I just cant believe what a huge difference a live plant makes in a space. If a room in your house is feeling a little ho hum, get your cute butt a plant. They are a really great inexpensive way to liven things up (literally!)
Every plant needs a planter to spread its roots in. This is something that we all agree on, but finding one (and one that wont cost you your left trunk) is quite a different story. Until today. This Openwork Cube Planter comes in just under $30 and is the easiest thing to build!
You will need:
(1) 12” Terra Cotta Planter
(6) 1”Square Wooden Dowels that are 36” long (standard length from HD)
Nailer or Screws
Wood Filler (optional)
Start by cutting (12) 13” pieces. If you are making this with a different size planter, measure the top (ours was 12”) and add 1”. This will give you a hole that is 11” (because each wood piece is 1” wide) If you don’t have access to a saw, you can have these pieces cut for you at Home Depot.
To assemble them put a small amount of glue on the end of one piece.
Then attach it with your nailer or a screw.
Wipe the excess glue off and move to the next corner.
You will make 2 squares.
Glue and nail the other 4 pieces onto the squares you just made.
Fill in nail holes with wood putty.
Let it dry for 24 hours before placing your potted plant in it.
Picture how cute this would be on a smaller scale with glass fishbowls or small pots on a book shelf or running down the center of your table!
Guys. The plant obsession is taking over my life- and I’m SO HAPPY ABOUT IT!! Today’s DIY project is a modern propagation planter! You can also use it as a bud vase and a million other things. I feel a follow up post coming on.
So lets kick this off by talking about Propagating!
What is Propagating?
Propagating is the process of taking a cutting from a plant, putting it in water or soil and over time new roots grow, thus creating a new plant! Picture taking a finger, cutting it off, placing it in a cup of water and growing a new human. I was getting some high society status points by using the word thus, but then totally killed it by talking about human fingers. Plants are cool, I am not.
To propagate, you need a clean container that can easily have the water replaced (you’ll want to do this every few days with your cuttings) I’ve been using cups, but they are so big that the small cuttings fall inside and it just turns into a frustrating balance game. You need something small, like a test tube And also adorable, because hello, this is your house!
Test Tube Propagation DIY Project
As I was writing the tutorial for this project I came to the realization that while the project is easy enough to make, the gear to do it is a little more expensive than I would’ve liked. (about $115 for 5 completed planters) That’s why we’ve decided to offer these pre-made plant prop stations in the Vintage Revivals Shop for a limited time! You can buy them pre-made here! As far as I know no one has ever tried a DIY and Buy option for a project, so let’s see how it goes!
If you are DIY or die like myself, here is the tutorial!
Start by cutting the 3″ round discs out of wood. When you’re using a hole saw, make sure that your drill is nice and vertical. Even better than a drill is a drill press! This will make it easier to drill because the teeth of the saw will hit the wood at the same time and your disc will be evenly shaped!
Step 2: Sand the Disc
This is a super important part for the finish of your disc, a light sanding along the edge makes all the difference! Use 220 grit sand paper!
Step 3: Drill the Keyhole Hanger
To get your disc to lay flush against the wall, you’ll want to use a keyhole router bit to cut the hole in the back. Use the hole that was drilled all the way through your disc when you were cutting it with the holesaw as a guide for your keyhole.
Step 4: Drill Pocket for magnets
On the face of your disk, take a drill bit that is the same size as your magnets (ours is a 10mm) and drill down the depth of 2 magnets. You can mark this depth on your drill bit by using painters tape!
Step 5: Glue 1 Magnet in the Bottom of the Pocket
Put your Super Glue inside the pocket that you just created and put one magnet inside.
Flip the disc over and put a little more glue inside the hole against the magnet from the back. Let it dry completely before coming in contact with the second magnet that you’ll be attaching to the test tube!
Step 6: Attach Magnet to Test Tube
Take your painters tape and put a small piece so that it sits flush against the lip of your test tube. Don’t wrap it all the way around the tube, you still want to be able to see through the glass. This step is super important if you are making multiples! You’ll want all of your test tubes to line up and this is a quick and easy way to make sure that all of the magnets are glued in the right spot!
* You want the magnet on the test tube and on the wooden disc to attract so make sure that you are gluing the back of the magnet to the test tube!*
Place your magnet face down and put glass glue (NOT super glue!!) on the back of it. Line the top of the magnet up with the bottom of the painters tape and let the test tube rest on top of the magnet while it dries.
Step 8: When the glass glue has cured, remove the painters tape and stick the magnets together!
TA DAAAA! You are a rockstar!! Attach a screw to the wall and hang!
The magnets wont effect the plant growth at all and you’ll be able to easily change out the water so that your little planties can thrive!
One of the first projects that we did when we bought the Merc, even before renovations began, was updating the detached garage.
If you’ve ever wondered if pinky beige and forest green look great together, let me just permanently sear this image into your mind.
Sorry not sorry.
We attacked it with all of the love and Mandi White paint we could get our hands on and it turned out SIGNIFICANTLY better. To this day, every time my father in law comes over he asks if we’re sure we didnt replace the garage doors because he cant believe how much better they look. (You can see more of the process here)
So even though the outside was spruced up and looking fly (yes, I just said that, I’m also embarrassed for myself) the inside was rough. We’re talking raw cinderblock, wires, and 2 of these ancient relic garage door openers.
