Creating a living arrangement for your table top!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Professional Associates

By: Brenna Malmberg

Bring together plants in a catchall that’s pretty for a coffee table or bookshelf

A catchall isn’t just for keys and jewelry. It can also become a base for a living plant arrangement to enjoy on a tabletop now, then transplant later as the plants grow. In this episode of Houzz TV, watch as plant designer Baylor Chapman, founder of Lila B. Design and author of The Plant Recipe Book, creates a small living arrangement in a blue catchall. Grab a few plants and a spray bottle of water, and you’re ready to design your own tabletop display.


Tools and Materials:

  • Catchall or other plant container

  • Potted plants (Chapman uses echeveria, crassula, peperomia and jasmine)

  • Clumping moss

  • Spray bottle of water

  • Air plants


Check the Container’s Drainage:


This catchall has a stopper in the bottom. Chapman left the stopper in the catchall for this arrangement because it will be indoors and she will oversee its watering. Keeping the container plugged protects your tabletop from water damage, she says.


You can also unplug the catchall or ensure that your container has drainage holes for happier plants.


Arrange Your Plants:


Chapman selected plants growing in 2-inch and 4-inch containers. Her picks also stick with a pink-gray-green color scheme.


Echeveria: She starts the display with three echeveria plants.


Chapman recommends putting a little dirt from the plant pot in the bottom of the catchall so that your plants are even with the lip.


Crassula: Chapman picked this plant to add some sweet flowers to the display.


As you add potted plants, break apart the soil to free the roots.


Peperomia: Chapman adds this plant because it’s tough, but also for its reddish color and crinkly leaves.


Jasmine: This plant drapes out of the catchall and adds a nice fragrance to the arrangement.


Clumping moss: Before you start working with the clumping moss, spray it with a little water. This makes it easier to work with and less dusty, she says. Then pull apart the moss and use the smaller pieces to fill in any holes and cover the soil. This polishes up the arrangement, Chapman says.


Once you are done adding moss, press the moss and soil down to secure the plants.


Air plants: Top off your arrangement with a few air plants. You’re done!


Care for Your Arrangement!


Water: You will want to water your plants about once a week. Chapman says that the jasmine needs more water than the rest, so focus your efforts on that. “Water slowly and gently — better to water too little than too much,” she says.


If your container is plugged, make sure that your water doesn’t pool at the bottom. If it does, you can gently tip the container and drain out the excess water.


Light: Place your arrangement in bright light. This will help it continue to look great.

Placement: Because this catchall creates a small arrangement, Chapman says it would be a terrific addition to a coffee table or a bookshelf, letting the jasmine drape off the shelf. Move your plants to larger containers or the ground when they begin to outgrow the catchall.


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Lottie Kendall
Pacific Union International - San Francisco, CA
Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley

This sounds intriguing. I guess I need a picture to really put it all together in my mind. 

Dec 29, 2016 07:54 AM #1
Karen Sackett
BizEBee Virtual Assistants LLC - Suffolk, VA
BizEBee Business Services

That sounds like a great idea! Thanks

Dec 29, 2016 07:55 AM #2
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