Alpine colanders

Why not plant up an old colander with some Sempervivums and sedums? These clever plants have developed thick fleshy leaves which store water to survive hot and sunny weather, so need very little watering.

Make an alpine colander

What you'll need

  • Old colander

  • Compost

  • Small Sempervivum and sedum plants (look for them in the alpines section of a garden centre)

  • Decorative gravel or horticultural grit

  • Water

What to do

  1. Fill an old colander half way up with compost. Place your sedum plants where you would like them to be and then fill around the gaps with compost.

  2. Take your Sempervivum plant and carefully pull apart the different rosettes. Plant the larger ones in the top of the colander by making a space for their roots with your finger and firming the compost around them afterwards.

  3. Use the smaller Sempervivum rosettes with strong runners (the bit of stem from which it is growing) to push through the holes around the top of the colander. It is easier if you use an old pencil to make a hole for the runner first.

  4. Place small decorative gravel around the plants. Not only does this make your colander look great but it also stops the plants being splashed with compost or the leaves sitting on wet ground. Water the plants in well. Even though they are good at putting up with dry weather, it is worth keeping them regularly watered for the first few weeks while they settle into their new home and start growing.

Tip: If you have a wall bracket, you can use garden wire or lengths of chain to turn your colander into an unusual hanging basket.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.