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Bring Nature Indoors With Propagated Plants In Painted Pots

By Staff

Indoor plants have long been an element of home decorating. These days, they are getting even more attention because of the global environmental movement.

For example, plants have the ability to purify indoor air by taking in carbon dioxide and harmful vapors and giving back healthy oxygen. Devoted cooks love to have their own pots of fresh herbs available, while less-than-skilled cooks know that an Aloe Vera plant or two can be handy to have when burns occur.  

Whatever their purpose, plants are a simple and easy way to bring Mother Nature indoors. They are an even more cheerful addition when they sit in painted pots. By propagating your own plants and painting the pots yourself, you can have frugal versions of much more costly designer plant displays.  

To get ideas for what to paint on the pots, just look around the room where the plants will live. Will the plants sit on shelves above the pink area rug in your daughter's room? Or will they grace an end table on a colored Flokati rug in the living room? No matter; creating handsome potted plants to harmonize with any room in the house can be an enjoyable project for the entire family.

To begin, you will need to gather some supplies: plastic pots for plants; house plants that propagate easily such as philodendron, jade plant or spider plant; acrylic paint markers in the colors you want for each room; rooting hormone, potting soil, a drinking straw and a clear plastic bag.

Start the painting project by washing the pots in soap and water. Rinse well and dry thoroughly. Some artists prefer to put abstract designs on their painted pots because the designs are easy for anyone; simply draw and paint what appeals to you. If you’d like to copy patterns, such as some flowers to match a flower-shaped rug in a daughter’s room, practice on paper a few times first and then transfer the designs to the pots. For example, simple designs of various herbs such as dill and rosemary can be accomplishment with small, single strokes of a color.

While the pots are drying, it’s time to propagate the plants. Here’s an example using a spider plant. Start by cutting well-developed plantlets from the mother plant and suspend the cuttings in glass of water until roots grow. Then transplant to the pots then transplant to the decorated pot for gift giving. Many other houseplants such as philodendron and jade plant can be propagated in this manner.  

To propagate plants in the pot, fill the pot with sterile potting soil. Dip cuttings in a rooting hormone, and then plant them directly in the soil. Then place a clear plastic bag over the pot to create a mini-greenhouse. Cover the potted cutting with a clear plastic bag. This keeps the humidity high and creates a miniature greenhouse atmosphere.  

Attach the bag to the pot with a rubber band. Insert a drinking straw under the bag and then blow it up as if it were a balloon. This expansion will keep the bag away from the plant so that it doesn’t damage it. A fine mist of moisture should gather on the insides of the bag. If water drops are streaming down the bag like rain, there’s too much moisture, so take off the bag and let it dry out a bit before replacing it.  

With this method, roots should develop on the cuttings within a few weeks. Inspect the cutting for root growth. When it appears, remove the bag and begin normal plant care. The combination of painted paints and indoor plants that you’ve grown yourself will add both health and beauty to your home.

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