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DIY Summer activity: paint your own terracotta pots!

Do you enjoy summer as much as we do? The evenings are longer, the temperatures higher and the plants grow faster at this time of the year. The summer holidays are just around the corner and you’ll probably find a moment when you don’t know what to do (right after you watered and feed your green beauties for example). We got that covered! Time for a new and easy #DIYPLNTS.

Turning your terracotta pots into personal masterpieces.

Everyone knows them. They are the most common pots in the plant world: the terracotta pots. They are sustainable, cheap and come in different sizes, so they fit any plant. Ideal! Unfortunately, they all look the same and everyone likes a change and something cheerful, right? With a little paint and creativity, you can make your terracotta pots stand out from all the others! By painting a bare pot, it becomes a real eye-catcher, brings colour to your home or garden and your plants suddenly look even better than they already do. So it’s a win-win situation.

We are going to give you some tips on how to make your own terracotta pot shine and how to make sure you enjoy your creation for a long time. Let’s get started!

Everything you need to create your own beautiful pot(s)?

Here’s a list of all you painting essentials!

  • Terracotta pot (surprising, isn’t it?)
  • Bucket with warm water
  • Scouring pad or brush
  • Sandpaper grain size of 220 (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Brush
  • Rainbow stencil (or if you’re a real dare devil, just do it by hand!)

The steps you have to take to become a real PLNTSpainter.

Step 1: bathing time

To start our project, we need to clean the pot very well! Pots are often covered with a layer of dust or other dirt. Because of this, the paint cannot attach to the pot properly or you will see little bumps through it, of course we would like to avoid this! It’s important to give the pot a good bath. Use the bucket with warm water and the soft side of the scouring pad or a brush to loosen all dirt and dust.

Tip: Sometimes a pot has a price sticker that is difficult to remove (don’t you hate this too?!). If this is the case, let the pot soak for a while in the bucket of warm water. You will see that it becomes a lot easier to peel it off.

Step 2: patiently wait while your pot dries

Place the pot in a sunny spot to let it dry completely. We can only continue when the pot is completely dry, so please be patient and your patience will definitely be rewarded!

Step 3: sanding (if required)

A terracotta pot is a natural product and therefore never completely smooth. Maybe you want to keep this (lived-in tough) look or maybe you would rather remove these spots to make your painting look better. Like a real Picasso! The best solution is sanding, so you can get rid of any unevenness. If you are going to sand, do it with sandpaper with a grain size of 220.

Step 4: bathing – and patiently waiting – time again

Wipe the pot with a damp cloth to get all the dust off and let it dry again. Almost ready for painting..

Step 5: ready for the real action.

Now let’s start the fun part: we are going to paint!

There are plenty of ideas on how to turn this brown pot into a cozy and cheerful one. Maybe you don’t like busy things and prefer clean patterns and quiet colours, anything is possible! But we, as true plant fans, are going to pimp out these pots the PLNTS way. Are you ready?

You will see us in action in our DIY video:

We have chosen three different designs for you.

  • A happy face
  • A rainbow
  • A pot with a nice and appropriate slogan

Just to show you that there are no limits to your ideas, really anything goes. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.

Drawing a rainbow is not that easy on a round pot (as you can see in the video). Hooray for stencils! We made one especially for you to make the process a lot easier. You’ll find it on the bottom of this DIY blog. It is best to draw it with a pencil first, so it is still easy to correct and the paint will cover the lines later. So don’t worry about grey pencil lines.

Make sure to add several (thin) layers of paint. terracotta is made of clay, you will notice that the first layer of paint will not attach very well so you will most likely need a second or even third layer to make the colours look nice and colourful. This is perfectly normal.

It is important to paint in thin layers so that the paint does not drip. If you use too much paint in one go on your brush, your paintwork can start to bubble and you would like to avoid this. So dip carefully. Also very important! Let the paint dry well between each new layer before applying the next. We’ve said it before, patience is a virtue and it really does pay off, pinky promise. Also paint the inside of the pot as a finishing touch.

