Turn A Clamshell Into a Miniature Container Garden

  • 01 of 10

    Miniature Container Gardens

    Container gardening picture of miniature container gardens
    Miniature Container Gardens. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    These miniature container gardens are easy and quick to do. They make wonderful gifts and are a great project to do with kids.

    Here's what you'll need:

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  • 02 of 10

    Drill Holes in Your Clamshell

    Container Gardening Picture of drilling drainage hole in large clam shell
    Drilling Hole In Clam Shell. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Using a large(isn) drill bit. I've found a ceramic bit works really well. Turn shell upside down and drill two large holes. I have found that doing this on the lawn, instead of a hard surface is a good idea, because the shells are brittle and can splinter on a hard surface.

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  • 03 of 10

    Drainage Holes for Miniature Container Garden

    container garden picture of clam shell with two holes
    Drainage is Key for Hens and Chicks. Photo © Kerry Michaels

     Hens and chicks are succulents and need good drainage, so make sure your holes are large enough not to get plugged up. The holes will let any excess water escape so your plants don't sit in water which can make them rot. 

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  • 04 of 10

    Prepare Sphagnum Moss

    container garden picture of wet bucket of sphagnum moss
    Wetting the Moss. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    You are going to line your shell with sphagnum moss, but first you need to wet it. Put dry sphagnum moss in a bucket of water and submerge it let it sit until it feels completely soaked. I have read that you can get a skin fungus from moss, though I've never had it happen. If you are concerned it is a good idea to rubber wear gloves. 

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  • 05 of 10

    Wring Out Moss

    container garden picture of wringing water out of wet moss
    Wringing Out the Moss. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Wring excess water out of moss until it is just damp.

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  • 06 of 10

    Make a Nest of Moss in Clamshell

    Container Garden picture of miniature container garden lined with moss
    Shell Lined with Moss. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Take a small bit of damp moss and press it into clamshell - you don't need much. The moss will cover your drainage holes, letting water out while keeping your soil in. If you don't have moss, you can use a small piece of paper towel, or cut a coffee filter to fit over the holes. I like how the moss looks. 

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  • 07 of 10

    Add Soil to Your Miniature Container Garden

    container garden picture of miniature container garden with soil
    Clamshell with Potting Soil. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Add potting soil to your clamshell and gently pat it down. I use a light, organic soil with a slow release fertilizer already added.

    Gently water soil until it is moist.

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  • 08 of 10

    Prepare Hens and Chicks for Miniature Container Garden

    container garden pictuer of separating hens and chicks for miniature container garden
    Separating Hens and Chicks. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Take your hens and chicks out of their nursery pot. Gently pull them apart - they should separate pretty easily. The hens are the large rosettes and the chicks can be connected to a hen by a ropey shoot called a stolon. If a chick is connected by a stolon, just cut off the stolen at the base of the chick.

    Don't include any flowering hens in your container garden because they die after flowering and will leave a hole.

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  • 09 of 10

    Plant Hens and Chicks in Miniature Container Garden

    Container garden picture of planting hens and chicks in miniature container garden
    Planting a Chick. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    To plant your individual hens and chicks, gently press them into the damp soil. You can pack the rosettes in - they root easily so will even survive if just lightly resting on the soil. If you do have holes between the rosettes, consider adding a topdressing like gravel or sand.

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  • 10 of 10

    Caring for Hens and Chicks

    Container garden picture of finished miniature container garden
    Finished Clamshell Garden. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    When you are happy with your arrangement, place your miniature container garden in a sunny protected spot. However, if you live in a very hot climate, your hens and chicks will be happier in partial sun. Also keep them protected from strong winds. Add water when soil is pretty dry.

    More on Growing Hens and Chicks

    Mini Garden in a Mint Tin

    Transforming an Evening Bag into a Succulent Garden

    Mini Succulent Table Decorations