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Help! How Do I Care For My Dish Garden?

Ask The Expert: I just got the attached plant as a gift. It’s already starting to turn brown both at the edges and in the center of some of the leaves. I have several questions and concerns:

1) I have to keep my plants high up and away from the windows because of my pets, will this plant fare ok?
2) How often should I water it?
3) Should I remove the moss that it’s top soil came covered in?
4) It’s in a ceramic pot with no hole at the bottom, should I replant it?
5) It’s got several small, hard green balls under the moss. Picture of one is attached. Do you think those are time-released fertilizer pellets?
6) What kind(s) of plant is this?
7) Any other words of advice or suggestions?


Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

I received your question and picture of your dish garden. I will try my best to answer all of your questions in the order listed.

1) Will the plants still receive light? If they will still receive a fair amount of light, then the plants should do well. However, if the plants are too close to a light fixture this may become a problem. The light may scorch the plants.

2) Since this is a dish garden and the various plants may need different water requirements, keep the soil moist but not soggy.  This will require a physical check of the soil and not a “water every so often” requirement. If your air is dry you can also mist the air around the plants every few days.

3) The moss isn’t hurting anything. You can keep it if you like or remove it if you don’t.

4) It is always best to keep houseplant in a container that has ample drainage. For the best heath of the plants I would recommend repotting.

5) It does appear to be a slow release fertilizer.

6) Since this is what we call a dish garden, there are several types of plants in the container. I can easily recognize the parlour palm and the diffenbachia. The other plants are hidden and I can not make an identification.

7) When repotting you can keep the plants together or separate them into different containers.

If you send me pictures of the other plants I will try to identify them for you. Flower Shop Network has care instruction for many of the houseplants florists use in dish gardens or deliver separately.  Once we identify all the plants in your dish garden, you can go to our houseplant gallery and find the individual care instructions for each plant.

Hope this information helps.

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  1. My new dish garden does not have drain hole. What do I do?

  2. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Hi Janice,
    I would suggest repotting your dish garden into a container with a drain hole. If you are in love with its current container, you could get a new one that is slightly smaller and set the newly repotted dish garden inside of the old container so that you still get the same look.

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