We have now only painted the outside of the pot but you can also choose to paint the inside of the pot. This is the real finishing touch of a pro!

Step 6: spray your creation with a water resistant varnish

If you want to finish your creation like a pro: make sure you spray the inside of the pot with a water-resistant varnish so that no moisture comes through the walls of the pot when you have potted the plant. We have used acrylic paint, which is water-resistant after drying. The varnish can also be sprayed on the outside of the pot to ensure that it retains its cheerful colours and stays clean. This way you can enjoy it for an extra-long time!

Step 7: admire and enjoy your masterpiece

Yes! Now you have finished your first home-made pot and have created the perfect home for your (new) plant 😉 We say that creativity is experimenting, growing, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.

Do you already have new ideas for the second one? Share your pot’s glow up with your fellow PLNTSpainters with the hashtag #DIYPLNTS.

DIY summer activity: How to make your own amazing plant hanger!

Let’s get creative with this beautiful new #DIYPLNTS ! How much fun would it be to be able to make your own plant hanger? This DIY plant hanger can fit in any interior and is a new and fun way to store your most beautiful plants. Attach it to the ceiling or high up on the wall and you can see your PLNTS from every angle in your home!

To create this hanger we are going to use the macramé technique. It could be you have seen this knotting technique before, because it was founded in the 13th century and loved by so many people since then. You can use all different kinds of materials to make the most beautiful macramé pieces. For our plant hanger we use a thick natural coloured rope to make the hanger look chunky. This will also make sure that it will be strong enough to hold your favorite plant and pot safely. The bigger the rope, the better you can see the knots you have made as well.

How to start:

Macramé makes it possible to combine creativity with functionality due to the wide variety of objects that can be made. It is quite easy to learn, inexpensive and amazingly relaxing. Another great feature is that the tools needed to create a macramé hanger are quite simple. You don’t need to be an Macramé expert!

What do you need?

  • Rope (included)
  • Wooden ring (included)
  • Wooden beads (included)
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Adhesive tape (this isn’t necessary but helps you to get the robe ends easier through the beads, tape the ends and you can remove it afterwards)
  • Decorative pot
  • Hanging plant

Time to knot!

We used a hook on a rack to hang the ring, but you can also use a door handle or a clothes hanger, which are present in every home. Hanging the ring and the rope a little higher while tying the knots is a lot more comfortable because you don’t have to sit on your knees.

With the tape measure you need to cut 6 wires of 5 meters and put them through the ring. After that, the pattern will tell you what to do. We use 3 types of knots and in the steps and the video below we show you how we did it.

Step 1: preparing time!
Cut 6 strings of 5 meters. You can possibly tape the ends of the strings with adhesive tape to prevent it from fraying.

Step 2: tie the knot
Pull the 6 strings half way through the ring. You now have 12 strings of 2.5 meters. Cut a thread of 70cm. Tie a gathering knot with this 70cm string to keep all the strings together.

Step 3: divide into groups and tie square knots
Divide the 12 strings into 3 groups of 4 strings. Tie 6 square knots under each other with each group of strings.

Step 4: pull through the wooden bead and tie square knots
Leave a space of roughly 10cm under the 6 square knots. Take the middle 2 strings of the 4 strings you used for the square knots and pull the 2 middle strings through the wooden bead. Then tie 14 square knots below each other. Repeat this under the other 6 square knots.

Step 5: tie more square knots and regroup the strings
Leave 12cm free under the 14 rotating square knots. Regroup the strings so that they each intertwine with the other, this means taking two strings from one group and two strings from the next group. Tie a square knot at all 3 points.

Step 6: repeat
Repeat step 5, but leave 8cm space below the square knots you made in the previous step.

Step 7: tie a final knot
Finally get all the strings together and tie a gathering knot also with 8cm space inbetween.

Step 8: final touch
Cut the remaining strings to desired length and comb (not necessary) them out slightly.

Time to shine!

When you finished the pattern and ended with the last gathering knot to bring the 6 threads together, you can either comb the ends or leave the threads as they are. This is your creation so feel free to do what you love!

