Planting succulents in old tea tins

Succulent planter DIY

I am obsessed with succulents lately. You might have seen my Vlog from Dublin design night were I went to a class and I learnt to make my own terrarium. Well, since making my terrarium I have been obsessed and I have been binging on Youtube videos and Pinterest posts on how to care for and plant succulents. In today’s post, I am going to reuse some vintage style tins and I will transform them into mini planters. I will also share a few tips that I found online for caring for your succulents in today’s post. 

Succulents, perfect plants for beginners like me!

When it comes to my outdoor plants I seem to be doing well, I keep the weeds at bay, I deadhead often and my perennials come back each year, however, when it comes to indoor plants I am a serial plant killer. I heard that succulents and cacti are easy enough to care for so I am going to give them a try. Did you know that indoor plants remove pollutants from the air by absorbing gases through their leaves and roots? Most varieties are also pet-friendly so I don’t have to worry about Blondie munching on my succulents, although I don’t think she will want to go near the cacti. 

I am using some vintage style tins in today’s post. I love the old style of these tins and they are too pretty to have hidden in the cupboard so I decided to reuse them as mini planters. That way I get to keep them out on display and they can home my succulents. 

I prepped my tins by washing them. I gave them a good scrub with some warm soapy water and let them dry. To add drainage to my tins I used a nail and hammer and I gently tapped some small holes into the base of the tin using the nail and hammer. From researching online most pages suggested having drainage in your planters. The terrarium I made in my class was glass and it does not have drainage which means I water it less than if it had drainage. 

For my soil, I added some special potting mix to my containers. I picked up a bag of the Westland cacti and succulent potting mix in Homebase. This was only a few euro and I have loads of soil left over for when I want to propagate them. Using a teaspoon, I added the soil to the tins. I gently loosened the roots of the plants and added them to the containers. I gently pressed the soil around the plant and made sure it was snug in the tin. I read online that you should wait a day or two before watering the new containers to avoid the roots rotting. Wait a few days before watering your newly potted plants. 

Some tips for caring for your cacti and succulents

When it comes to sunlight your succulents and cacti ideally need 4-6 hours of morning sunshine, this will differ in Winter and will also depend on how much sunlight you get in your home. The afternoon sunshine can be quite strong and can scorch your plants so make sure they aren’t in the direct afternoon sunlight. I am going to keep my plants in the kitchen as this is where I get the most sunlight. 

There isn’t a right answer when it comes to how often you should water your plants, but, the best tip I read was when the soil is dry then water your plant and when the soil is damp then leave your plant be. It all depends on whether you have good drainage in your container. In my terrarium, I have no drainage so I can water this less, however, In the containers in today’s post I will need to water these more as they have drainage holes at the bottom. You can also watch your plants as they will give you signs if they are getting too much or too little water. Watch out for wrinkles in the leaves, shrivelling and discoloured plants. You can use a syringe to water your plant or a small spray bottle. When watering, make sure you give it a good soak and give the root ball a good watering. 

Take cuttings 
I am not a pro at propagation, however, one of the leaves came off my echeveria and I decided to try and propagate it within a small pot. When I was binge watching videos on Youtube I saw how easy it was to propagate and take cuttings from your flowers. I will let you guys know how I get on with my cuttings.

I hope you liked today’s post, it was a fun way to reuse old tins and rescue them from the rubbish bin. If you give this DIY a try then send me a picture over on Instagram! You can also check out my Youtube video which I will link down below, don’t forget to subscribe and give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it.

Chat soon,

Please pin the below image to your Pinterest boards



  1. daintydressdiaries
    February 24, 2019 / 11:27 am

    Hi Claire, They havent started to rust yet. You don’t water succulents as often as other plants and the soil is mainly moist. When I water them I just wipe the base as the holes are likely where it will rust first.

  2. Claire
    February 23, 2019 / 2:35 pm

    How do they not rust since they get wet?

  3. Catherine Carton
    May 6, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    Yes, I agree, tea tins and old tea cup boxes are just to pretty to throw away x Thanks for reading!

  4. Lostvestige
    May 5, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    What an adorable idea! I often wonder what to do with my old tea tins, they're often too pretty to just throw away!

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