If you're an interior design connoisseur, a temporary holding area for plants doesn't sound like an appealing addition to your home's decor. Au contraire! Take pride in your indoor garden and incorporate it into your holiday decor. Add some poinsettias and Christmas cacti to the mix, or even echo your home's color palette with some affordable houseplants to bring it all together. There's no reason why your stash of patio plants can't become a well planned and stunning "indoor seasonal display" with the right attitude.
Keep It Together
Find a bright area near a window, and designate this spot as your indoor garden. Use plastic sheeting or saucers to protect the flooring from moisture, and bring on the plants! Treat this area like a garden bed, placing small plants in the front and the bigger ones in the back. Leave enough space to allow easy watering and maintenance by incorporating a narrow path or a margin around the plants. This also provides better air circulation and makes it easier to keep an eye on pests!
Instead of wasting valuable floor space this winter, consolidate your horticultural holdings by placing them indoors on shelving. Shelves can organize your plant collection just as effectively as they can bring order to piles of books, and can be quite affordable. Solutions range from the inexpensive plastic storage shelving (these can be taken apart and stowed away in spring) to hardwood furniture that blends with your decor. One word of caution: moisture. Use saucers to prevent water from damaging your furniture and flooring.
Baskets Full of Flowers
Keeping all of the small containers together makes watering and transportation much easier. Group pots together in baskets, saucers, and trays so that no plant is left behind! I have big rectangular wire baskets for the larger pots, but you can even recycle things from around the house if needed. I'm talking Chinese food take-out trays, Tupperware ... I'm sure you can think of even better ideas too, so feel free to comment!
Hanging from the Walls
Of all of the headaches that come with overwintering plants indoors, hanging baskets are the worst. After setting them on the ground you can usually count on the stems and leaves getting crushed under the weight of the pot, or sprawling out flat (and taking up space) where they used to hang down. You know what? Just leave them hanging! Purchase a stud finder from a hardware store to locate the sturdy wooden supports within your walls. Then install plant hangers (found at hardware stores and garden centers) to display your orchid baskets and Boston ferns in style! Continue the show in spring by replacing the plants with hanging lanterns or other decorative accents.
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