Sunday, May 13, 2012

Plotting to Re-Pot

Of my many house projects, one has lingered over my head for a time period that exceeds over a year. I've been needing to re-pot my house plants. Since I can remember I've had a love/scorn relationship with the plants in my house. When I lived in LA, I had a money tree which, over time and much carelessness, I watched whither, crumble, and die. My negligence led me to have nightmares of this sort: I have a baby and then forget to feed it and change its diaper. Those kinds of dreams. My latest fear-I'm-neglecting-something dream is this: I have a new dog and I forget to feed it, give it water, etc. However, the plants (when they're healthy, happy, AKA when I'm taking the utmost care of them) bring me a great amount of joy. You see: love/scorn.

The amazing thing about plants is that they don't need obscene amounts of care. Watering here and there, sunshine, love, but nothing too overprotective. On Wednesday of this past week, I thought I would kick start Operation Re-Pot with a purchase. I thought, with this new plant, I will vow to care for and love all my plants forever more. Every endeavor must start with a ritual. 

Above: adorable cacti, though they didn't come with me. Just cute and pretty. Something for the future perhaps?

So, here I am at home, with a beautiful bag of potting soil. 

Behold: two plants that desperately need re-potting. To the left we have the luscious, temper-mental Maiden Hair. This fern is definitely outgrowing its pot and starting to brown a little. Foliage is fun in New England during October, but not on my house plant. To our right we have an unknown species that I bought two Christmases ago and never re-potted. I sense there's a little bug infestation (I have my suspicions) and the leaves look sad. This plant needed a makeover.

Droopy, dying leaves...

Hard to convey through a photograph, but this plant was stuck and lodged in this plastic pot.

Gently, I tried to pull and wiggle it out. Gentle turned to forceful and still it wouldn't budge! It occurred to me that getting it out of the pot might shock the roots and I started to worry that the fate of this plant might be like the others. I decided to use a chopstick to push on the soil through the little holes in the bottom of the pot. It came out, finally! Look at that root system!!!

Happy in its new pot, this plant seems to breathe easier now that I've given it a little love. I will keep a close watch to see how it does in its new home.

The sad state of this baby succulent was embarrassing. I just placed it in this small pot when I bought it, never tending to it minus the occasional watering. It did very well by the bathroom window, and since succulents are classically low-maintenance, I just watched its leaves beckon towards the sun and let it be.

Look how much better it took in its new pot though! Even when something isn't asking for a change, a little something new can never hurt. We all need a little spicing up every once in a while...plants are no different.

Making progress! As hands get dirty, you know something's getting done.

A happy plant scene. On the left is the newly planted Maiden Hair, ridiculously overjoyed to be in a larger, wider pot. Next to the fern is the new plant I got from the nursery: a lush Deffanbachia (thanks Becky, of Holly Flora, for identifying that one for me via text image message). The newest member of my indoor plant brigade, it fits in like a charm. 

Next project: I'd like to get these two plants raised. Currently, the pots are just sitting on the tile. I'd like to give them some height, showing off their gorgeous leaves from every angle. I was thinking simple wooden crates or even small ceramic "garden" stools. Do those even exist?

Any suggestions on where I can find something beautiful to lift these plants a foot or two into the air?


  1. I like the wooden crate idea! So beautiful sissy!

  2. i think my house plants sensed me reading this post and bought a one way ticket to SF. inspired. xo

  3. Inspirational to say the least....thanks, Meggie..xoxo

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  5. love this meggie. i just bought some of those adorable little flowering cacti about 6 weeks ago! for lifting plants, i like getting wooden wine or champagne crates (you can ask for them at wine stores or costco because they often give them away... Or in my garden at home, I used found tree stumps. xoxo

  6. This is such a great post! I am so inspired. This is filled with beauty! Love all these plants. What a great project!

  7. What advice do you have for a girl who only has air plants?