Construct a Rustic Indoor Trellis
Tired of draping trailing plants over doorframes and windows? Give them something to climb on instead. Using wall anchors, if necessary, attach vinyl-covered hooks (available at hardware stores) to a wall and hang any reasonably attractive ladder from them, positioning the ladder’s legs on the floor a couple of inches from the wall. It’s easy to train potted plants to grow up and around this rustic support. It looks nice on a porch, too.
Mouse Pad your Plants
To keep plant containers from scratching or damaging your furniture or floors, just set the pots atop old computer mouse pads.Your floor will remain scratch-free. You may need to use multiple mouse pads for large pots.
Use Plastic Jar Lids as Coasters
Plastic lids placed top side down beneath drainage holes do a good job of capturing water beneath plants that aren’t kept on saucers or trays.Turn the lids over to raise pots from wood furniture, where saucers might leave watermarks.
Create a Sun Box
A sunny window is a great place to keep plants that love a lot of light, as do many blooming houseplants.However, since the light always comes from the same direction, usually the south or west, plants tend to bend toward it. Instead of turning them every few days, you can help high-light plants bathe in the light they crave in a homemade sun box. Remove the top and one side from a cardboard box and line the other three sides with aluminum foil, shiny side out, then tape or glue the foil in place. Put plants in the box and set it near a bright window.
Turn a Coat Hanger into a Pot Hanger
Need a fast way to hang a pot on a wall or post? Bend the long edge of a wire hanger into a circle and fit it just below the lip of a 6- to 8-inch (15- to 20-cm) flowerpot.Then use pliers to twist the hanger until the wire ring fits snugly.Attach the curved top of the hanger to a hook or nail.
Lure Fungus Gnat Larvae with Potatoes
When you water your houseplants, do tiny gnats fly into the air? They are fungus gnats, which will be less of a problem if you let the soil dry between waterings. Meanwhile, you can use a potato to trap their larvae,which are tiny worms that often injure plant roots. Push slices of raw potato around the base of the plant, leave them for two days, and then start over with fresh bait.
Brighten up Houseplants
Are the leaves of your plants looking dull? Wipe down each leaf with a soft cloth dipped in a half-and-half mixture of warm water and milk.You’ll get a nice shine, but there won’t be enough residue left behind to clog the leaf pores.
Try Another way to Make Leaves Shiny
Professional florists use this trick to keep houseplant leaves shiny and clean. You can do the same thing at home. Just rub a tiny amount of mayonnaise on the leaves with a paper towel and they will stay bright and shiny for weeks and even months at a time.
Use Pulleys on Hanging Baskets
Suspending your hanging baskets from a pulley makes it easier to lower them for watering and other care. Special plant pulleys are sold in garden centers, but you can save some pocket change if you shop at the hardware store.
Start Buds Early in a Dark Bag
Want that Christmas poinsettia to look gorgeous by the time the holidays arrive? Speed up mother nature by placing the poinsettia in a large, dark garbage bag for several weeks to wake up the plant’s buds.
Kill Bugs on a Potted Plant
To exterminate bugs on a houseplant, put the plant in a clear plastic bag, such as a cleaning bag, add a few mothballs, and seal for a week.When you take the plant out of the bag, your plant will be bug-free. It will also keep moths away for a while.
Tired of Ugly Dirt?
Use small ground covers, such as creeping fig or Swedish ivy, at the base of large houseplants to dress up the bare soil. Choose a plant with the same cultural requirements as the houseplant and pot them at the same time.