That we of course didnt have remotes for. In fact, I dont even know if they made remotes. I’m pretty sure that the way you opened them remotely was to throw a rock at a dinosaur that then started walking in a circle around a huge wooden gear-Flintstones style.
Do you think I’m joking? The garage doors didnt even lock! We had to use a metal rod that Court stole off of one of my hoards to keep them secure. #primitive
When Chamberlain reached out about installing one of their new Chamberlain B1381 Corner to Corner Lighting™ LED Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener, the thought of being able to park in the garage brought tears to my eyes! All of you Southwest-ites can attest to the indescribable pain of trying to drive with a steering wheel that will take your fingerprints off because it’s so hot. We also (obviously) use the garage as our workshop so functional doors and new lighting is just helpful all around.
The Biggest Difference: Lighting
Just for funsies, look at the difference between the lighting with our old opener and the new Chamberlain. (I know it’s a different spot, Court very enthusiastically took down one of the old openers when I told him we were getting a new one before I could get a proper before and after. I’m pretty sure that means I get an automatic fail on my blogger card.)
This is our old one. I SWEAR on my whole life that this is not one of those magic photoshopped pictures.
It is the exact same conditions in both pictures.
I’m not entirely convinced that if I pulled into the garage with the old light on that I would be able to make out if there was someone there trying to steal all of our wood scraps! I’m also not entirely convinced that it wouldn’t spark and catch the whole dang place on fire. It’s like the Cave of Wonders in there!!
BUT LOOK AT THIS MAGIC!
With the new Chamberlain LED opener, we could go into full on project mode at 2 am! Get excited neighbors!! Most garage lights use standard bulbs that put out between 450-1100 lumens depending on the wattage (lumens is the way that the amount of light output is measured. The higher the number the brighter the light.)
In comparison Chamberlain’s built-in Corner to Corner lighting system puts out a whopping 3,100 lumens-0evenly distributing daylight-like lighting to fill the entire garage! The diodes are also extremely long lasting, so you’ll likely never have to replace them!
Smart Home Tech Standard
We LOVE smart home tech at the Merc, and this garage door opener is no exception. It has a built in Wi-Fi powered by myQ technology that allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere. Great if you’re like us and always lending out tools.
Other smart home features:
Receive real-time alerts when your garage door opens and close. Know when the kids are home from school, when your husband is hiding from the family, or when your teenager tries to sneak the car out.
Set daily schedules for the garage door to close. I love the idea of having it automatically close every evening at sundown. Just to be sure that everything is locked up tight. How many times have you walked outside in the morning to find that when your kids parked their bikes they didnt close the garage door?
Customize how your myQ-connected garage door opener and lights interact with your other favorite smart devices and home automation platforms. Get enhanced features such as voice control, location-based closing or being able to control myQ via a partner app.
Chamberlain Group and Amazon recently teamed up to offer In-Garage Delivery in 37 cities. I’ve never wanted to live in a large city more.
Aside from its smart home capabilities, we’ll also enjoy the convenience of a built-in battery backup system that enables our opener to work during power outages, so we can still get in and out in case of emergency.
Install was easy and almost entirely a one man job, as evidenced below. When Court started pulling all of the parts out of the box he said “Welp, this is going to be an instruction reading project” and we all know how he feels about following instructions. But it was super easy to follow and he had it done in about an hour.
Rubber Plant or as they’re scientifically known Ficus Elastica are one of my FAVORITE indoor plants. They can be small enough to sit on your desk or so large that they touch the ceiling. They come in a few varieties (that we’ll talk about in a bit!) but regardless of if it’s a small rubber plantlet or a huge rubber plant tree this easy to care for guy is going to give you all the warm plant lover vibes! (Just make sure you treat it like a friend)
This post is chock full of everything you need to know to not only keep your Rubber Plant happy, but absolutely thriving!
Fun Facts To Keep In Mind
Rubber Plants are not self supporting, the longer they grow the droopier they get. You can keep your rubber plant standing upright by using bamboo or dowels. I just use the leaves to hold it in place.
Rubber Plants are quick growers, growing as much as 24″ in a season!
Rubber plants are poisonous. They produce a milky sap when their leaves or stems are broken. This sap contains latex and can be poisonous to animals and humans.
Rubber Plants consume their soil, so keep a supply on hand for when things get low! We’ll dive into this more later.
Anatomy of a Rubber Plant
The Rubber is a cousin to the fickle Fiddle Leaf Fig, and commands the same presence without making you cry tears of frustration.
It’s thick waxy leaves start out as a soft coral and deepen to a dark green as they age. Leaves are oval shaped with thick stems that connect them to the stalk.
Rubber Plants only grow new leaves out of the top of the stalk (they don’t regrow on the sides). The new leaves are grown in a sheath. The sheath starts out as a tiny deep burgundy spike. As the leaf grows inside, the sheath lengthens and turns a shocking shade of pink. The leaf emerges from the sheath and the sheath falls off completely.
If the plant is in growth mode, when the leaf opens there will be a new sheath with a leaf growing inside!
Um, I did not know this the first time my Rubber got a new leaf. I was out of town and came home to find this pink thing on the floor. I thought my kids broke my new leaf off and heads were about to roll, until I looked up and saw this cute fresh shiny leaf. When the sheath falls off, just throw it away and don’t murder anyone.
