Recycling with African violets … a simple DIY

In keeping with my goal to declutter, I’ve started organizing my kitchen cupboards. Way back in the corner, I found this long-forgotten pan.

One thing is certain - I have more pots and pans than I need. I really don’t need this pan - but I like it. So, I set it on my dining room table (one of those out of sight, out of mind things) and went back to cleaning in the kitchen.

In the meantime, I went shopping at Home Depot and found a rack of plants on sale for two dollars apiece. I can’t resist a sale. There were several varieties, including three very sad looking African violets. But, for only two dollars each, I decided to take them home and try to bring them back to life.

I didn’t have time to plant them when I got home, so I set them in the I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-pan, gave them a little water and put them on the sunny end of the table.

In the meantime, I had the flu for a week and lots of work to catch up with afterwards, so the violets just sat there, minding their own business. About ten days later, however, this is what I found …


The violets were now thriving. That pan provided a good environment. So I decided to make it a permanent home for the violets.

I gathered some rocks, moss, and potting soil. To start, I put some rocks in the bottom of the pan to keep the soil drained. African violets like moist, but not wet, soil.


I added just a little moss - to help keep the soil damp.


Next I arranged the three african violet plants in the pan, loosely added potting soil around the plants, and added moss on top of the soil, between the plants.


And here’s the finished product …


Please keep in mind that I am anything but an expert in the care and planting of African violets. This may work … or it may not. I am pretty good at killing indoor plants. But at least I found a good use for that pan.

Remember all the two-dollar plants … Here’s a pink kalanchoe that also was once quite forlorn but now has flourished and brightens my kitchen table.


‘Just living is not enough,’ said the butterfly. ‘One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.’ —- Hans Christian Andersen


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