Right before Christmas last year, I moved all of my succulents and tropical looking plants out to the sunroom because they just didn't feel right surrounded by Christmas decor. A few of them froze when the temps dropped when we were in Oklahoma with family so I came home to a sad little floppy-leaf party and a determination to take better care of my plants.
As soon as Christmas was put away I went out and replaced what had died and brough home a handful of small plants to spread around the house. They were all pretty low-maintenance because I'm just never going to be an orchid kind of gal. As winter wore on here at 6, 000+ ft., I just kept bringing plants home. I was seeing signs of spring near the end of February and March in blog posts and my Instagram feed kept blowing up with cherry blossoms, bright green grass, daffodils, tulips, bluebells, etc.
My California heart knew it was time for all of these things but my Colorado yard was still under snow every other week.
It started out with just a few extra on the piano, and then my first big tropical hanging plant, and then a few philodendron, and then as we crept towards April I bought a few big bushes for the backyard. I think I was trying to fight my winter blues with more green!
I got ahead of myself about a month ago and bought a handful of beautiful blooming plants that I was hoping to put in a large container outside before realizing we were going to have a really late spring this year. For two weeks I kept it that way because the beauty of it all inside my home-right up there on that countertop-got me through some low spots.
They say having indoor plants is really good for your health. Yeah, they cleanse the air of toxins and add color and texture to your home but they really helped connect me to the growth and new life I was so ready for in the natural world.
One thing I've tried to do is find beautiful and interesting vessels to put them in. I have had great luck with thrifting vintage ceramic planters so I use them for the smaller plants. I also like to look for interesting shapes at the thrift store that I know I can just spray paint whatever color I like. The honeycomb patterned planter below was originally silver so I gave it a metallic face lift. I have another for the backyard table in a shade of celery. The tin above came with a set of four canisters. I just propped the inner pot on a clean tuna can that was turned upside down so that it could properly drain into the canister. The only thing you have to watch for with cans is rust. I am going to need to place a tray or some sort under this one if I bring it indoors.
I found a few bullet-knock off planters at Target at the end of the summer that were deeply discounted so I brought a few home knowing I'd someday use them. Ace Hardware has had some surprisingly beautiful planters over the years so I use that as a reminder to always check around to see what unique pieces you can find.
When you're in a pinch, buy an economy sized can of hominy or cheap coffee from the store, empty it (I threw my hominy away because I can't stand the stuff), wash and dry it, and spray paint it with a few thin coats. Instant planter. Poke a few nail holes in the top, string it up with twine and you've got a hanging planter (see kitchen photos above). For the record, if I'm using a can or tin without drainage holes at the bottom, I always put something in there (clean yogurt cup, tuna can, etc.) to create air so the drainage holes from the actual pot can drain. I don't over water them in their can, either. I take them out and saturate them and then let them drain a bit in the tub or sink before returning them to their cans.
I've made sure to buy in stages so that I'm not blowing the whole budget on plants and to make sure that I can handle taking care of them. Once a week I walk through the house and water everything except for my small succulents. I water them every two-three weeks. I set my hanging house plants in the shower or sink and soak them and let them drip dry before returning them to their posts.
I make sure to always check the soil to be sure it's not still moist before adding more water to avoid root rot. One of my philodendron was getting too much light so I've moved it and it's doing much better. My forsythia bush in the kitchen (that will soon be moved outside) is getting spoiled with water everyday and looking great but if I skip a day I can really tell those leaves are floppy. It's been a learning experience and thankfully I've only lost one small succulent since the big freeze over Christmas break. Elise has also recently posted a great rundown of how she cares for her indoor plants for anyone hoping to bring some home.
Every now and then I'm still going to need some fresh flowers for the table. There's just something extra special about such fleeting beauty.
I really do think having plants in your home improves upon your quality of life and when you spend almost all of your time there, it's worth doing some research and buying the kind of plants that will do well in your care. Singing to them supposedly helps. Just kidding. I don't sing to my plants.
My new favorite plant set up is something I arranged recently in our bedroom that I'll be showing you next. Maybe we should call this Plant Week on Smile and Wave? Much less dangerous than Shark Week.
Details: Chevron Sun Catcher, Glass by Lisa.