Thursday, January 31, 2013

First Friday DIY: Indoor "gardening"

So here's my confession:  I don't have a green thumb.  
From the responses that I get from people when talking about gardening, I have the feeling that I'm supposed to know what I'm doing with a bag of dirt and a trowel.  
It makes sense...I do put flowers together for a living.  
But that just it, I put them together.  
I buy them from a store, cut the stems, and arrange them in a glass of water.  
There is no gardening involved here.  
I wish I wish I wish I knew what I was doing in the yard.  One day, when the kids are bigger..maybe even out of the house...I will learn how, and when, and where to put, for example, a peony plant.  
For now, the one peony plant that I do have will keep putting out only 2-3 blooms a year, even though I know that it's supposed to be loaded down to the ground with flowers.  
I can't worry about it right now.  
I have to let that one go.  

I have, however, found something that I can do!  

I can buy a potted plant, set it on any flat surface in my house, water it every once in a while, and voila! a healthy plant is LIVING, thriving even, under my own care!

Here are some tips for sprucing up and choosing potted plants for your home.  

1. Trader Joe's sells the prettiest, and cheapest potted plants ever, but if you don't have one, a local grocery store,  Home Depot, or Lowe's will carry them as well.   Just check in the floral or indoor plant section. 

2.  Don't pay attention to the ugly cellophane wrapper on the container-you are going to ditch it as soon as you get it home.  

3. Look for green, healthy foliage and pretty blooms.  Sometimes I buy plants that haven't bloomed yet so that I can enjoy them longer.  


4.  Find a container in your garage, or around the house, that is a little bigger than the pot holding the plant.  Drop the plant down into the pretty container.  


5.  Water, and enjoy. This is my kind of gardening, people. 


I've recently had a bit of luck potting succulants, or echiveria, as well.   This is a little bit more involved, but if I can do it, you can too.  

If you buy the succulant already in a pot, you should be good to go with an established root system.  I usually just have the blooms from the wholesale flower shop where I buy them.  In this case, a little bit of the stem on the bottom needs to be cut off.  I use a paring knife for this-it's like cutting a broccoli stem. You are basically trimming off the dry part to let water absorb into the stem again and grow roots. 



The little roots below are what grow once the stem has been trimmed and planted in moist soil for a couple weeks.  


I use a potting soil that I bought at Home Depot for indoor plants.  
It just needs to be a type of soil that drains well.  

Fill the container with soil.  If your container is really deep, fill it half-way with styrofoam peanuts or rocks, and then fill the rest with your soil.


Nestle the succulent into the soil, pressing gently.  Water the soil once or twice a week.  If you are buying a potted succulent, and just want to repot to a different container, skip to this step.  


My photographer friend, Meredith Teasley, and I had fun the other day styling some of these shots, so here are a few more pretties to enjoy!  Thank you for the beautiful photos, Meredith!  


Little tip for the above potted plant.  I used a terra cotta pot for this one, and since there's a drainage hole at the bottom, I put a pretty plate underneath.  This is a good idea if you are using a decorative aluminum container too, as they tend to leak and sometimes can rust onto your table.  

Beautiful Jasmine plant that I "repotted"....I hope to plant this sucker in the Spring...we'll see how that goes!



Happy "gardening"!!  




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