At the base of the sheath, right above the older leaf is the node. See the little red circle? Nodes are where new roots can grow if a plant is broken or cut for propagation (which we’ll talk about in just a bit!)
As Rubber plants grow, the older parts of the stalk develop a bark, Most indoor Rubber plants wont grow thick enough to have their stocks turn into self-supporting trunks and will need support from bamboo stalks
Variegated Rubber Plants
Variegated Rubber Plants have the coolest leaves. They are usually white and different shades of green, but can also be pink!
If you have a variegated rubber, you definitely want to avoid direct sunlight. Variegated Rubber plants are more sensitive to direct sunlight and have a harder time producing chlorophyll (what is made when sunlight is converted to sugar) so they can grow at a slower rate than their fully green counterparts.
Best Lighting for Rubber Plants
Rubber Plants, like most Ficus plants love bright indirect light. The giant one that I have in my house is in a huge north facing window. If your Rubber Plant isnt getting enough light you’ll know because it can start dropping leaves (this is usually in connection with overwatering).
If your Rubber Plant is in a window that gets direct sunlight it should still be ok, you just might need to keep a closer eye on the soil moisture!
Rubber Plants love consistently moist soil without soggy roots.
Checking the Moisture Level
You’ll know when it’s time to water when you stick a skewer (or your finger) in the soil and find that the top 2 inches has dried out. I love the skewer method because you can poke around the roots and aerate the soil so that it’s getting fresh oxygen at the roots and breaking up the compacted dirt.
How Often Should I Water?
The frequency will vary on the size of your planter, the proximity to a window, and the time of year, so by paying attention and checking the soil you should be able to stay on top of it! Water when the top 2″ of soil is dried out.
How Much Water Should I Use?
Water deeply (meaning until water drains from the holes in the planter) or until you’ve used 1/4 of the container size in water if your planter doesnt have drainage holes. This means if your plant is in a 4 gallon container, you’ll use 1 gallon of water.
Soil for Rubber Plants
Rubber Plants hate soggy roots, so a well draining soil is very important. Whenever I heard that I was always like, yes but what does that mean?! Cactus potting mix is an extremely well draining soil and can be used as a great general soil when you are replanting.
Ficus plants like Rubber and Fiddle Leaf Figs consume their soil, so watch for the roots to start getting close to popping out of the surface. When this happens, just add more soil to the top and you’ll be good for a few more months!
When to Repot Your Rubber Plant
There is a lot of confusion about when and if you should repot a plant when you bring it home. Most growers put a lot of thought and effort into the potting mix that your plants are potted in, so I would say that unless you are dealing with root rot, or your plant’s growth is stunted from the size of the planter, its totally fine to keep it in the original pot and put it inside a larger decorative one
How fast to Rubber Plants grow?
Rubber Plants are quick growers when they are in the right conditions. If you have the patience and the time, a rubber plant that starts small and adapts to your space as it grows will do even better than a large tree transplanted into your home.
In the right conditions a Rubber plant can sprout up to 24″ in a growing season. If you plant has more than one stalk, its common to have more than one shooting up at the same time. My big guy has 3 stalks and when it’s blooming, 2 of the stalks are usually growing at the same time.
If you notice that your Rubber Plant’s leaves are standing vertical, it is probably because it’s turned them to face the sun. This is totally normal and can be corrected by simply rotating the plant so that the light is hitting it differently! Notice the leaves in the photo below, see how so many of them are standing vertical? The plant needed to be rotated!
How to Propagate a Rubber Plant
Rubber plant propagation is really easy! Nodes can root in water or soil. Propagate from wood parts of the stalk?
Step 1: Cut the Stalk
Cut the stalk between the leaves, you can get multiple starts from one stalk!
Remember, the node is right by the leaf! Each cutting should have a small portion of stalk and a leaf on it.
Step 2: Wash the white sap off of the cuttings
You can also dip the ends of the cutting in rooting hormone or honey to encourage root growth.
Step 3: Place the cutting in water (or soil)
Just make sure that the node stays covered!
Step 4: Replace the water every few days.
Fresh water has oxygen in it that the plant needs! Check for root growth! It can take a few months for the cuttings to root, dont get discouraged, as long as your leaf is still alive, things are happening!!
Step 5: Plant the Rooted Cutting in Soil
Congrats!! Once your Rubber Plant has rooted it’s time to put it in soil! Use a well draining mix that we talked about earlier in this post and watch it thrive!!
How to Clean Dust Off of Leaves
Plants with large leaves can get really dusty, this is a problem because like solar panels, leaves are the way that the plant absorbs light. If the weather is nice outside, take your Rubber Plant out and gently hose it off. Think of how rain would hit it and do it that way! This should clean off most of the dust! If the grime is a little thicker, or if you arent able to move your plant outside, use a baby wipe to wipe them down! You can buy sprays that make the leave extra shiny but I tend to steer away from them because they make the plant look fake.
Are Rubber Plants poisonous?
Rubber Plants are considered poisonous. They produce a milky sap that contains Latex that can be harmful to human and animals. But don’t freak out. They are classified as Toxicity Class 4- which is the most mild classification- meaning no one is going to die. The sap can cause minor skin irritation to larger rashes.
