Cactus and other succulents are low maintenance. Unlike other house plants, they do not require much watering, pruning or deadheading.
Because of these factors, these plants are easier to keep alive in unconventional planters — like your old boots. It’s a classic upcycle and if you are new to all of this then its a very easy and satisfying way to start. It’s a practical use for your old well trodden friends and the visual treat of plants of any kind in an old pair of boots never gets old.
- Your old pair of boots
- Drill (or hammer and nail)
- Handful of medium sized rocks/stones
- Small hand shovel
- Potting soil
- Succulent of your choice
Step 1: Make drainage holes
Remove the insoles of the boots if there are any.
Using the drill, drill some holes in the bottom of the boots for proper drainage. It is important to drill holes since if water stands inside the boot, the roots of your plants might get too wet and rot.
Use a larger bit and drill holes about an inch apart.
If you do not have a drill, you can also use a hammer and a large nail and start punching holes.
Step 2: Weigh them down
This is where the stones come in. The idea is to weigh the boot down so it doesn’t fall over. Stones will also provide some additional drainage. So fill the toes and ‘shoe’ of the boot to about the ankle mark with your stones, fairly tightly packed.
To use the cement method you need to:
Prepare the quick dry cement or plaster of Paris according to the manufacturer’s direction.
Line up your old pair of boots. Fill up 1/4 of the boot with the prepared cement. Allow to dry.
If you use the cement method try making a small hole with your drill or hammer and nail somewhere in your boot (doesn’t have to be visible) above the cement line to provide drainage for your soil.
Step 2: Potting soil
Once the rocks are in place, or you cement is dry (if you are using it), fill the boot with the potting soil and plant your succulent. Most succulents aren’t fussy but if you are unsure you can ask at your garden centre what the best potting soil for succulents is.
Lastly water well when first planted and follow the care instructions for the succulent you have chosen.
Step 3: Find the perfect spot
If you are planting outside then the stones/rocks or cement are essential to make sure it doesn’t get blown over in the wind.
If you are planning to keep your boot planter indoors you will need some sort of tray or plate to place it in to catch any drained water. Although succulents don’t need a lot of watering that doesn’t mean they never get watered!
You can get more creative with where you place your boot planter if it is going outside as you don’t need an extra plate underneath it. So it can go on a doorstep, front porch, or in a peekaboo corner of the garden as a fun surprise for explorers.
Succulents enjoy the sun so for best results pick a sunny spot or window ledge.
For another fun upcycle idea for your old boots check out our boot to bag how to guide.