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Cultivating succulent plants and creating a composition in glass vases

Let's see how to successfully cultivate succulent plants inside a glass vase obtained from a bottle and create a beautiful composition.

by BioGrow

In this article, we will see how to create a composition of succulent plants in glass bottles in an artisanal way. To create these small artistic pieces, we have recycled rounded demijohns, ideal for making glass vases. Inside these containers, after properly arranging the bottom, we then introduced our succulent plants in a choreographic manner. The result is a very beautiful composition of indoor or outdoor plants.

Although it may seem complex, the process of creating the composition of succulent plants is actually simple. The most delicate part is recycling the glass bottle and transforming it into a vase.
In the following photo gallery, we illustrate step by step how to cut the glass with an easy and artisanal system that will surprise you.
With this method, you will also transform simple glass bottles into very original vases for succulent plants, perfect for creating beautiful compositions.

How to cultivate succulent plants inside glass vases

Composition of succulent plants in glass vases
Let’s see the materials needed to create the composition of succulent plants inside glass vases.
First of all, you need medium-sized glass demijohns (to be transformed into vases). Demijohns or similar bottles are easy to find around, perhaps in old attics.
They were once used to contain wine or oil, but nowadays they are not in use. Today, regular bottles are preferred.
The other materials needed are:

  • Nylon thread
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • A glass
  • Sandpaper
  • Lighter (a kitchen gas lighter is better)
  • Succulent plant cuttings
  • Expanded clay
  • Potting soil
  • Sand.

Glass demijohns
Denatured alcohol, succulent cuttings, nylon thread, lighter

How to cut the glass with fire

The highlight of this artisanal composition is cutting the glass with fire. As we have seen, we will use very simple tools that are available to everyone. However, handling fire is dangerous, so before proceeding, make sure everything is safe (especially ensure that any flammable material is far away from the flames).
So, now that everything is safe, here’s how to proceed:

Take measurements

First, decide how much of the top part of the bottle you want to cut. This choice is crucial because the cut will be the opening mouth of our glass vases.
To do this, tie a simple loop knot with the nylon thread (doubled).
Composition of succulent plants in glass vases, with a knot around the demijohn
Then, place the thread around the neck of the glass demijohn. At this stage, this operation is only to understand how far to tighten the knot.
How to transform a bottle into a glass vase for succulents
Next, after making the knot, remove the thread and soak it for a few minutes in a glass with ethyl alcohol (denatured ethanol).
Wire to cut the glass vase immersed in alcohol

Precautions and igniting the fire

When the thread is well soaked, place it around the neck of the demijohn, at the point previously measured. Make sure the nylon is taut around the neck.
Here comes the fundamental and most careful step: you need to set the nylon thread around the demijohn on fire. So take all the necessary precautions.
Use a kitchen gas lighter to increase safety. Move the alcohol you used earlier away and clear the worktable. After doing this, set fire to the nylon (and the glass)!
Burning thread around the glass container to cut the glass

Water and Bottle Cutting

Once the nylon is lit, the flame will wrap around the bottle along the entire wire. A small fiery circle. Don’t be alarmed and let the flame burn out completely. It will only take a few moments. As soon as the alcohol is consumed, the flame will extinguish. At this point, pass the demijohn under cold water. This way, with a sudden and instantaneous pop, the glass will detach along the line of the wire. If your sink is high, place sponges or rags on the bottom, creating a soft cushion to prevent injuries in case the bottle, during its division, should slip from your hand. The more evenly you position the wire with the alcohol, the greater the precision of the cut.
Glass container for the composition of succulent plants submerged in water
It would be advisable to use gloves during these operations as additional protection. We didn’t do it, but, to reduce the risks, we should have.
If this procedure seems too complex (but we assure you it is not), you can proceed using a common glass cutter.
A regular glass cutter, also available online.

Smoothing the Glass Vase

The cut bottle, which will become our glass vase containing the composition of succulents, is now very dangerous. Handle it with caution.
The edge, in this phase, is extremely sharp, so do not touch it and be very careful.
The next step is crucial. Essentially, you need to smooth the edge of the glass vase (formerly a demijohn) with sandpaper.
So take a nice piece of sandpaper and vigorously rub it along the entire surface of the cut. The friction between the sandpaper and the bottle will generate glass powder. Be precise and don’t leave any spot untreated.
At the end of the work, you will notice that the edge is no longer sharp.

Glass container sanding or polishing

Interior of the Glass Vase

Now let’s move on to the composition of succulents in our glass vase.
First, let’s start by filling the bottom of the vase with a nice layer of expanded clay.
Composition of succulent plants in a glass container with expanded clay
Expanded clay is essential. Since the bottom of the glass vase is not pierced, it is necessary to ensure proper water drainage, and expanded clay performs this task admirably.
After the expanded clay, naturally, we need to fill our vase with potting soil.
Composition of succulent plants in a glass vase filled with potting soil
Once the layer of soil is formed, the time has finally come to create our composition of succulents.

Composition of succulent plants with cuttings

Composition of Succulents

For our composition of succulents, we have used cuttings of cacti and some succulents. These types of succulents seemed ideal for this type of composition. Firstly, because they easily take root. Secondly, because they have slower and more easily manageable growth.
Using a small stick, we made holes and inserted the succulent cuttings into the soil. We chose to position a cactus in the center, which will tend to grow upward. While on the sides, we placed the succulents, which will eventually grow and drape over the edges.

Composition of succulent plants
Composition of succulent plants in a glass vase
The final step is to add fine sand on the surface of the soil. In addition to the appealing scenic effect, sand further improves drainage and provides minerals to the plants. Essentially, it acts as a kind of fertilizer for succulents.
Another advantage of the sand is that it prevents weed growth, which could be challenging to manage once the plants have grown.

Composition of succulent plants in glass with sand

Care Tips

It is not recommended to carry out this work in the winter months, as the cold could create problems with the rooting of the cuttings. If the succulent composition is done in winter, we recommend keeping the glass vase inside the house, preferably near a light source, ideally on the windowsill. This way, the cuttings can easily transition to the outdoors in the spring.
Regarding watering, it is essential to minimize the amount of water to avoid any waterlogging.
Composition of succulent plants in glass demijohns
We have reached the end of this article, which we hope has sparked your imagination. The beauty of this type of composition is observing the soil and substrates we have created through the glass vase.
We thank Stefania, a dear friend of BioGrow, for the idea and realization of the succulent composition.

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