This is the moment you have been waiting for, it is time to let her shine in the room with your favorite (hanging) plant. You can hang her from the ceiling, on the wall or even on a clothing rack. We see this being done a lot in our PLNTScommunity.

The PLNTSfamily loves to be creative and we can only tell you how satisfying and rewarding it is to make your own creations. However, if you’re not feeling quite so creative, luckily we also have plant hangers that are good to go and ready to light up your room. But remember, great things never come from comfort zones.

Share your beautiful Macramé Plant Hanger with the hashtag #DIYPLNTS, this way you can also see how others in the PLNTScommunity have done it.

Good luck PLNTSlovers!

DIY: potting and growing your own Stephania erecta

Are you an experienced plant parent who is up for a challenge? Then you and the Stephania erecta are the perfect match. With your green fingers, you can transform this large ‘potato’ into perfection!

The Stephania erecta is a tuberous plant that you grow yourself from a potato-like bulb into a beautiful climbing plant with characteristic coin-shaped leaves. She grows during spring and summer, but in wintertime, she drops her leaves and goes dormant. Stephania then has a nice, long sleep and doesn’t wake up till spring arrives. Oh, what a life – we envy her.

In this blog, we’ll explain how to pot your erecta bulb and help you grow a beautiful plant out of your bulb.

The Stephania erecta is native to the tropical forests of Asia and Australia, where she grows in peat moss and likes to swing up against trees. She thrives best in high humidity and likes a warm, light spot, but no direct sunlight. Once she starts growing, this adventurer will climb to great heights! You definitely make her happy by giving her some climbing support.

Potting your Stephania erecta

Bath time

Welcome your Stephania erecta home with a nice, warm bath! Let the bulb soak in warm water for about 24 hours.

Make the bed

Choose a well-drained soil mixture, like cacti soil. To increase the drainage, you can add small stones into the potting mix. Always use a pot with drainage holes through which excess water can drain away – Stephania definitely doesn’t like wet feet!

Tuck her in

Place the bottom of the bulb about 20% into the potting mix and leave the rest sitting above the soil. Make sure not to bury the bulb completely. You can add some small stones or pebbles on top of the soil to support the caudex.
Are you not sure what side is up? Look for a woody nub or a small dry circle – this is the side that must stay upwards.

Potting your Stephania erecta

Make her feel at home

Stephania just loves humidity. She will feel more at home if you place her inside a plastic back or under a plant dome. This will increase humidity and encourage growth.

Time for a (small) drink

The Stephania Erecta is a sensitive type that does not like wet feet at all. You could even say that she has a slight fear of water. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the ‘potato’ itself never gets wet. Only pour the water over the potting soil and not over the caudex.
Water her sparingly. Until you see growth, she hardly needs any water at all. Just make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely.

Be patient

The Stephania erecta likes to test your patience a bit. Not only does she drop her beautiful leaves every winter, but it can also take quite a while before she sprouts. After you place the bulb in the soil for the first time, it can take a few weeks up to a few months before she sprouts. But believe us, it’s worth the wait!

Is she.. dead?

Is your Stephania looking sad and is she dropping her leaves? No worries, she’s just fine!
During autumn and winter, the Stephania erecta drops her beautiful round leaves. She prepares herself for hibernation and saves her strength so she can climb to great heights again when spring arrives.

As soon as she drops her leaves, it is important to give her less and less water. When she has lost all her leaves and goes into hibernation, all she really wants is to be left alone. We can relate; nothing more annoying than being woken up when you are peacefully asleep, right?! Just leave the bulb in the soil, but stop watering her. She feeds on the water and nutrients that she stores in her bulb and doesn’t need any water until she wakes up again in spring and starts developing new growth. After this period of hibernation, she feels like reborn – literally. When spring arrives, she should come bigger and more beautiful than ever!

Are your green fingers starting to itch already? You can now find the Stephania erecta bulbs (size S+M) in our shop.

