Use & Care
The potsherds of ancient people tell us about how they lived, worked, ate, and saw beauty. The objects in your life become part of your story, too. Over time they accrue the signs of this, subtly changing in color, sheen, texture. This is normal and good! But should you notice cracks or chips it may be time to re-purpose the piece, particularly cups or bowls, as the food-safe quality may be compromised. Maybe that wine cup becomes a vase!
I recommend hand-washing to ensure a long life for your ceramic pieces.
A reminder if you wish to drink hot beverages from one of my cups: depending on the wall thickness and surface treatment, the surface can get very hot!
Houseplants bring life and fresh air and beauty into a home, and you don't need to be a green thumb to enjoy their benefits. While co-managing a greenhouse for several years I gained a lot of plant knowledge, and I've collected some of the essentials for you here. First I can help you decide what type and size of planter is right for you, and then I offer some simple tips on how to care for your botanical buds! ;)
My small 3 1/2" planters are best for things that don't need a great deal of water. There's not a lot of soil volume there, so unless you're watering very frequently, the plant will experience some dry spells. This is actually a GOOD thing for several types of plants -think succulents & cacti! Also, those newly-rooted cuttings from your philodendron or spider plant would be great, as they can otherwise suffer over-watering or root-rot if they're in too much soil (which takes longer to dry between watering).
The next size pot, with a 4 1/2" diameter, is comparable to a very standard small-size houseplant you might pick up in any greenhouse or garden center. It's the perfect size at which to purchase so many of the best indoor plant companions, from the classic to the exotic - especially if you're newer to plant ownership and don't want to go all in with a floor-to-ceiling sunlight-lover! There's no variety you can't plant in this size pot, and we have many plants that have stayed in this size for quite a long time. The key is just knowing when it's time to re-pot.
So, when is it time to size up?
One indicator is if your normal watering schedule just can't keep up with the plant's needs anymore. Is the foliage looking wilted or thirsty way more quickly than usual? It might need more soil. Soil volume has as much to do with plant watering as actual water volume and frequency! Another good indication related to this is if you pull the plant out of the pot and all the soil comes out with it, netted together with very visible roots on the outer edge of the soil. Then it is time to choose the next size up, never jumping up more than a couple inches in diameter from the previous planter.
How much water does this plant need?
It’s a common question, but not one answered in terms of volume. It’s practically impossible to give a plant too much water at any one time as long as the pot and the soil drain well, but it is possible to water too frequently. With good drainage, you can run the thing under the faucet for 5 minutes if you want to! But, for most plants, avoid watering again until the soil is dry to the touch at least a knuckle deep.
I highly recommend using a high-quality potting mix for any plant in a container. Avoid those with added moisture control or fertilizer. Moisture control additives could keep roots of some plants sitting too soggy, and while I’m guilty of erring in the other direction and not feeding my plants as often as I should, it’s a good idea to be in control of that yourself. Especially in winter (if as I do you live in a place with significantly shorter winter days), plants slow their growth in the winter months and generally should not be fertilized much or at all during this time. If you happen to be in West Michigan, you might like to know that I don’t use anything for my potted plants other than the custom-blended potting soil available at Romence Gardens. It’s the best!
Many of my designs include a saucer under a pot with a drainage hole. With these you can transplant directly into the ceramic vessel.
I also make some pots without drainage holes so that you can place the plastic pot from the greenhouse directly into them. Then you can rotate the plant as you wish without turning the planter. In this case you will need to check to make sure the plastic pot isn’t setting in too much residual water so you don’t get the roots too soggy.
My rule of thumb for determining indoor plant placement is based on life in a northern state, where the sun’s rays come in at a pretty extreme southern angle during the winter months. That being said...
Bright, direct light = South- or West-facing windows. I don’t put cacti or succulents anywhere but the south windows where the winter sun comes streaming in.
Bright, indirect light = a room with South- or West- facing windows, but outside the path of the sun’s direct afternoon rays. This could also be a North- or East- facing room with lots of uncovered windows where you’d sit and read midday without turning a light on. African violets love the bright, indirect light of a North window sill.
Moderate light = an East-facing window with direct morning rays but no hot afternoon sun.
Low light = lots of windows, but the translucent blinds or curtains are usually drawn. An inside corner of a North- or East-facing room. What it doesn’t mean: an area only ever lit with artificial light or with the blinds always closed. Our north-facing bedroom with heavy curtains is the one room with no plants. Sad, but true.