My Rubber Plant is Leggy (Can it Regrow Leaves?)
When Rubber Plants drop leaves they can become leggy, meaning there are no leaves on the lower part of the plant. Rubber plants do not regrow leaves from the lower parts of their stalks, only from the top. So there is no way to make a plant less leggy.
To make your Rubber Plant appear fuller you’ll need to replant smaller stalks in the planter with the larger ones. This will fill out the lower naked space make the plant look bushier.
HELP!! What is Wrong with My Rubber Plant!?
One of the best things about social media is crowd sourcing, as I was writing this post I thought- wouldnt it be cool if we could see real life scenarios where Rubber Plants are struggling, and diagnose what is happening so everyone can learn from it?! So I posted on Instagram and got the best pictures! I’ve got my bestie plant expert Shane in the house to break down what is happening and how to fix it!
Leaves are turning yellow and falling off
If the leaves are lower like they are on this plant, its because the plant is using up all of its energy for new larger growth. These guys arent getting as much light because they are hidden underneath the larger leaves, and 2. they were the first leaves sprouted and so they’ll be the first to die off as the plant grows. If the rest of the plant seems healthy and there is new growth happening (like there is on this one) don’t worry about a few leaves dying.
If the leaves are higher on the plant, or they are larger new growth, your Rubber Plant is drowning! Cut back on the watering and give it a chance to breathe. You wont be able to save the yellowed leaves, but you can keep it happy moving forward!
Lower Leaves Are Dropping
If your Rubber Plant is dropping lower leaves, especially when it’s new in your home, dont worry! This is your rubber plant getting used to it’s new environment. Make sure that it has adequate light and everything should stop. If they aren’t, look for other signs as to what could be wrong!
Solution: If this is the only thing happening, it’s totally normal!
Leaves are Droopy
The problem with this little guy is that he’s not getting enough sun! The window isnt casting much natural light and he’s in the corner away from where it would likely shine even if it was. Chances are that it is also being overwatered. When light cant reach the plant, they go into hibernation mode and absorb water less quickly.
Solution: Move this plant to a different spot where it wont be missing the sunshine!
Leaves are Turning Brown and Dropping
This is a watering issue. This reader is going too long between waterings. Usually if leaves turn brown and crispy the Rubber Plant isn’t getting enough water. So what is happening is that the leaves start to dry out and they drop when the plant decides that it needs to put all of it’s energy into saving the living leaves. It is also likely not getting enough light.
Solution: Make sure this plant is receiving regular waterings and that the soil is constantly moist.
Leaves are Droopy, Yellow and Brown and Dropping
This is a soil issue. The soil seems to be compacted which means that the soil has dried out completely at some point and formed sort of a crust. New water struggles to get absorbed and the roots are suffocating.
Solution: You can tell that your soil has dried out if it has pulled away from the container. If this is the case, aerate it with a skewer before you water so that it’s getting all the way to the center of the root ball. If you just pour water on it without breaking up the compacted soil it will just run down the sides of the root ball and out the bottom of the planter.
Stalks are Very Thin and Long
Rubber plants that live indoors will almost always need support, even my tall healthy one has a bamboo support for each stalk! But the issue with this guy is 2 fold. Lack of light is causing it to shoot higher to find any light source, which is why the stalks are so thin.
The second issue is that it’s not getting enough water. See how the leaves are curling back? That is an indicator that it’s thirsty! It might have something to do with the wooden planter that it’s in. The wood might be absorbing a huge portion of the water before your Rubber plant has a chance to! Consider swapping it out for something less absorbent like ceramic, plastic, or glass.
Where to Buy Rubber Plants
You can often find Rubber plants at your local Home Depot or Lowes. They’ll most likely be smaller one though. If you are looking for something larger check out your local indoor nursery. If you’re in Southern Utah you’ve got to go to Moss and Timber! They are my favorite!!
Now you are FULLY prepared to have a thriving and happy Rubber Plant in your home! Welcome to the club my friend!!
Also, PHEW that was a lot of info! Did I miss anything? Leave your questions or comments below!!
Do you ever have moments where you feel like technology is SO COOL you were transported to the future!? It’s one thing to hear about the latest tech, and another thing entirely to witness it in person. Buckle up kids, we’re going to the future!
Last week I spent a few days at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas with Samsung checking out their newest products and having the best time. KBIS is huuuuuge and is sort of like Coachella for designers and builders. Everything you could ever hope to see or learn about in products related to home building is out in full force.
Tuscan Stainless Appliances
In the world of kitchens, there are 2 things that reign supreme. White and Stainless right? But what is the first word that you think of when you think of white and stainless? Sterile! No one wants their house to feel sterile, it’s cold and unwelcoming! The last few years we’ve seen more colors come into kitchen appliances with Black Stainless (so great for grounding the space!) and last week Samsung launched a new color called Tuscan Stainless. It is this gorgeous smoky bronze color with a semi-matte finish. Tuscan Stainless is perfect for those that are embracing the earthy inspiration of clay, terra cotta, blush, copper, brass, and burgundy and want their kitchen to feel welcoming!