Plant trend: how to start with hydroponics

In this blog we will tell you all about hydroponics, a very trendy and decorative way to style and propagate your PLNTS in glass! After reading this blog you’ll not only know what hydroponics is, but also which plants are suitable for hydroponics, what essentials you need and how to start immediately yourself! As a bonus we have added a DIY video on the bottom of this article. The video will show you all the (easy!) steps to start.

What is hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a form of propagation or displaying of plants in which you put the roots of your plant in the spotlights. It is a propagation technique in which you put a plant cutting in water so that it can root. When the roots are strong enough you can repot the cutting in soil but you can also let it continue to grow in the water.

What are the benefits of hydroponics?

The big plus side of hydroponics is that your plant doesn’t need much attention. She will gain all the nutrition from the water. Another benefit is the cool appearance. Doesn’t it look super cool to watch the roots grow in the water behind the glass?! Because of the glass and water you can decorate your home in a light and fresh way!

Which plants are suitable for hydroponics or hydroponic propagation?

Not all houseplants are suitable for hydroponics. It’s best to choose a plant that is used to gaining nutrition from water. You can either make a cutting yourself or you can use a plant from your home that you prepare for hydroponics. In our propagation stations we use BabyPLNTS because they fit perfectly in the small vases.

Plant types that are suitable for hydroponics are:

  • Codiaeum
  • Syngonium
  • Calathea
  • Monstera
  • Philodendron
  • Pilea

Our top 5 favourites are:

Hydroponic essentials: what do you need to start hydroponic propagation?

  • A plant or cutting
  • A bowl or pot to collect the soil from the original plant
  • A bowl with lukewarm water to wash the roots of the plant
  • Glass vase, pot or a propagation set Tip: choose a size that matches the size of your plant of cutting!
  • A bottle of mineral water
  • A funnel or a bottle with pouring spout
  • A pipette
  • A bottle of plant nutrition

The 5 stages in the hydroponic process of growing plants

Step 1: Time to clean
Collect the soil from the roots in a bowl or pot.

Step 2: Bath time!
Use the bowl with lukewarm water to wash the roots as clean (and gentle!) as possible.

Step 3: Make the (water) bed
Use the funnel of pouring spout to fill the glasses of your choice with mineral water.

Step 4: Feeding time!
Use the pipette to collect a drop of nutrition and add it to the water. Add a few drops if your glass is bigger.

Step 5: Final touch
Place the roots carefully in the glass and give them a pretty place in your home!

What care does the plant need when it is growing in water?

As said before, the benefit of hydroponics is that the plant doesn’t need a lot of care. It gains all the needed nutrition from the water. It’s best to use mineral water since that water is full of vitamins and minerals that your plant will love! Another advantage is the lack of lime in mineral water which will help to keep the glass free of lime scale. Provide the plant with new water every two weeks and don’t forget to add a drop of nutrition after every change.

Start quick and easy with our propagation video

We also made a video about hydroponic propagation to help you start yourself quick and easy. Have fun!

What hydroponics products do we offer?

Have a look at our cool propogation stations below. These items will help you display your PLNTS in your home a stylish way.

DIY: How to pot and grow your own Caladium tubers!

We love Caladiums! There are many types of Caladiums, all with their own unique and often colorful leaves. Because of their colorful appearance and beautiful leaves they are a real eye catcher in your home or in your garden!

The caladiums grow a little different than other houseplants. They grow from spring to autumn and will lose their leaves when the tuber gets ready to hibernate. We love to help you grow your own special Caladium from tuber to full grown beauty. In this blog we’ll give you tips on how to start with the potting process and we’ll give you tips for the growing process. With the right care you can keep your Caladium happy for up to 10 years!

The Caladium potting process: how to startpotting your Caladium tuber

Choose the right time to plant the Caladium tuber

In springtime the Caladium tubers start to come alive so this is the time to plant the tubers! In spring and summer the Caladiums will grow to their full size which can be up to 90 cm tall! It’s good to be aware that the Caladium will lose her leaves during autumn. Only the tuber will stay alive and she will start hibernating until next spring. Don’t worry, she will be back in full bloom next spring when you take good care of her!

Bath time!

