Potted Plant Love.
As mentioned in the DIY succulent tree post, up-cycled potted plants make great gift ideas. Not only do they divert broken and unwanted items from landfill, they provide loads of joy for the recipient and make for great photos! If you have some old broken china, pottery, or perhaps a vase that no longer serves a purpose the following info should help you turn that dust collector into a planter in a matter of minutes. No broken goodies laying around your home? That’s ok. You can usually find fun, old, and sometimes damaged pots, cups and vases at your local recycle market or thrift store. The teapot above was a beauty I spied at my local recycle market that had a broken lid. I couldn’t help but snap it up to add to my potted plant collection.
The easy DIY bit
Pretty much the only thing you have to do to turn any vessel into a planter is add some drainage holes. That’s it! The hardest part is making sure you have the right drill bit. I use a masonry bit… which I have neglected to photograph but you can check them out here. If you have really no clue about what sort of material you are working with it can be a good idea to take the vessel you wish to drill to the hardware store and ask them to suggest the appropriate drill bit. The good thing about this is once you have the bit you can drill as many items as you like! It can be a little addictive turning junk into planters so there is a good chance that everyone you know and love may be gifted a potted plant this Christmas. It can take a while to drill through ceramics and pottery and you might find that the drill bit slips. You can prevent this from happening by sticking on some masking tape and and drilling through it. You will find that different materials will drill differently, for example terracotta (like the base of the blue vase) will be quite easy to drill, while glazed pottery (like the teapot) will take much longer to work through. Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Let the drill work it’s way through and be careful not to apply too much pressure. The last thing you want to do is smash your pretty vessel.
Filling your pots.
The fun bit after the drilling is working out what to put in your new planters! I have opted for some succulent cuttings in my teapot. The best part about growing succulents is that you can just cut or break bits off the parent plants, stick them in the soil, and let them grow, these ones were cut from a plant overhang the footpath in my local neighbourhood. The other one is a cactus I already had and felt like potting up to a larger planter. For succulents and cacti it’s best to use a well draining soil. You can buy ready mixed blends like this one, but I make my own to cut costs and reduce plastic waste. Of late I’ve been using a mix of 70% perlite (buy in bulk from a nursery wholesaler to cut back on plastic), 20% mushroom compost, and 10% sand. I fertilise with an organic liquid fertiliser every month (worm tea or a seaweed fertiliser works well for me), and change the regime to every two weeks during the few weeks of spring when things are growing rapidly.
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