At KBIS they had Tuscan Stainless set up in different vignettes with different wood tones and styles and it looked incredible with all of them. My favorite pairing was with carrera marble. How good is this!? One feature that I can really get behind is the intigration with Stainless and Chrome into the design. It makes it so that even if you have to add appliances over a period of time, they’ll still work with your current stainless ones.
Tuscan Stainless officially launches in May, you can get more info on it here!
A New Level of Smart Home
Do you ever feel like someone could run your life better than you? Maybe the cute neighbor lady that is always in full makeup at school drop off? Or the friend who brags about going to the grocery store once every 2 weeks when you’re there every day roaming the isles wondering what to make for dinner? What if the thing that could make your life so much easier is your house? We’ve reached Jetson’s level here friends.
Samsung is the unchallenged leader in smart home tech. Where most companies are creating individual devices to fix individual challenges, Samsung is creating ways for everything to work together always. Their SmartThings app is at the heart of it all. It works with over 600 smart home devices (even ones that aren’t Samsung) and makes it so that the tech isn’t just controlled by your phone. It integrates with their Family Hub refrigerator, Frame TV, and Bixby. SmartThings makes it so that your fridge is just as smart and in control as your phone.
Speaking of fridges. The tech that is in the Hub Refrigerator is just BEYOND. You can do everything from find your new favorite recipes, watch TV, check on the sleeping baby, answer your front door, leave love notes and pictures, meal plan, get notifications about when it’s time to change your laundry, check the contents of your fridge in real time so you don’t buy another container of greek yogurt (and that’s just scratching the surface!!)
The only downside that I can see is if you use needing to grab another carton of cottage cheese as an excuse for a Target run, seeing as how your husband can pull up the real time contents of your fridge on his phone and verify if you do in fact need more cottage cheese. #busted
While I was at KBIS, I was also able to see Samsung’s Chef Collection. It’s their top of the line primo product. It of course is beautiful, but the thing that I loved the most is that so many of the smart home features were also incorporated there! So even though it’s luxury and very different from the standard smart home style, it still can help you rule the world!
I am obsessed with this easy DIY hanging planter! It’s such an easy project, you just need a few floral (or brass) hoops. I love it because it’s such a statement maker. It will look amazing in front of a window or hanging on a wall by a bed, or even in your bathroom! As long as your indoor plant is in the right lighting condition it will thrive! There are some really great low light plants that will look amazing in this planter!
If you are a plant mama, you need this in your life!! I mean, what plant wouldn’t want to feel like they are on The Greatest Showman?! Every plant wants to feel that special. Heck, every human wants to feel that special! Zac Efron I love you!
I’ve always got plant placement on my mind. It’s easy to put plants that don’t spill onto a piece of furniture or the floor. But indoor hanging plants need somewhere to grow down. Most hanging planters that you find tutorials for are a macrame style made from rope, but when I saw some brass hoops at the craft store a few days ago the idea for this planter happened in 3 seconds flat. I love it when the creative bug bites!
Floral rings are CRAZY different sizes. I bought 3 different ones (1 from Amazon, 1 from Michaels and 1 from JoAnn) they were all supposed to be 5″ but no 2 were the same. So if you are doing this project, make sure that you buy enough or stick with the exact same brand, otherwise it can get annoying.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Planter Fits Inside the Smaller Single Hoop
You want to verify that the planter that you are using fits snug inside the smaller hoop. The planter will need to have a taper or a lip on it, otherwise it will just slide through the ring. Once the planter is assembled and the leather is wrapped around it, it will hold the planter differently, but having it fit tight is super important.
Step 2: Join the Hoops Together
Using your wire, join the hoops together with the smaller one in between the larger ones. It’s really helpful to keep the wire on the paddle (as opposed to unraveling, cutting, and then wrapping) because you can pull it tight between wraps. Try to keep it straight and not bulky. When I wrapped it I put the smaller hoop on top of the larger ones. This will give it a little more strength when the planter is in it.
Wrap the hoops with the small one in between the 2 larger ones.
Step 3: Paint
I didnt join the 2 larger hoops together at the top because I didnt want to see the wire. But I did need to paint it, so I wrapped a small amount around them and onto a tree so that it could hang freely while I spray painted.
Make sure that you are getting paint that works with metal (Rustoleum 2X is my fave). Apply it in light coats so that you dont get any drips. Make sure that you get all of the sides of the hoops. Let it cure for a couple of hours before you start messing with it, this will give the paint time to adhere to the metal. If you dont wait, it scrapes off easier.
Step 4: Cover the Wire with Leather
Once your paint has cured, you can wrap the leather over the wire. There are a few different techniques that you can use for this part. The first side I did a tight uniform wrap. It was fine, but the wire was kind of bulky in some spots so I didnt love love it.
On the other side I did a simple knot (you know the first part of tying your shoes? That.) and I love it so much more! Once the knots were done, I clipped the edges and glued them down on the inside of the planter with hot glue.
Step 5: Attach the Chain
Like I mentioned earlier, one of the best parts of DIYing a planter is being able to make the chain as long as you want. The chain I used is from Home Depot and is only $.50 a foot!
Let’s dive into more specifics about hanging planters shall we?
What Kind of Plants Should Be In A Hanging Planter?
