Tag Archives: Houseplants

When making a cross-country move I am realizing that I will not be able to pack my plants into a moving box and have the movers transport them. Plants can’t go without light, air and water for ten days so I wondered what about moving houseplants.Moving Houseplants

 

In the past year I have actually begun to decrease the number of houseplants I have. I found a woman on Freecycle that wanted some house plants so she took a couple. I also had a friend who asked for a cutting of my Hoya plant, instead I took a cutting and gave her the plant.moving houseplants

 

My beautiful bay plant I will have to give a way. I can always grow another and it’s just gotten too large to move. My plan is to pack a couple of my favorite plants and load them in the car as we will be driving cross-country again.moving houseplants, Sweet Bay

 

However first I will have to check that my plants can cross state lines. Many states and countries require inspections for plants and have restrictions on the types of plants that can enter their borders.

 

As I mentioned I already took cuttings of my Hoya plants so I will just have a very small pot to move. I plan to do the same with my aloe plant. I will just transplant a few babies and get rid of the mother plant. I do have two Christmas cactus plants that are rather special. One is from a very large plant my grandmother-in-law had. This plant was so large it sat on a dining room table and took up the whole table. I think every family member has a cutting from that plant. So like the Hoyas and the aloe I will take cuttings and start a new plant. The last remaining plant is a Christmas Cactus that was my mother’s. Luckily the plant is not that large and I plan to move the whole plant. My goal is to have a small box that these plants will fit in to. I will make room in our car and they should survive the move without any problem. Hopefully when we do make the drive cross-country it won’t be in the winter so I won’t have to worry about cold weather affecting the plants.moving houseplants

 

Consulting with the movers they had several suggestions for moving your plants. Three weeks before moving day, re-pot the plants into unbreakable pots the same size. Two weeks before moving prune the larger plants by pinching back new growth. This will make the plants more compact for easy handling. One week before moving take a close look at your plants and make sure there are no insects or parasites. Two days before moving water your plants normally but take care not to overwater.

 

The day before moving I will pack my plants in a box so that they fit securely and there is no chance they might tip over. As soon as we arrive in our new destination the plants will be promptly unpacked. It may take them a few days to recover from a cross-country move but they should all do fine in their new home!moving houseplants

Repotting a Peace Lily

 

Early winter is a good time for repotting your houseplants. Over the summer I tend to neglect my houseplants. Some of them are moved outside for the summer while others just enjoy the sunny windows. I keep them fed and watered but that’s about it. When the gardening season is over I catch a breath and really take a look at my various houseplants. Usually one or more will need some attention. My bay plant is doing wonderfully. Since they prefer a smaller pot I will not be transplanting it.transplanting a peace lily

 

My Peace lily is another story. Many people have a peace lily (spathuphyllum tango) in their home; it is very easy to care for and produces wonderful flowers. They thrive in indirect bright light. They like heavy watering but also like to dry out in between watering. Do keep pets and children away from this plant, as it is one of the many poisonous houseplants. Although they prefer a more compact root ball every other year or so I divide the plant, which seems to keep it pretty happy. When the active growth slows down or the leaves become smaller it is time to repot.transplanting a peace Lily

 

My plant is flowering less and less and it is extremely crowded so I know it’s time to re-pot.spathuphyllum tango, houseplants, repotting

First Steps in Repotting:

 

Repotting is rather easy. You can divide the plant into a number of new plants; perhaps you have a friend you would like to share with?

First fill a slightly larger pot that has drainage holes halfway with potting soil. Choose a pot only slightly larger because the plants grow well in crowded conditions. Make a small space in the middle of the soil for the divided peace lily plant.houseplants, repotting, potting soil

Loosen the dirt around the roots of the peace lily. Use a gardening spade to loosen the soil, and then carefully lift the plant out of the container. You can also tilt the container on its side and squeeze on it to loosen the soil from the container. I gently pull the plant out of the pot over some newspaper, usually in the garage. You can see that the plant is rather root bound.houseplants, root bound, repotting

Today it was too cold for such a project in the garage so I made a huge mess over a sheet on my kitchen floor. When you start pulling the plant apart you will realize it is made up of many plants.repotting houseplants, plants

