Grow a Teacup Garden

Table of Contents

Teacup gardens are a charming addition to your houseplant collection. Vintage teacups are typically inexpensive and easy to obtain from thrift shops, garage and yard sales, flea markets or your own cupboard. They’re a good way to start cuttings that can eventually be moved to a larger container. They also make beautiful and novel table decorations for parties, a luncheon, or a tea party! Note: this is not a project for your great grandmother’s bone china, unless you don’t mind that the cup may get discolored by soil or hard water.


Teacup and saucer

Small plant or plant cuttings

Potting soil

Newspaper, craft paper, or plastic to protect table if working indoors

Helpful but not required:

Power drill

¼” drill bit


1. Select a teacup and a saucer. They don’t have to be exact mates, as long as you think they look pretty together. If you want your teacup to have a drainage hole, now is the time to carefully drill a hole in the bottom. “Safety first” – porcelain is slippery and can shatter easily. Hand and eye protection are a good idea. Place the cup over an old piece of wood or outside on a soil area. Drill from the inside of the cup. Go slowly applying light, steady pressure until the hole is drilled through.

2. If using a potted plant, remove the plant from the pot and separate into smaller plants if needed. Set the plant in the teacup and fill in with potting mix.

removing a houseplant from a pot

dividing a houseplant

3. If using plant cuttings, make the cuttings and remove all the lowest leaves so that you have bare stem to bury in the soil.

4. Fill the teacup about two-thirds full with soil. Set in your cutting(s) and add more soil to fill. Lightly press the soil to remove air pockets.

5. Leave about a quarter inch between the soil surface and top of cup to avoid water overflowing the cup when watering. Water in the plant.

planting a plant in a teacup

6. If you are not putting a drainage hole in the cup, be careful to give you plant just enough water to saturate the soil, without filling the cup to the top.

watering a houseplant in a teacup

For fun you can add small figurines, special stones, or other trinkets to your teacup garden.

Show us your teacup garden creations by sharing a photo to the My Garden Life Facebook page.


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