Self-isolating at home for the good of humanity? For the love of all that is still green, people, step back from the watering can. Here are five plant-centric activities for you to do that don’t involve overwatering your plants…
1. Scrub the mineral build up off of your clay pots!
That white powder on your clay pots isn’t mold, it is a build up of minerals and salts left over from fertilizers and hard water. The build up will not harm plants, but it can detract from the look of your pots.
Fill a vessel with warm water, dish soap, and distilled vinegar. For greatest efficiency, use a large stiff pot brush to scrub off the salts. But since we are milling about in our homes for weeks, why not use an old toothbrush and turn it into a daily meditation?
2. Aerate your soil with a toothpick, bbq skewer, chopstick, or knitting needle!
This is a lot like aerating your lawn and serves the same purpose: to get oxygen down to plant roots in hard packed soil. If you notice when you water your houseplants that the water sits on top of the soil and runs down the insides of the pot, your soil could really use a good loosening up. Repotting the whole plant is a possibility, or, you can use a pointy object to carefully punch holes in the soil around the base of the roots. Do use caution when applying this technique as your author became quite vigorous in the aeration of her peperomia “hope” and now there are so many perfect little holes in the bottom leaves. Take your time, because you’ve got it!
3. Hunt for destructive bugs, cheer loudly as you vanquish them!
Let’s thoroughly defeat the bugs in our life that we do have control over. Create a bug-be-gone toolkit: Soapy water in a spray bottle, q-tips, rubbing alcohol. You’ll feel invincible if you put these objects in a tool belt or fanny pack as you patrol your living room jungle. See a mealy bug on your cactus? Zap it with a boozy q-tip! Find a spider mite lair under a palm leaf? Spray it away with suds! Take charge.
4. Have a spa day for you and your best wide-leafed gals!
Mist finely from high above so a cool, soothing vapor envelops your fiddle leaf fig or other broad-leafed houseplant. With a soft, lint-free cloth, carefully wipe the dust from their upturned faces as you quietly croon Enya tunes. Inside voices for inside plants.
5. Hats for all!
Using rectangles of paper (thin newspaper works well), follow the instructions below and fold some fantastic hats. Put the hats on your plants! And please send all the pictures to us in isolation here at Gulley Greenhouse. You can be sure many of our cacti are already sporting some jaunty toppers.