houseplant makeover to coordinate with interior

November 4, 2011

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post I had a fun little do-it-yourself today. This DIY’s focus is on giving your houseplants a makeover so they coordinate with your interior.

All the houseplants in our home expect for one newbie have been in dire need of attention since we moved in July. Since our house is only 1100 sq.ft. we have very little room to put things so the houseplants have to live on a concrete console table in our living room front window. There they get lots of light and they are not cluttering up other surfaces in our small space.

As you can see from the picture they are very messy. Most of the messy look is coming from the miss match collection of containers and saucers. So I decided to clean these green gems up to help give them a more unified look so they start to belong in our home.

I did not want to spend a fortune on new containers, plus when I can, I like to reuse or re-purpose objects for a new use, which is the angle I took on this project. I headed to a local thrift shop and picked up all the white bowls, dishes, vases, pots I could find to use as the new containers for the houseplants. I spent $25.92 on all the containers and $8.98 on cactus soil and potting soil, a very inexpensive makeover. I had the sphagnum moss already; a bag is $9.99 to $14.99.

I opted out of having saucers as I find I spill ever time I water, so all the containers I selected had to have a solid bottom. This does make watering a little trickier now that there is no drainage but if you use your finger to check the soil for moisture before you water you will be fine. It is recommended that houseplants only be watered when the soil is dry to the touch. You can also add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of the container before filling with soil to help with drainage as well.

Please note: use potting soil for all foliage and flowering plants. Cactus soil for all cactus and succulents and sphagnum moss or bark chips for orchids.

The transplanting part is easy; follow these steps:

  1. Clean all containers with soapy water and dry.
  2. Potting soil is usually bone dry; if your potting soil is bone dry soak it before you use it by pouring water into the bag and mixing the soil well. Same for the sphagnum moss, it must be wet before you use it. Cactus soil can be dry to use it.
  3. Select a container that is slightly larger than the current pot.  For example 4″ pot goes into a 6″ pot. Do not jump from small to super larger as this can shock the plant.
  4. Place a small amount of soil in the bottom of the container you are transplanting into.
  5. Gently remove the plant from its original pot, avoid disturbing the roots when removing.
  6. If roots are tightly packed together very gently try and loosen them a bit.  You want the roots to grow into the new soil not back into the root mass.
  7. Place the plant into the new container.
  8. Gently fill in the space around the root mass with soil.
  9. Make sure you keep the top of the soil level the same height, therefore do not bury the plant deeper than it already is.
  10. Once the soil is nicely packed round the root mass, water with plenty of water.
  11. If you wish dress up the top of the soil with rock, moss, coloured pebbles to finish the look.  (I did not do this step here but I have in past blog posts herehere and here.)
  12. Place the newly made over plant in a spot in your home that fits its lighting requirements and enjoy the new accent.

Here are a few of the plants in their new white vintage containers.

Above the plant are shown back in their home after the makeover into all white containers. I could not be happier now that the old miss matched containers are gone along with the messy saucers that drove me nuts. This new uniform look gave the plants a lift they need to belong in our home.

Do you have some plant in your house that could use a makeover?