When your tuber has arrived in her new home, treat her to a long and warm (not hot!) bath. Let her soak for one hour in water of a maximum of 50°C before planting her in her pot.

Choose the right pot for your Caladium tuber and make her bed

Most Caladium tubers have a diameter of approximately 7,5 centimeters. Choose a pot with a diameter of at least 15 cm. A pot with a diameter of at least twice the size of the tuber is advised. When you choose a bigger pot, the Caladium has more room to grow and will most likely grow bigger! To make the bed of your Caladium tuber you have to fill 2/3 of the pot with soil. Place the tuber facing upwards. Make it cozy by covering her with soil.

Tuck your Caladium in and be patient

Time to cover your friend with wrapping film. Make sure to open it every day to avoid mold. Find a shady and cozy spot with 20-25°C and wait for your Caladium to bloom in about 4 weeks.

The Caladium growing process: how to create a happy Caladium

Choose the right location to grow your Caladium

As soon as the Caladium starts to grow, the Caladium loves sunlight! Her origin is the tropical environment of Central- and South-America. Here she grows in the Amazon rainforest. Her leaves are delicate and therefor she can best be places in a spot with lots of indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can best be avoided since this could cause burns of dry spots on her leaves. If the Caladium doesn’t get enough light she might turn more green then colored. You should relocate her to a lighter spot when this happens.

Give her the right amount of water

The Caladium is not a very thirsty type but it is important to give her enough water so that she stays hydrated, also after a sunbath. Make sure her soil is always moist, not wet! She’s not a fan of wet feet… The tuber will rot when it is too wet for too long and this will affect the lifespan of the plant and tuber. Water the Caladium twice a week during summertime and once a week during spring and autumn. When the leaves start hanging she tells you that she is thirsty!

Treat your Caladium with lots of spraying

Your Caladium loves humidity since her natural environment is also very humid! You will please her best by giving her a daily spraying session. Her delicate leaves will stay beautiful and hydrated so you will rewarded for this extra act of kindness!

Cut the flowers when you want to save your Caladiums energy

The Caladiums can grow flowers that have a strong scent. Keep in mind that the flowers will take energy from the tuber. If you prefer the tuber to concentrate the energy on the growing of new leaves, you might consider to cut off the flowers.

Take good care of the tuber during winter time

The Caladium leaves will die during fall but the tuber will continue to live. Cut off the dead leaves when they are fully dried out. The tuber will continue to gain energy from the remaining leaves and she will live on this energy during the period of hibernating. You can keep the tuber in the dry soil (stop watering it!) and place the pot somewhere in your home until springtime. Keep in mind that she’ll not survive when she needs to hibernate in too cold or too warm conditions. She will be happy with temperatures around 12 to 20°C. The process or growing will start all over again during spring. You can enjoy the Caladium for about 10 years this way!

Caladiums and pets

Be aware that Caladiums are toxic to cats and dogs. Chewing on the leaves can cause extreme irritation and swelling of the mouth. Therefor it is best to keep the Caladiums out of reach of your furry house mates.

Can’t you wait to grow your own unique and colorful Caladium?! We’ve got great news: you don’t have to! We have eight different types of Caladium tubers for sale in our shop!

Plant parents of Europe, let’s unite and break the chains of tired and stilted interior design. A new decade is upon us and it brings fresh trends. So grab your plants, gently wipe away the dust (like the PLNTS doctor is constantly telling me to do) and come on a journey to the future of houseplants.

A real bright spark

Whether you are in Berlin, Brussels or Doncaster, building your very own pinterest dream apartment is a cinch! Two little words; form and function. That means creating spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful (and minimising clutter).

My signature move is to pair a classic terracotta feeder with an elegant glass holder. Who would have thought that unleashing your inner Marie Kondo was so simple? You can either grab yourself a matcha latte and wait for inspiration to strike or, better yet, follow #PLNTitandtheywillcome for some minimalist PLNTS’ inspo.

Help?! My space is flatlining

There’s strength in numbers. So why not create a little army of houseplants? Having one big statement area in your space can create an unforgettable impression while keeping that minimalistic charm elsewhere. Modern living can be stressful, so I’ve created a little oasis of calm that does wonders for my headspace.