 

You could actually put each plant in it’s own pot! After separating the plant I set aside the ones that will get re-potted. Rinse the dirt off the roots and run the roots of the plant under cool water.washing roots, repotting

 

Place the peace lily in the new container. Fill it with potting soil, and pack it down around the roots. Water the peace lily to keep the soil moist. I usually give the leaves a wipe with a damp cloth as well.repotted peace lily

 

I now have two plants and a pile of discarded plants for my compost pile!
repotted peace lily, houseplants
Don’t expect your plant to immediately look better. Give it several weeks and you should start to see signs of new growth. Transplanting is rather dramatic on a plant so give it some time to start looking good again. Believe me it won’t be long before you’ll be repotting it again.

My vegetable garden may be put to bed but I have more than enough houseplants to keep me busy during the winter months.

I have several plants which spend the summer outdoors. Before moving them inside I give them a good shower. I don’t want any bugs to come inside with the plants! I also keep them separate for a few weeks to make sure there are not any lingering bugs, which might infect my other plants.

When the plants first come in it is natural for some of the leaves to fall off. I have a geranium and a rosemary plant which I have moved inside for the winter. The rosemary seems to have adjusted well. It was transplanted into a larger pot and placed in our sunny, south-facing window.

houseplants, herbs

Rosemary Plant

The geranium was still blooming when it first came inside.

houseplants

Geranium

I cut the blooms off to help it adjust to life inside. It is natural for it to have a bit of a shock with less light and humidity than it was used to outside. Once it has adjusted it will bloom again and give us some color over the long winter months.

This is also a good time of year to check on the status of my other houseplants. Perhaps they need some transplanting or dividing. My aloe is doing well now that I have divided the pups.

houseplants

Aloe Vera Plant

I have an orchid that is also in need of transplanting and will wait until it is done blooming.

My Cyclamen is happily blooming away. I have watered it when dry, picked off the dead blooms and occasionally fed it all spring and summer. As a result I am being rewarded with blossoms.

flowering houseplants

Cyclamen

Working with houseplants is not quite the same as working outside in the garden, but I enjoy having a bit of greenery inside the house during the winter. Do you have houseplants? Which are your favorites?

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Did you enter the giveaway for the book More Food From Small Spaces? I am pleased to announce the winner today! Congratulations to Jennifer!  I hope this book helps you to have success in your garden!

More Food From Small Spaces

More Food From Small Spaces

My days of working outside in my vegetable garden have pretty much come to an end. I still have a few chores to do to put my garden to bed but my attention is now on my houseplants! One of the plants that does extremely well in our house is the Aloe Vera Plant. I have one plant that has really gotten big.

houseplants, aloe

Aloe Vera Plant

It’s time to transplant it and give the babies a little more room. If the baby aloes or pups are not transplanted they will eventually choke the mother plant.

I find that the Aloe plant is very easy to grow. I use a cacti/succulent potting mix to grow it in and it seems very happy. The Aloe is one plant that can go a long time without water. The soil must be allowed to completely dry out before you water it. During the winter the plant will become dormant and should need minimal watering.

My aloe plant sits near the wood stove and gets partial sun. It is not in front of a window but the room itself is south facing with large windows. I fertilize my aloe every other month.

Transplanting the aloe is very easy. Aloe Vera plants form offset pups, which will eventually become a clump of plants. These plants need to be removed to keep the mother plant healthy. It is easy to gently pull the baby plants out, they each have their own little root system.

aloe, houseplants

Each pup has it’s own root system.

You can plant them into their own individual pot but I usually plant a group of them in a larger pot.

houseplants

Pups in their own pot.

Besides being a wonderful easy-to-care for houseplant, the Aloe Vera can also be used to speed up healing on minor burns, rashes and cuts. It is also great for sunburned skin. Just open up the leaves and use the gel on your burn. The gel is also a wonderful moisturizer for sensitive skin.

aloe

The gel in the aloe leaf has many uses.

Do you have an Aloe Vera plant growing in your house? What’s your favorite houseplant?

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