Displaying potted plants indoors will help make your house feel like a home. It also improves indoor air quality. Outdoors, they can be displayed on porches, balconies, and patios. Potting plants lets you display some color even where soil has poor quality or does not naturally exist. Portability is another benefit, allowing you to rearrange plants as desired, creating an entirely new look and protecting plants from cold weather.
You will need:
• Plants that need potting or repotting
• Pots and other containers
• Trays to capture water from pots
• Potting mix or compost
• Moistened bark (if repotting orchids)
• Drill (for containers without drainage_
• Styrofoam packing peanuts, coarse gravel, or marbles (for undrained pots)
• Wheeled plant caddies (for large, heavy pots)
• Gardening gloves
• Garden shears
• Watering can
• Potter’s bench (optional)
Step 2: When repotting, match the plant and container size. A good pot has a wide opening, drainage holes, and something to capture the excess water. Select a container that is one size larger than the current one. Choosing a container that is too large can slow the growth.
Step 3: If the pot does not already contain drainage holes, drill them yourself. If this is not possible, put a few inches of Styrofoam packing peanuts, coarse gravel, or marbles into the container before adding the soil. Note that this approach provides roots with less space in which to grow.
Step 4: If the pot will be placed on a deck or patio, put something under the pot if the surface could become stained. Use newspaper to line the bottom of a pot with holes, in order to keep dirt from escaping.
Step 5: Use a wheeled plant caddy under a large, heavy pot and make sure you can wheel the pot to its final location, avoiding slopes and stairs.
Step 6: Do not use garden soil. Instead, select a potting mix intended for the types of plants you have. The instructions that came with the plants should provide guidance. Compost also makes good potting soil or addition to potting mix. Moistened bark should be used with orchids.
Step 7: Consider the look you are trying to achieve. Repotting several plants of the same species into a single large pot makes an impressive visual impact. Mixing and matching several different species that look nice together is another option. Care requirements of different species placed in the same pot should be similar.
Step 8: Work at a potter’s bench, a surface that can be hosed off, or use plastic or newspaper to line the work surface.
Step 9: Wear gardening gloves and pre-moisten dry potting mix.
Step 10: Carefully remove the plant from its existing pot. Use the garden shears to cut away damaged or dead roots.
Step 10: Pour potting mix into the new pot. Add enough so that the top of the plant root ball will rest slightly below the rim of the pot.
Step 11: If repotting a single plant into the pot, place the plant in the center of the pot. If several plants will be placed into one pot, create your own display.
Step 12: Backfill the pot with enough potting mix to cover the roots. Press the soil down gently to remove air pockets.
Step 13: Water the plant with the watering can and allow the water to drain. If desired, cover the top of the soil with mulch or stones to slow evaporation. Do not fertilize for 1 to 2 months.
Step 14: Place each pot in a location that will provide the plant with the proper amount of sunlight. Refer to the plant instructions to find the amount of sunlight needed. If the plants will be placed inside, avoid drafty locations. A grow lamp can be used if sufficient light is not available.
Step 15: Check soil moisture of outdoor plants daily. Check indoor plant soil every few days. When watering, wet the soil, not the leaves.
Step 16: Fertilize twice per month or according to the plant instructions.
Step 17: Frequently check plants for pests and promptly address an infestation using the correct product.
Step 18: Remove dust from indoor plant leaves using a gentle spray of warm water. If the plant is too fragile for this, dip its leaves in a bucket of warm water after placing plastic wrap around the soil.