Top of the pots

This year the plant world is going crazy for ceramics and who can blame them? Now, when you think of ceramic you may picture stuffy porcelain ornaments in your grandparents’ home. But believe me, these aren’t your nanna’s accessories.

But just remember, you wouldn’t go to a wedding in sweatpants, would you? Exactly! So make sure you grab a style of pot that complements your plant. Have a look at the range and ensure that from dawn to dusk your PLNTS are dressed to slay.

Become a PLNTS celebrity

So those are my tips for 2020. If you have perfected any of these styles, let me know. Don’t be greedy, share how you are rocking these tips at home for a chance to be featured on the PLNTS.com Instagram.

There was a time, not too long ago, when you could get any style of plant pot you wanted, so long as it was terracotta. Of course, terracotta plant pots are a classic for a reason. But picking a fresh new style is a simple way to refresh your home and is a great excuse to treat the green members of your family to cute plant gifts.

1. Picking the style that suits your plant

A key part of being a plant parent is knowing how to complement styles. Think about it, if you have a plant that’s a little unique with crazy patterned leaves you may not want to pair it with a colorful pot and completely unique pot shape. Just like when choosing your outfit of the day, you can never go wrong pairing a statement piece with something a little more low-key.

2. The rule of 3

Whenever I am stuck in an aesthetic rut and want to switch up my plant style, I always keep the rule of 3 in mind. That means placing 3 of your plants together to create a small oasis of calm. Sticking to the rule of three allows me to focus on interesting shapes, colour and simplicity while also maintaining a consistent style.

If I am going for an industrial feel I would combine a copper plant pot, with darker colours and simple minimalist plants. I then break up the look with a large plant pot to create variety and give my eyes some extra special plant magic.

3. Patterns and interesting material

Can you keep a secret? I know plant parents shouldn’t have favourites, but I admit that not all plants are created equal. Now and again I like to treat my most treasured plant children to special plant pots with patterns or interesting materials. Remember, fun playful accessories such as colourful ceramic planters or heavy stoneware pots are always a winner.

Some other plant pot styles that have become a key part of my style armoury are geometric plant pots, lovely strong block colour pots and if I’m feeling extra fancy; chic leather pots. Think about how each of these elements will suit your space. Picture your plant collection and imagine how much better the space could be with a unique statement piece that draws the eye.

4. Raise the roof

Don’t be afraid to bring your plant pots to a whole new level. If you are feeling experimental try suspending multiple contrasting plant pots throughout your home. This has the added benefits of sprucing up the blank higher spaces of your home and provides your urban jungle with a sense of depth.

One thing to bear in mind, would be to ensure hanging planters are sufficiently stable to reduce the risk of your precious plants falling. Resin pots with leather straps are a great choice for hanging because they are so darn durable. If you are looking for a great DIY plant project whilst stuck at home, you can also make your very own hanging planter for that extra personal touch.

5. DIY

Speaking of DIY, you might not be looking to invest in a new plant pot at the moment but don’t let that stop you showing your plant love. Step your plant accessories game up by taking something a little basic and making it your own. All you need is a basic plant pot and some painting supplies.

The PLNTS community are a talented bunch so keep an eye on social media for awesome do it yourself tips and don’t worry if you aren’t feeling too artsy, there’s plenty of fantastic pre-made ways to reflect your personality.

6. Stand out from the crowd

Maybe you aren’t that great with a hammer and a nail, that’s no problem whatsoever. Until you’ve mastered that particular skill, a great way to get some extra height into your urban jungle is 2020’s most exciting plant accessory; the plant stand. A simple idea, mix it with a colourful plant pot for a statement piece that will make you the envy of plant parents everywhere.

Bonus tip for plant parents

At PLNTS.com we spend loads of time seeking out new inspiration from the plants community. Tag all your photographs with #PLNTS or #BabyPLNTS so you can share your tips with the rest of the community and have a chance to be featured on our Insta.

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