in place. I used Cotyledon, Kalanchoe, Echeveria, and Graptosedum, but you can use ay combination as long as they have similar light and water requirements.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Booty

step 5

See Also

2 Responses

Ya-arrrr! Your friend is lucky – these would excite and delight any scurvy landlubbin’ matey!
::shakes off pirate-mode::
Oof! Anyway. I love these! What a fun way to decorate a new company! It’s inspiring.

Posted by Donna B. on 4 November 2011 @ 12pm

Coolest. Planters. Ever. I think my grandma had those mugs, actually. But she always planted succulents in abalone. Still, an sea-worthy theme! Shiver me timbers!

Posted by phyte club katie on 23 November 2011 @ 10pm


Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.