It's always a little devastating when you break a saucer and the teacup becomes redundant. Or you get heavy handed with the dishes and chip a pretty little milk jug. Well here's an idea for giving your fine china rif-raf a new lease on life: use them as cactus pots.
You can get miniature cactus plants from most gardening shops – I got mine from Kmart for $4 each. Make sure you get the smallest ones so they're size-appropriate for a teacup. I prefer the non-prickly varieties as they're easier to handle when re-potting, however if you want to show the cactus spike who's boss, then a strap of newspaper or pair of tongs makes the job easier.
Put a bit of potting mix/soil in the base of the teacup. Carefully take the cactus out of its container and check the roots. If they're bunched together (they probably will be), then give them a little tickle to loosen them up. Lower the cactus into the teacup and check that the base of the plant sits level with the rim of the teacup, if it doesn't you will need to add some more potting mix in the bottom. Finally, fill the rest of the teacup with potting mix, making sure you fill any air pockets around the roots.
When caring for your teacup cacti, keep an eager eye out for moisture in the soil – because there are no drainage holes in the bottom of the teacup it's very important you don't over-water your plants. For this reason they survive better indoors (safe from overzealous rain), particularly on windowsills where they get a lot of sun.
If you aren't plagued by butter fingers and would prefer to reserve your tea set for serving tea, then you can always scour the shelves of mismatched crockery at your local op-shop. Retro casserole dishes or sugar canisters also make great decorative cases for pot plants (but don't pot the plant directly into the casserole dish, or it will suffer the aforementioned waterlogged fate. Just sit an already potted plant inside).
I love my cactus!!! I really appreciate this article. I personally refer to my cactus as a pet because he isn't a decoration, he is part of the family now. (Note: I live in a no pets apartment, so I have to make do). Ours is in its original little pot but I'll definitely have to think about a new home for him some time, so this is great!