You may have seen the miniature gardens that grow completely in bottles. Wondering how the plant survives without any fresh air? When the plants are planted inside the bottle, they are given a small amount of water which is used to feed them. Plants need air for respiration and photosynthesis. This is where the air in the bottle is able to provide the plants with the oxygen they need and carbon dioxide. The photosynthesis is a process in which the plants manufacture their food. The energy that comes from the sunlight is used to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars. During this process, the oxygen is then liberated as a by-product.
As the oxygen is trapped inside the bottle, in turn, it will be used in the process for respiration where the carbon dioxide and the water vapours will be released as by-products. The water vapour which will condense into the water again with the dioxide being used in the photosynthesis process the cycle will continue and the plants survive without any fresh air and a little extra water in a completely sealed off bottle.
Making your own bottle garden with some suitable plants can give you an eye-catching centrepiece to a coffee table or your laminam office desk.
To start one of these you will need a glass bottle that has a wide opening and base so you can get your hands into it to plant the plants. This will also allow the plants to have some good ventilation. You will need some potting grit to allow for the drainage and a bag of succulent potting mix is a good thing to do.
In your bottle use, odd numbers as these are easier on the eye. Succulents and cacti are a good choice. If you want height then to consider something like a sansevieria other plants like money plant, aloe vera, cacti, echeveria and sempervivum all work well in bottles.
Create some good drainage
This is where the potting grit works well if placed within the base of the bottle. It will need to be around 2 inches deep. You can press the grit down and spread it out a little bit to ensure there are no air pockets. From here you want to create a dip in the middle where you will put the potting mix. This is so you cannot see it and only the grit and plants will be visible from the side.
You only need to create a small mound as the plants don’t need much depth for the roots. When you position your plants put the taller ones at the back and put the small growing ones at the front.
You now need to finish off with another layer of your grit. This will aid in hiding the compost as well. If you get any on the leaves, be careful and dust these off with a small paintbrush.
Now for the water
Your plants need to be watered sparingly and once or twice a month within winter is good. If you water on the leaves you are most likely going to rot. If you see water pooling at the bottom of the bottle, then you are giving too much and if it is too dry you need to water more. You need to additionally make sure that they are not placed on the carpet as this can create a mess if not taken care of properly. Plant pots placed on stone tiles or tabletops would be a better option to enhance the looks as well as for a clean plantation bed.
Make sure they have light
Bottle garden plants need plenty of light but not direct sunlight as this can burn the leaves. Ensure you place the bottle away from heaters and radiators.
Now enjoy the new office garden that is easy to maintain and will give you something nice to look at when the days are long and enduring.