Houseplant Plant Stand Hack
This season I had several houseplants hanging in the garden. One of my favorite displays was the Living Wall Cone Container Garden (right) and the idea of giving these drought-tolerant, low-light loving Plants of Steel houseplants away or tossing them in the composter at the end of this season is simply heart-crushing. Bringing houseplants in for the fall season seems like the smart way to hang on to my beloved babies.
In past years I have had to give away my outdoor container plants or compost them because I have had severe mold allergies for most of my life. Something interesting has happened this season to change my mind and attempt houseplants once again: two weeks ago I had a skin test was done which revealed I am no longer as severely allergic to molds as I was before. What has precipitated this change?
When I was diagnosed with severe degenerative osteoarthritis I went on an anti-inflammatory diet which is very similar to a Paleo or Whole30 diet — essentially no grains, no dairy, no-or-low sugars, and more healthy fats. I am now over one year into the diet. My pain is down by more than 75%, I have more energy, I went off high blood-pressure medications, I rarely take pain medications, my asthma has improved, and now my allergies are improving significantly. I plan on staying on the diet and while I cannot run out and buy a cat or roll in a moldy pile of leaves, I think I am ready to try more than a few houseplants inside this season.
Bringing Houseplants in for Fall – How To
When to Bring In – Plan to bring your plants in for the fall while the weather is cool, but not frosty, say 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Check out the First Frost Date Chart above to help you determine a time about a week to two weeks before your first fall frost.
Choose Which Plants – Leave heavily diseased or bug-infested plants for the rubbish bin. Do not bring them in as they will be more likely to spread disease and bugs indoors during less than optimal living conditions. Houseplants usually have less light and sometimes dryer conditions in the winter, therefore diseased plants will be more challenged to perform as well as they did outdoors.
Prepare Plants – Prepare plants by spraying off any bugs or webs with a sharp spray of water and removing yellowing leaves and stems. Transplant any plants that are showing signs of being root bound, have insect eggs in the soil, or that have old soil. Do not fertilize heavily in the fall as this will be the dormant growth period for the plants. Transplanting into rich, organic, soil with worm castings such as Organic Mechanics Soil will be enough to help the plants get a kick start to living inside.
Organic Insecticidal Soap – Water well, then leave the newly potted plants in a shady spot and spray a few days before you bring the plants inside with insecticidal soap. This soap will not harm humans but will be the last step to preventing outdoor bugs from coming into the home.
Sun – Keep in mind the conditions your plant was living in during its summer vacation. If it was a full sun spot, then the plant is going to have a more difficult time adjusting to full shade. Prepare an area near a sunny window or under to grow lights for plants that rely on more sun exposure.
Watering – Each plant variety has different types of watering needs. Research and be prepared for varying water concerns. Plants of Steel can go extended times without water but still perform best with consistent water.
Houseplant Plant Stand Hack
Late this summer I spotted the Nesting Branch Plant Stands from Gardeners.com (right) and I knew this was an excellent solution for my plant rescue. With a unique stack and store feature, these plant stands can easily be placed out of the way during the summer season, then used again in the fall to bring the plants in from their summer vacation. I needed even more space than the plant stands hold, so I came up with a hack to store more plants on the units.
The nesting plant stands are beautiful and have twig-like legs and cross-pieces. My idea was to rest a black shelf on each one – you can find shelving units in the hardware and storage department of most big box stores. These cross-pieces are a tad uneven. To even up the shelving unit and help hold the shelf in place, I layered mounting putty on top of the cross-pieces (above), then rested the shelf on top of the putty (above). Easy-peasy. When it is time to disassemble in the spring, I can take the putty off and nest the units all together again.
Use these adorable Nesting Branch Plant Stands from Gardeners.com as is, or hack them with a twist with my houseplant plant stand hack. One way or another, bring those garden babies in for the fall and save them to brighten up your home over winter. I’ll let you know how my allergies react in a future post – happy house planting!