Just because your candles have run out of wax doesn’t mean that the jars they came in have to end their lives! Decorative candle jars can be perfect for small plants for your plant collection, or even as gifts!
I have tried a number of different ways to reuse candle jars, including drilling holes in the bottom (not always a good idea!!) and planting straight into jars (plants died of root rot!). I have found the best way to make these look great and keep the plant as happy as possible is to put a small pot inside the jar. This ensures that there is adequate drainage and that if you need, you can remove the pot to check for its health or swap out easily.
Below is a step by step guide to make the most of your candle jars as planters.
You will need
- empty candle jars
- small rocks or perlite
- small pots with growing medium (potting mix or perlite)
1. Gather your empty candle jars and ensure you have removed as much wax as possible. If there is still some that you can’t remove, try using a wax melter to finish off the last bits of wax. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it all out, a small amount at the bottom won’t be an issue because of the next steps.
2. Clean the jars and remove the small wick from the bottom if you can (it’s not the end of the world if you can’t!)
Now here’s the secret to ensuring your plants will survive in your reused candle jars: don’t plant them directly into it! This way, you can always check on it by removing the inside pot without making a mess.
3. Fill the jars to about 30-50% full of the stones or perlite, depending on the height of the pot you will put inside
Gold Candle Jar has been prepared with stones and is ready for small fern to be placed inside
4. Put the small pot on top of the stones and adjust the amount of stones so that the plant isn’t sitting too high or too low
Now you can swap and change between jars easily without any damage to the plant. Also you can easily upgrade it to a bigger pot once its ready. I find that I like to swap them out frequently, so having the small pot sitting in the jar means changing won’t disturb the plant as much as replanting each time would.
You don’t always have to use a smaller pot plant inside the candle jar. I have found that it is ok to directly plant soil into a candle jar if the plant need very little water, like a succulent. I usually will mist mine once a week and about once every two months or so give a bit more water to the soil.
Succulent as a gift
This makes a meaningful and unique gift for anyone. Below are some more images and inspiration for different interpretations.
Succulents as memories
On a recent holiday I took a leaf from a succulent and brought it home. I have managed to successfully get the leaf to produce roots and new growth. Hopefully this will soon grow into a happy and healthy succulent which I can keep as a memory of a special holiday! If you are interested in knowing more about how to propagate from a leaf like this, I have a post about this here
Chilli Plant as gift
A chilli plant makes an excellent gift because it is relatively low maintenance and can be used in the kitchen! If you grow them from seed it makes a cheap and unique gift for anyone who loves chillis, cooking, or just gardening! This specific chilli is an ornamental one, the fruit grows vertically and is truly stunning when it produces the fruit. For more gift ideas, see this complete post
Completed sets of candle jar planters
See our other plant stories here
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