How to make Hypertufa

Hypertufa FullWhat the hell is that? That’s what I said when the Plant Man said the word, “Hypertufa.”

Hypertufa is a mixture of Portland cement, perlite, peat and a little water. You can create anything your mind will think up, but mostly, hypertufa is used for making planters for the garden. They have a very rustic and organic look to them …and a little primitive but that’s what makes them so awesome!

  • Portland Cement is the best cement to use for a project like this.
  • Perlite (or vermiculite) are those coarse white things used in potting soil.
  • Peat is just regular ol’ peat moss.
  • Dye (optional) can be used by adding cement dye in a powder form
  • The mix ratio for the 3 main ingredients (Porland Cement, Perlite & Peat) is 1:1:1

In a large container or tub, add all 3 ingredients together, then add a little water and mix together. Keep adding a little water at a time and mix thoroughly until everything is wet. When you pick up a handful and it sticks together then you know you have enough water…..only a little water should drip out when you pick it up. It’s kind of like building a sandcastle; too little water and it won’t stick, too much water and it’s too soupy to work with….. If it gets too wet then add more of the 3 ingredients to balance out the water.

Once it’s mixed you can place the hypertufa in something you have selected for a mold, like a bowl or bucket. Use plastic (trash/grocery bag) to line your mold or you can use non-stick cooking spray.

HypertufaBowl

HypertufaPlastic

If you’re making a planter then you place a smaller container inside the bigger one to hollow out a place for the plant to be placed and don’t forget to poke a hole in the bottom for drainage (if you want one) before you fill up your container. This piece is going to be mostly solid with the exception of 3 smaller holes for some plants.

The plant man will also insert stones, a branch and moss into the mixture so they become permanent fixtures after everything hardens.

Allow it to sit overnight then remove it from the mold and let it cure for another week or so.

Hypertufa Side

Hypertufa Top

If you feel like being creative you can come up with your own hypertufa mixture like the Plant Man did and alter the ingredients just a little bit. Not just the mixture ratio but he substituted and/or added his own new ingredients. I think I’ll keep his secrets ingredients to myself for a little mystery, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Does that make it a true hypertufa? Who cares…it’s still hypertufa-like.

Hypertufa Full

We’ll do another post once he gets all the plants on this thing!

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Comments

  1. I have been out of the loop for awhile. This is a fun craft. Very earthy. Simplistic appearance. Love it.

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