House Plants / Small indoor Plants – Try this super easy Hacks – DIY

Just because chilly gusts have blown away summer blooms and lulled outdoor plants to a season of sleep doesn’t mean you need spend the winter without the joys of a garden.

Choosing Containers:  Unusual and interesting containers may please your decorative tastes, but will they please the plants they house? Remember to first consider your plants growing needs. Clay pots work well in humid environments or with caretakers that tend to water generously. Cacti, begonias, and orchids fare best in clay pots. Plastic pots well suit a normal or dry home and spare watering. Many gardeners find that plants in plastic containers demand less care than those in clay.

Both types of containers may be found in one of two common styles — standard and azalea. Standard pots are as deep as they are wide and work best with plants whose roots plunge down below the surface(for example, coleus or hibiscus). Azalea pots are more shallow than they are wide and are well suited for plants with surface or horizontally growing roots. Examples of these types of plants include hanging plants, begonias, most bulbous plants, and ground covering plants.

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When to Pot: Only repot if a plants roots have outgrown its container or if you prefer a change in soil mix or container. The ideal time to repot is spring or after a plant has finished blooming. To confirm whether or not a plants roots have surpassed a containers growing space, first water the plant well. After the moisture has been absorbed turn the plant upside down holding your palm flat against the soil with the stem between your fingers. Tap the edge of the pot lightly against a hard countertop or workbench edge. If the plant will not loosen, try sliding a kitchen knife along the inside edge of the pot and tap again.

Overgrown plants have a mass of tangled white roots, which fill the pot and may even protrude through drainage holes. Healthy roots are usually creamy white and plump while dead roots are brown or black and shriveled. Make sure to remove dead roots before placing the plant in its new container.

How to Repot: Soak empty clay pots in water for several hours before adding plants. Thoroughly moisten the soil you will use before transplanting. You may also want to try filling the bottom of the new pot with a shallow layer of broken crockery to promote good drainage. Next, fill the pot with a layer of fresh soil. Insert the root ball so the old soil line is just below the new. Situate the stem symmetrically in the center of the pot. Fill the edges with soil medium and compact it with your fingers or a pencil. When you’ve finished repotting remember to water the pot generously and place it in a shady spot for a few days.

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Soil Mix: Whether you mix your own or purchase a pre-made formula, you’ll want to select the specific combination of basic soil ingredients that best suits each plant. Most plants grow best in mediums that combine several ingredients.

When comparing commercial potting soils always choose a mix that lists its ingredients. Avoid mixes that contain chemical fertilizers.

If you are making your own recipe, start with a quality soil and/or compost. Choose a well-drained garden loam or purchased topsoil that is free of fungi, soilborne disease, insects, and weed seeds. Sift the soil through a screen to remove rocks and large clods. Sterilize it at 150 to 180 degrees F for 30 minutes. Follow the same procedure with compost. Avoid using heavy and/or unsterilized garden soil. Add sand to encourage drainage, and promote aeration around the roots. You may want to also include perlite or vermiculite to increase the mixes air and water retention capacity. Leaf mold also adds nutrients as well as water-holding capacity.

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Other soil amendments that may improve your mix include:

  • Lime (neutralizes soil pH and provides calcium)
  • Bonemeal (excellent source of phosphorus and nitrogen)
  • Wood Ash (source of potassium but should be used sparingly due to its impact on soil pH)

All-Purpose Houseplant Mixes

  • One part peat moss, compost, or leaf mold
  • One part sterilized garden loam or purchased potting soil
  • One part sharp sand or perlite


  • One part peat moss
  • One part sterilized garden loam or purchased potting soil and sterilized composted manure mixed half and half
  • One part sharp sand


  • Two parts sterilized garden loam or purchased potting soil
  • One part peat moss, compost, or leaf mold
  • One part sharp sand or perlite

Rich Houseplant Mix

  • One part sterilized garden loam or purchased potting soil
  • Two parts compost or leaf mold
  • One part sharp sand or perlite

Epiphyte Mix
Epiphytes include common houseplants such as some ferns, orchids, and bromeliads. Epiphytes grow in the leaf litter and the organic matter that collects around other plants without parasitizing them.

  • One part sterilized garden loam or store bought potting soil
  • Two parts leaf mold, peat moss, osmunda fiber, or shredded fir bark, or a mixture of all these
  • One part sharp sand or perlite
  • One half part crushed clay pot, brick, or gravel

To every two gallons of the above recipes add a half cup of bonemeal and a half cup of lime.

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The easiest way to produce new plants is division. The methods below vary according to the type of plant.

One of the simplest and most successful techniques, involves the division of runners or offsets. This will work with any plant that multiplies by producing pups, or small plants that form at the base of the parent plant. To separate an offshoot from its parent, turn the plant out of its pot and examine the roots. Locate the individual root systems, grasp the base of each crown in your hand, and slowly tease the roots apart. Never pull at the foliage. Once they are completely untangled, pot each plant separately in fresh soil and leave them in a cool shady spot for a few days.

For plants with aerial runners, such as African violets, take a U-shaped hairpin and secure the plantlet on too of a pot of loose humusy soil. Keep the soil moist for 2 to 3 weeks and leave the offshoot attached to the parent. After roots develop, cut the runner and root the new plant in water or rich houseplant mix.

Begonias and other rhizomatous plants may be quickly divided by simply cutting the rootball in half.

Bulbs, corms, tubers, and tuberous roots should only be separated after the foliage has completely died back and the soil has dried out. When this occurs, turn the plant out of its pot and remove excess bulbs. Pot plants immediately in a cool dark dry place until next season. If stored bulbs begin to grow, pot them with growing ends up and start providing them with water and sun. Check out more reviews here:

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