Creative House Plant Containers

Almost any decorative container that can hold water is suitable for use as an indoor plant garden and some, like baskets, can be made waterproof by lining them first with a plastic container or two layers of black polythene.

A miniature garden

Tiny plants can be very decoratively displayed in a sauce boat, jug, sugar bowl, cup or glass. Grow spring bulbs like Snowdrops, Crocus or Squill in this way. A row of identical bulbs could be lined up in a collection of cups or mugs, or mixed bulbs could be grouped in a matching sauceboat, jug, and bowl.

Tiny baskets are cheap to buy and can be used in their natural state or painted to highlight the leaf tones or flower colours. Pick out the shades of miniature Streptocarpus, Cyclamen or Begonias.

Creative House Plant Containers

Floor level groups

To take taller plants, containers will need to be deep enough for roots to spread out. Position to form an uninterrupted view. Suitable containers include old suitcases, trunks, wooden boxes, enamel baths, buckets, basins, outdoor urns, waste paper bins and baskets.

Container for climbers and trailers

If you are short of floor or surface space then it is possible to create a garden on the vertical. You could consider using a trellis screen as a frame for trailing plants; alternatively, train climbers up a screen from a box or a row of tubs placed along the bottom.

Old 1930s glass hanging light shades make unusual and highly decorative plant containers when hung from a bracket fixed to the wall.

Practical Tips

  • Those containers not naturally watertight should be lined with a plastic howl, bucket or two layers of black polythene.
  • Add a layer of small pebbles or clay pellets to the bottom of the container, whether planting directly into it or r&taining plants in their pots.
  • Water planted indoor gardens less regularly than those retained in individual pots (check with a water meter before watering) and include a layer of charco,t1 to keep the mixture sweet.
  • Choose plants suited to the intended position of your indoor garden.
  • Flowering plants are best left in their pots which can be surrounded with damp peat. It is then easy to remove any individual plant after flowering and replace it with ;mother.

Grouping plants in containers

Plants can be grouped together in containers for a temporary or a permanent display. For example, to make displays for a party or a special dinner, plants of all types can be put together, and the only consideration is the effect required. But when a container is to be used for a long-term effect, it is important to group together plants which all enjoy the same position. The following list will help you choose.

Bright, sunny aspect

  • For a sunny spot, make a container cactus garden.
  • To add a climber as a background to a south-facing window arrangement, choose from Chinese Jasmine, Cup and Saucer Vine, Passion Flower or Black-eyed Susan.
  • Some green plants that love a bright spot are Banana, Comb Flower, Indoor Lime, Jacaranda, Mock Orange, Desert Privet, Polka Dot Plant, Yucca.

A light spot with a little sun

A wide range of plants can be used. Check that they have the same watering requirements.

For a spot with no sun

Make a Fern Garden from:

Where to look

  • Kitchens are a good source tot improvised containers. Apart from china, consider bakeware, casseroles, salad howls, decorative saucepans, enamel or plastic howls and buckets.
  • The garden shed could contain some suitable items such as old garden trugs, baskets or crates.
  • The roof or attic could house disused suitcases and trunks.
  • Around the house consider waste paper baskets and log baskets.
  • Local shops may have wood crates or baskets intended for transportinL; fruit Junk shops are a good, and often cheap, hunting ground.

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