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DIY Repurposed Desert Moon Cactus Zen Garden

The DIY Repurposed Desert Moon Zen Garden is the perfect way to bring the desert habitat to you!  Palm Springs, anyone?

These pictures are at least five-years-old and were taken my point-and-shoot camera back then.  I think they hold up pretty well, don't you?

I love zen gardens so much.  I mean, who doesn't heart them?  That's why this is going to be my series on zen gardens!

Every zen garden that I share on the blog, will be repurposed from a large or small candle jar lid.  I love to repurpose items whenever possible!  Reduce, reuse, recycle!

It's also important to note that each zen garden creation will have a different habitat.  For example, rainforest, beach, woodland, swamp, etc.  This is to really embrace our inner nature!

A little background.  I used to sell these exact little zen gardens, as recently as a year ago.  It was a lot of fun, but my favorite thing is sharing information and writing my little heart out.  So, here you go!

You're welcome!

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DIY Repurposed Desert Moon Cactus Zen Garden


  • A small or large candle jar lid
  • Sand.  I used real sand from the Florida beaches.  I recommend using natural decorative sand from Terrarium SupplyCo on Etsy.
  • Moon cactus babies in bright colors.  The only kind I've been able to find is rescued moon cactus babies that have been grafted.  I'll keep looking around for you, but yeah, it's been an issue.  My moon cactus babies were given to me for free, which you can read about in Pet Plants Nostalgia.
  1. Make sure candle jar lid is washed and dried first.
  2. Next, add the substrate, which in this case would be the sand.  If you live in the desert, use live sand.  Live near the beach?  You can use beach sand.  Just find something natural.  
  3. Now add moon cactus babies to the top (see important note below) of the sand.  Make sure they have what they need.
  4. Snap some pictures of your little moon cactus cuties!
  5. Give each one a name or give them a group collective name.  I still like the name moon cactus cuties because they remind me of those tiny little oranges called cuties at the grocery store!
Important Information:  So, at some point, you're going to have to propagate your moon cactus babies.  It won't survive as just a head with no body.  

It needs that bottom or "green" part of another cactus to grow on.  In this case, you'll want to make multiple desert habitat zen gardens, as they get bigger.  

This is the best post I've ever read on Rescuing a Moon Cactus.  Enjoy!
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