TIP: if you are propagating a succulent, make sure the stem has had 1-2 days to callus over. If you plant it right after cutting, there is a chance that it will rot instead of growing roots. Read more about propagating succulents.
Things that are tiny are somehow cuter than normal sized things - baby animals, unbelievably small full grown animals, cherry tomatoes, cupcakes, espresso shots, Mini cars, bonsai plants... and of course tiny succulents!
When I was studying biology and genetics at University, I really, really wanted to create a gene therapy that would cause animals to stay the size they were basically born at - can you imagine??? Tiny floppy puppies, fluffy peep-peep chicks, and teacup pigs that actually stay the size of teacups! But then I realized that it was ethically and morally wrong and moved on to creating amazing bikes for smaller sized people... and some tall people too :)
The trick to finding a tiny plant that will live happily in a Living Coaster is to first consider where it's going to be living and how often it will be sharing a drink with you. Basically, think about how much light the plant will see throughout the day and how much water it will get a week. The soil you use also plays a role. And of course, the plant type and variation is critical for having a happy, low maintenance tiny drinking buddy.
Living Coaster has a UV protectant added to the plastic so it will stay looking nice if it is used outside on the patio. Just note that you will need to keep it protected from rain since it has no drain hole and a heavy rain will drown your plants!
Most offices and living rooms will fall under the partial sun/shade category. Some full sun plants will survive and grow, they just might not flower or could appear "leggy." For those sun loving plants, you can treat them by setting them on a south facing windowsill over the weekend.
Fast draining cactus mix soils will dry out quicker and will take less water to fully saturate. Where as, heavy black potting mix soils will take a bit more water to saturate and will hold onto it longer. Most of the time, you will want to use the soil that your plant is in when you buy it. I live in a hot and medium humidity climate and coasters that have cactus soil mixes completely dry out in 1-2 days. Also know that with the small size of Living Coaster's plant pot, it will dry out quicker than the larger 2-4" plant nursery sized pot.
Not sure of how humid it is? I would suggest to do a test with your Living Coasters before you plant your plants. Just enjoy a cold drink as usual with an empty coaster and then see how much water has pooled at the bottom. I would also recommend rinsing the coasters out when you first get them as it will help the water flow a little easier once it has been wet. If you've got only a few droplets, you may need to give a little extra water to your plants once a week or you could add more ice to your drink.
If you are in a hot humid environment or enjoy having more than one ice-cold drinks at a time, you may find that there is too much water for your plants and the soil is supersaturated. When that happens, I just carefully tip out the extra water or use a napkin to soak up the excess. Most plants won't have an issue with this as long as the soil can dry out before the next watering.
Succulents are my top choice for Living Coasters as they tend to be low maintenance, come in a variety of colors and shapes and will propagate easily if they become too big or if you want more. With succulents being so trendy, you can also find them everywhere for cheap. If you're looking for something special, check out the online garden shops that I've listed here to find your dream plant.
Cacti work great too, just be sure your variety doesn't have too large of tap root, as it might not fit in the pot. Also, a cactus's spines may be a bit of a hazard after a cocktail or two!
Moss and ferns are super cute in a Living Coaster and can be found by going on a walk in the woods. Some types of moss will 'hibernate' if it hasn't been watered in a while and then will spring back to life once watered. This might be a good choice if you travel a lot.
HOW TO KEEP THEM TINY
Plants in a small pot won't stop growing, but they may stall or slow down. Some variety of plants happen to be very slow growing, like the Haworthia and Copiapoa Laui cactus and will last years in your coaster. If your plant does outgrow your Living Coaster, you could simply make a new home for it and transplant it into a larger pot... which would then allow you to buy a new tiny plant (addicts rejoice!). If it is a succulent, and it's now too tall, you can chop off it's "head" and either plant the "head" back in the coaster or plant the "head" in a different pot and see if the stalk shoots up new tiny plants. Read more about succulent propagation here.
LIVING COASTER PLANT GUIDE
Here are a few plant types that will work in a Living Coaster based on light and watering needs:
There are many other varieties/sub-varieties of the plants mentioned here and many completely different species that have not been mentioned. Feel free to experiment and grow something different! Tag me in Twitter or Instagram @livingcoaster and I will feature your coaster!
Have questions? You can post a comment below or message me directly on Facebook or with email.