Plants That Can Be Grown In Coffee Mugs

Have you ever wondered what you can do with those old, chipped, or broken coffee mugs? Or maybe you are searching for an alternative way to decorate your house. Coffee mugs and other large mugs are the perfect cute containers for planting small cacti, succulents, and even some herbs. Before starting your planting project, find out what plants you can grow in coffee mugs.

There are several different cacti, succulents, and herbs that can be grown in coffee mugs. The following lists some of those plants:

  • Jade Plant
  • Zebra Plant
  • Snake Plant
  • Echeveria
  • Bunny Ear Cactus
  • Star Cactus
  • Hens And Chicks
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Basil

Great, the first step to fantastic coffee mug planted plants is over. We know which kind of plants will do well in coffee mugs, and we are almost ready to start planning which plants would best suit our environments. Before deciding which plants you will choose for your coffee mug, it’s always best to look at some of the finer details about your selected plants to ensure that they are the best fit for you.

What Plants Can You Grow In Coffee Mugs?

Remember, when planting any plant into a coffee mug, you need to have a decent water drainage situation. You can either achieve good drainage by using a ceramic drill bit to drill a small hole in the bottom of your coffee mug. Or you can make a layer of small pebbles and grit in the bottom before adding your plant-specific soil on top. Also, beware of how often you water coffee mug plants as it is pretty easy to overwater them.

Succulents, cacti, and herbs are the best options for growing in coffee mugs. Let’s look at a couple of different ones that you can grow in a coffee mug.

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

Jade plants are South African natives that need full sun and well-drained soils. They prefer hardiness zones 11 – 12. One thing to remember with Jade plants is that they are toxic to dogs and cats.

These are excellent choices for coffee mugs as they are slow growers and therefore stay small for a long time. These succulents have oval-shaped, fleshy leaves and woody, thick stems similar to tiny tree trunks. Jade plants don’t often bloom indoors, but they will produce a white flower in springtime if they do.

Zebra Plant (Haworthia fasciata)

Haworthias are succulents native to South Africa, and they prefer partial shade to full sun with well-drained, sandy soil. They produce white flowers in summer and grow best in hardiness zones 9 – 11. Zebra plants typically only grow to around 4 – 5 inches tall and are perfect for coffee mug growing. Their distinctive pointy green leaves are covered with white bands or dots. These funky leaves make them a fun choice for growing in coffee mugs.

Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Snake plants are one of the hardiest and most popular house plants. Compact and dwarf varieties do best in coffee cups. Native to West Africa, these plants prefer partial sun to full shade. They grow best in well-drained and sandy soils and hardiness zones 9 – 11. They are rare bloomers, but if you are lucky enough to have one flower for you, it will be in the spring, and the flower will be white. One thing to remember is that these plants are toxic to dogs and cats.

Echeveria (Echeveria)

Echeverias are a very commonly used succulent. With their plump leaves shaped like rosettes, you can get these plants in various colors. Their close resemblance to flowers makes them an attractive option for coffee cup growing. They are low maintenance, preferring bright direct sunlight and well-draining soils.

Depending on the species, they bloom between spring and summer with various flower colors. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America, and their hardiness zones will depend on the particular species.

Bunny Ear Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

These cacti sport little pads that resemble bunnies’ ears. They are a perfect choice for tall coffee mugs. These low-maintenance cacti are native to Mexico and prefer full sun with well-draining, sandy soils. They flower in the summer months producing white and yellow flowers and grow best in hardiness zones 9a – 11b.

Star Cactus (Astrophytum spp.)

These cool-looking cacti got their name from their ribbed structure, which is star-like if you view them from above. They are slow-growing cacti native to Mexico and some portions of the Southwest U.S. They grow best in full sun with coarse, sandy soil. The best for them is your average cactus potting mix.

Their slow growth and cool-looking appearance make them excellent for coffee mug growing. Star cacti produce yellow flowers, and the bloom times depend on the species. They grow optimally in hardiness zones 9 – 11.

Hens And Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

These low-growing evergreen succulents have the appearance of rubbery roses. Their fleshy, thick pads arrange themselves into rosettes. Their leaves have pointed ends with tips that are either purple or shades of red. Their slow growth and evergreen nature make them terrific choices for growing in coffee mugs.

Native to Africa and Europe prefer full sun and sandy soils and grow best in hardiness zones 3 – 8. They produce star-shaped red-purple or pale pink flowers that grow on the end of a thick flower stalk. 

Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

Rosemary is a shrubby herb that can be grown in coffee mugs indoors if you give them the proper attention and tend to them appropriately. They will need excellent sunlight conditions and loamy soil that is well-hydrated and well-drained. If you want your rosemary to stay small, it’s a good idea to repot it in the springtime. Snip off about a third of your plants’ roots during the repotting process to stunt their growth.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley is native to Europe and typically grown as an annual herb. Its lacy foliage is an excellent addition to recipes and makes a beautiful garnish. Parsley requires full sunlight, moist, loamy, and well-drained soils and grows best in hardiness zones 2 – 11. You can keep it in a sunny place that is easy to access while cooking, making it a great herb to plant in coffee mugs.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

This wonderfully versatile herb needs only the barest attention to survive. Ensure that this perennial herb receives adequate sunlight of at least eight hours a day, and it should flourish. As thyme does not need much room to grow, a coffee mug makes a perfect container for this herb. Ensure that you use well-draining, dry soil as thyme is susceptible to root rot.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is an easy indoor grower, and its popularity in the kitchen and delicious flavor makes it a fantastic option for coffee cup growing. Basil plants prefer full sunlight and well-drained, moist soils. They grow best in hardiness zones 2 – 11 and are native to Asia. As basils only require pots that are just big enough for the plant, select smaller plants for your coffee mugs.


Several different plants can be grown in coffee mugs, from cacti to succulents and herbs. As long as you provide adequate water drainage facilities, such as a small drilled hole in the bottom of the mug or pebbles and grit, your chosen plant should do well in its coffee mug container.


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