How To Grow A Plant In A Mug

You may have some old or broken coffee mugs around the house. Perhaps they have sentimental value, or maybe you just prefer to keep your environmental footprint small. So, what do you do with a broken mug? Is it possible to grow a plant in your old mug?

You can easily grow a plant in a mug. First, place a few small stones into the bottom of the mug and cover them with a potting growing medium. Place a plant into the medium and top up the mug with extra potting mix. Water twice a week to avoid drowning the plant.

Even though you may already know the basics of growing a plant in an old mug, it may be beneficial to follow one of the two simple step-by-step methods provided below. This will help give your mug a second life and brighten up your home with a new indoor plant.

Method One For Growing A Plant In A Mug

This method is the more simplistic and straightforward of the two methods. It does not require the use of power tools. This is good news because you may already have everything you need for this method.

What You Will Need To Grow Plants In A Mug The Easy Way

To grow plants in an old coffee mug these are the tools you will need. 

  • Small stones (small rocks, gravel, pieces of mugs, or brick can all work as long as they are small enough).
  • Gardening soil.
  • Coco peat or peat moss.
  • A spray bottle.
  • A glass of water. 
  • Scissors. 
  • A pencil.
  • Cuttings of your desired plant.

Follow these easy steps on how to grow a plant in a mug.

Step 1. Fill the bottom of the mug with about 0.39 inches (1 centimeter) of your small rocks.

Step 2. Make a half and half mixture of your gardening soil and coco peat.

Step 3. Fill the rest of the coffee mug up with your Coco peat and soil mix, making sure to leave 0.59 inches (1.5 centimeters) at the top of the mug open; this will be important later.

Step 4. Mist the soil mix and gently pat it so the surface is even and flat.

Step 5. Take the scissors and cut some clones (also known as cuttings) off the mother plant and place the stems in water. NOTE you must choose a plant that can grow well from a clone.

Step 6. Use a pen, pencil, or stick to make a hole in the soil about 0.39 inches deep (1 centimeter), then place the stem of one of the clones in the cavity and close the gap around it. 

Step 7. Repeat this process for all clones, making sure not to place them too close together.

Step 8. Take more of the soil mix and pack it around the clones, ensuring they are securely in place.

Step 9. Mist the soil mix thoroughly to ensure it has a good moisture content, then water twice a week afterward. 

Optional Step. At this point, the project could be seen as complete. If you wish to, you can take some of the small stones and put a thin layer on top of the soil so that the soil doesn’t get disturbed when watering, leaving craters in the soil. You can also take a zip lock bag and mist the inside, then put it over the mug as a humidity dome.

Method Two For Growing Plants In A Mug

This is a slightly more complex method; however, it is essentially the same process as method one with a few tweaks and adjustments. 

Essentials For Growing Plants In A Mug Like A Pro

To grow plants in an old coffee mug, here are the tools you will need.

  • Small stones (small rocks, gravel, pieces of mugs, or brick can all work as long as they are small enough).
  • A wire mesh (cut to fit on the inside of the mug).
  • Scissors.
  • Potting soil.
  • Coco peat or peat moss.
  • A spray bottle.
  • A small glass of water. 
  • A drill or Dremel. 
  • A pencil.
  • Pre propagated cuttings of your desired plant.

Follow these easy steps on how to grow a plant in a mug.

Step 1. Use your preferred method to make three or four holes in the bottom of your old mug. Review the process for “How To Make Holes In Ceramics” if you have never drilled holes in ceramic, then proceed to step 2.

Step 2. Fill the bottom of the mug with about 0.39 inches (1 centimeter) of your small rocks.

Step 3. Take the wire mesh and place it on top of the layer of small rocks.

Step 4. Make a 50/50 mix of your potting soil and coco peat or peat moss.

Step 5. Fill the rest of the coffee mug up with your Coco peat and potting soil mix, making sure to leave 0.59 inches (1.5 centimeters) at the top of the mug open.

Step 6. Mist the soil mix and gently pat it to ensure the surface is even and flat.

Step 7. Use a pen, pencil, or stick to make a hole in the soil about 0.39 inches deep (1 centimeter), then place the root and stem of one of the propagated clones in the cavity and close the hole around it.

Step 8. Repeat this process for all the propagated clones, making sure not to place them too close together.

Step 9. Take some more soil mix and pack it in the gaps around the clones, ensuring the stems are securely in place.

Step 10. Mist the potting soil mix thoroughly, ensure that the soil is thoroughly moistened, then water twice a week.

Optional step. If you wish to, you can take some of the small stones and apply a thin layer on top of the soil so that the soil doesn’t get scattered when watering, leaving craters in the soil.

How To Make Holes In Ceramics 

You can use many methods to make holes in the bottom of an old coffee mug, but we are only going to go over two of these methods; the drill method and the Dremel method.

The Drill Method For Making Holes In A Ceramic Mug

To use a drill to make holes in your old mug or mugs, you will have to use a 0.2 inch (5mm) glass and tile drill bit (the bit doesn’t have to be precisely 0.2 inches for it to work, just as long as the bit isn’t too large).

You should follow the low and slow rules when drilling into the mug. Going low and slow means you must not use the drill at high speed, and you should take your time when drilling, letting the bit do the work instead of pressing down on it. 

Having a mister or spray bottle on hand to intermittently spray your holes is a great idea. Spraying the hole while drilling can prevent the ceramic from getting too hot.

Using A Dremel To Make Holes In Ceramic

You will need a Dremel bit that can cut glass. There are various bits to choose from for cutting through glass, but the best bit to use is a circular diamond-tipped Dremel bit, as it won’t leave any sharp burrs afterward.

Other than the appliance and bit used, the Dremel method is pretty much the same as the drill method in that you must go low and slow and use water to cool the mug down constantly.

Conclusion

Once all is said and done, you know two methods to turn an old broken mug into a new oasis of life for your precious house plants.

You have also learned that you can use a drill or Dremel to cut through ceramics without breaking them.

References

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