Any type of plant that is a spiller needs to be in a hanging planter. There are lots of plants that vine as they grow, a few of my favorites are Pothos, Philodendron, String of Pearls, and Hoya. Other plants that love hanging planters are ferns. Ferns are like that squatty uncle that is as wide as he is tall. They also need intense drainage, when you hang a fern it moves it out of the way and if you have the right pot, it will drain really well.
Ceiling Hanging Planter vs. Wall Hanging Planter
This project will work regardless of if you are hanging it from a ceiling, or from a wall. I’ll show you both options! One thing that I love about DIYing a project like this is that you can make the chain as long as you need. We have 10′ ceilings in our house and it can look mighty lame to use a store bought hanging planter that is only 36″ long.
How High Should I Hang My Ceiling Planter?
You want the bottom of your planter to hang no higher than 7 feet off the ground and no lower than 6. That 1 foot space is your sweet spot. It makes watering easy to handle, and keeps the plant high enough that it isnt in the way. You want it to be far enough off of the wall that it has space for your plant to spread. I like to go at least 10″ from each wall, which when you’re up on the ladder and want the plant in the corner seems kind of far, but it’s perfect. If you are hanging a big bushy plant like a Boston Fern, or a Kangaroo Paw Fern, you can go even further off the wall.
How High Should I Hang My Wall Planter?
If you are following this tutorial and hanging it from the wall, you’ve got a little more wiggle room than if you are hanging it from the ceiling. I would keep it so that the bottom of the planter is in the 7-5.5 ft off the floor range. Wall planters should push the hanging plant at least 6″ off the wall and should be mounted on a stud or with drywall anchors.
Having plants in all parts of your home is amazing, but some places just dont have ideal lighting conditions. So what’s a plant lady to do!? Obviously buying a fake is not going to cut it. Intentionally buying plants that work in the space that you want them to live ensures that you are at least starting on the right path. Buying a plant that loves bright direct sunlight and putting it in your dark bathroom is a recipe for murder.
What Does Low Light Mean?
The term low light means that the space that you are putting the plant in receives very little natural light. Either there are no windows (or small ones) or there is something blocking them either on the inside of your house (like curtains) or on the outside (like an awning, a building, or vegetation.)
The Best Place To Buy Indoor Plants
This list runs the gamut between super common, like the ZZ Plant and Snake Plant. To the unique Marimo Moss Balls and Liriope. You can find a handful of these types of plants at your local Home Depot, or online at places like Etsy or The Sill, but my favorite place to score is a local indoor nursery called Moss and Timber (Southern Utah friends you’ve got to check it out!). Places like this is where you’ll find plants you’ve never heard of, and get more specific and specialized info and you can see the health of the plant. When you buy online its a mystery!
The Ultimate List of Low Light Indoor Plants
This list is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE low light houseplants. They each have a home in the Merc and I love them all so much! Read a little about each of them below as well as how to care for them!
Most low light houseplants only reach a meduim size. If you want a tree sized plant, I would recommend a Dracaena- if you start with a larger one, you’ll be able to put it in a room with dim light and it will do fine! Dracaenea are characterized by their long spikey leaves. They look similar to a palm with a woody stalk, but are more forgiving.
This plant will be on every low light houseplant list on the internet because it is just that good. Snake Plant or Mother In Law’s Tongue is sort of the perfect indoor plant. It can survive weeks of neglect and still look great, it handles low light like a champ, it’s easy to divide and propagate and cleans toxins like formaldehide and benzene out of the air. Keep watering to a minimal and let the soil dry out between waterings to keep it happy!
ZZ Plants have deep green glossy oval leaves that look fresh after months of neglect. Keep waterings few and far between and allow soil to dry out inbetween. In fact, one of the only ways to kill a ZZ Plant is to water it too much (you’ll know this is happening if the leaves turn yellow and start to drop off.) This guy is happy in a mostly dim room with little natural light (you probably walked passed a few last time you were at the mall in 2006)
Kangaroo Paw Fern
This cute guy gets his name from the kangaroo foot shaped leaves, but personally I love it’s fuzzy little roots more. If you (like me) run far away from any type of fern, listen before you high tail it out of here. Kangaroo Paw Ferns are VERY forgiving and nothing like their Boston or Maidenhair cousins. It does great in low light and prefers continuously moist soil but never overwatered or soggy. It is so fun to seen new leaves roll out and stretch their fingers.
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella are the worlds smallest palm tree! Often called a Parlor Palm, they are great for tabletops or desks. The tolerate low light very well and their bushy tops are so fun to run your fingers through! These guys love even moisture, so water when the surface of the soil becomes dry.
You can grow Chinese evergreen just about anywhere in your home, it tolerates low light well, but also grows well in bright spots. It doesn’t even need natural light to thrive! Chinese evergreen does just fine in offices with fluorescent lighting. This plant is fairly slow growing so it’s great for a desk or dresser and wont need repotting for a while.
Liriope, also known as Lilyturf is a hearty grass that blooms with bright purple flowers! It is extremely tolerant of any light condition and would look great on a coffee table! Liriope loves even soil moisture, so water when the soil is dry to the touch!
Marimo Moss Balls
These little guys are the equivalent of a plant puppy. They are absolutely adorable and it’s impossible to not want to pet them. Marimo Moss Balls are actually not moss at all but a very slow growing form of Algae that is found in cold freshwater lakes of Scotland, Iceland, Japan, and Australia. If they receive too much light (that can be intensified by their glass enclosure) they will start to turn brown and die. They are great on a bookshelf or in your kitchen and add so much personality. Marimo Moss Balls must be completely submerged in water at all times. Agitate them every few days with a quick stir or rub and change their water very 2 weeks (you can use tap water!)
With their unusual shaped leaves, and low light tolerance, Arrowhead Plants are a must-have for your darker rooms. The more mature they get the longer their trailing vines become. They are great in a hanging planter, or even trained to climb a trellis. The darker varieties with less variegation do even better in low light. Arrowhead Plants love even soil moisture, so water them when the soil surface begins to dry out.
Angel Wing Begonia
This guy, with it’s silver spotted leaves can adapt to almost any light condition. The Angel Wing Begonia is a flowering plant, and the color of the blooms + leaves depends on the amount of light received! The brighter the light the deeper the colors. When it’s a new plant (like mine) support the knobbly stalk with a chopstick until more shoots grow, then the large leaves will support each other. Allow the top 1″ of soil to dry out between waterings!
This is one of the coolest plants around. When lighting conditions are low, the leaves fold up (almost vertical) and touch each other, like praying hands! Prayer Plants come in a lot of different varieties, but this one (commonly called Red Maranta) is my favorite. I love the shades of green, the red veins, and the purple underside. Couple that with the velvety texture and it is sure to be a favorite!! Water when the top of the soil is just about dry, the Prayer Plant loves even moisture!
Do you have a favorite low light plant that I missed?! Leave it in the comment section below and I’ll add it!
The single most important factor for plant health (regardless of the type of plant) is lighting conditions. So many houseplants are victim to poor lighting conditions and honestly I think most of it is because people don’t understand the terminology and what that means in relation to their house.
What kind of lighting does my plant need?
In this post I will illuminate (get it!?) all of your plant lighting needs and the types of plants that need different kinds of light. We’re going to map it all out for you, and hopefully by the end of it, you’ll understand exactly what you need to do to keep your plant friends happy happy.
Do You Want an Accessory for a Month, or a Plant that Lives For Years?
The first and most important thing to understand about plant care (and you’ll hear me say this over and over) is that plants are real living things. If you treat them like an accessory and put them on a bookcase away from your windows, chances are that little guy is going to suffer. If you put it in your dark bathroom, it’s not going to be ok. If you put it right by your front door and the gusts of wind from the polar vortex blow on it, you’re going to have a plantcicle on your hands.
Plants should be placed where they need to be, not where you want them to be.
(Don’t worry, we’re going to talk about finding the right kind of plant for the spot you want to fill!)
I know this because I did this! It wasnt until about a year ago that I had my eyes opened to the reason why none of my plants were surviving.
ME! DAMMIT! I was literally the problem. I was placing them where they would look cute in my house or in a photo, but not where they would actually have what they needed to survive! RIP little fellas.
Pay Attention to it!
The best best part of being a plant lady is having little guys to love and watch grow.
The first thing to understand is that because the sun moves throughout the day and the earth rotates through the year, that lighting conditions are on a constant slow change. If you are engaged (even just a little bit) you’ll notice subtle changes that take place and the warnings that something is off.
Plant Lighting Types + Best Interior Plants For Each Type
We’ve all passed 3rd grade. We know that plants need sun, water, and soil to produce photosynthesis. But how much lighting is the right amount? This my friends is the million dollar question.
The answer? As a general rule, lighting is similar to chocolate. Bigger, more, eternally. When you start with a large light source, you can adapt and adjust to make things juuuust perfect.
When you’re looking at the care info for plants there are recommended lighting conditions, but what do they mean?
Full Sun/ Bright Light/ Direct Sun
This refers to raw unfiltered sunlight and can usually be found in an East, South (depending on the time of year), or West window. This is the type of light that if you are looking out the window from the plant’s point of view, you will see the actual sun in the sky.
Best Full Sun Plants
Plants that thrive in full sun are ones that love it in nature, think succulents, palms, and other sun worshipers that live in bright sunny climates. Plants that love full sun are usually quick growers and are constantly converting that light energy into food to feed their growth. Plants that flower love full sun because of the amount of energy it takes to bloom.
A lot of plants that love full sun have thick skins that can retain a lot of water.
String of Pearls
Indirect Light/ Filtered Light/ Medium Light
This type of light refers to light that indirectly reaches the plant. It can be through a sheer curtain, a bright north facing window, or a plant that is set back from the window a little bit. Remember our bigger, more, eternally rule for light? When you have a great source, you can filter it and work with it.
This kind of light is often called dappled lighting and refers to the type of sunlight that plants on the forest floor receive as the sun shines through the higher trees. Indirect light has a longer lifespan, meaning direct light moves and changes throughout the day and may not have a direct path to the plant for longer than a handful of hours. Bright indirect light can last an entire day, because the plant isnt looking for the actual sun rays on the leaves. The big storefront windows at the Merc are the most ideal indirect conditions. They let in a lot of bright light but they are north facing and so the plants aren’t receiving any direct sunlight.
The Best Medium/Indirect Light Plants
The plants that love bright indirect light span most plant species. This type of light is the most forgiving and a lot of plants thrive in it.
Palms (Kentia, Bamboo, Rhaphis)
Ficus (Fiddle Leaf Fig, Rubber Plant)
Before we start talking more about low light plants, I feel the need to clarify one thing really quick. There is no such thing as a low light plant, all plants love and need light to survive. So when we talk about low light plants, what we really mean is a plant that dies slower in low light.
Just like the bright and medium light plants, let’s take this visual out to nature. Plants that do well in low light conditions are either very sensitive to too much light (think of how many ferns were being crushed as Edward ran through the forest around Forks) or have very thick and waxy leaves and can hold onto a lot of water.
If you keep a plant in low light conditions just know that it’s not going to thrive. It might stay alive, but it’s probably not going to grow a lot.
The Best Low Light Plants
Just because a plant is low light does not necessarily mean that it is low maintenance. Ferns are a great example of medium-low light plants. Their fine leaves cant handle a lot of sun (especially direct sun!) but they always need to have moist soil and they are constantly shedding.
Sansevaria (Snake Plant)
Cast Iron Plant
What type of lighting is in my room?
A Cosmo Girl style quiz to figure out what your room’s lighting personality is!
Does the room have more than one window or light source?
a) Yes, there are multiple windows or skylights
b) No, there is only one window
c) No, there are no windows but natural light still comes into the room from other rooms.
d) No, there is zero natural light in this room
Would you consider the window to be big?
a) Yes, the window is very large
b) The window is average size
c) No, the window is very small
d) There is no window
Is there something outside of the window that is blocking the light? (Another building, an awning, a large tree etc.)
a) No there is nothing that is blocking the light coming in the window
b) Yes, but it is far enough away or sheer enough that the light still comes in.
c) Yes, it definitely reduces the amount of light that is coming inside the room.
d) There would be if I had a window, but because I don’t have a window I dont know how to answer this question correctly.
What direction is the window facing?
a) East, West
d) Again, no window.
On the chart below, where is your plant placed in relation to the window?
a) Orange Section
b) Yellow Section
c) Brown Section
d) White Section (aka in a room with no windows)
*Please keep in mind that all windows are different and lighting conditions change with the season.
Mostly A’s- Kimmy Schmidt
This room is full of potential! It’s sun-shiney light just cannot be contained!! You can grow pretty much anything in that space, in fact it’s potential is so bright that you might even need to intentionally tone it down with sheer curtains. Just dont make it too dark, we dont want another Mole lady in our midst. Just keep in mind that some plants don’t love direct sun and to plan accordingly.
Mostly B’s- Coach Eric Taylor
This room might not be perfect, but dang it we’re going to harness all of our Panther spirit and make the best of it. This room is considered medium light. You can grow almost anything in here, even plants from different sides of the track will find common ground and rise to the occasion. This space is great for difficult to handle plants (like your Fiddle Leaf Fig aptly named Tim) Keep your drapes open and the plants in close proximity to the window and you will be just fine!! Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can’t Lose!
Mostly C’s- Karen from Mean Girls
The lighting in this room is the equivalent of making out with your cousin and thinking its fine because he’s your first cousin. This room is considered low light and left to it’s own devices will slowly kill your plants. Make sure to keep the drapes open and the plants as close to the window as you can. Channel your inner ESPN and if your plant is looking a little sad, keep in mind that it’s mobile and can be moved around. If you feel like your plant is looking a little sun starved, move it to a new room and give it a chance to get healthy again.
Mostly D’s- Demogorgon
Hi. Please sit down. Friend, let’s decide together that you are not going to bring a life plant into the Upside Down ok? There are lots of great fakes that you won’t murder, but if you bring a plant in here it has a zero percent chance of survival. It will get all rotted and slimy (especially if you keep watering it!) and die a slow death where it can hear you trying to bring it back but there just isnt hope once it’s crossed over.
Still having lighting related questions? Leave them below and I’ll answer!
Are you guys ready for an easy statement wall DIY?! I love the impact of a living wall. Bringing plants into your house give it a life and energy that only living things can. If you’re a plant hoarder like myself, this project is a great way to bring a lot of plants into a small space and on a tiny budget.
This project was sort of inspired by a Netflix binge a few months ago. There was an episode with a guy name Tom Raffield, who does the MOST AMAZING wood steam bending. (It’s season 17 episode 3) Once it was in my brain, I just couldnt get it out. But, obviously not having steam bending experience, I had to improvise. I think that is the best part of creativity, just figuring stuff out.
I knew that I wanted the design to be flush against the wall and then turn out to hold a planter and then turn back into the wall. And I wanted it to be impactful. I still love the trellis wall that I did in our old house (every time I see it my heart gets a little gushy) and a great way to bring small plants into your home is to find ways to use lots of them. Hence the repeating. That being said, how cute would just one of the rows be by the side of your bed, or on a small wall in your entryway? This cute project will work anywhere!!
It seems like you should be able to walk into a store and all of the wood is perfectly straight. Well friends, that only happens at the Home Depot in heaven. Unfortunately that means for us mere mortals. we need to check our wood before we buy it. Dowels are one of the easiest types to check. All you have to do is lay them on the ground and give them a slight nudge. You’ll be able to tell really quickly the ones that roll correctly (those are the straight ones!) and the ones that cant complete a full rotation (those are the bent ones!) For a project like this where we are using multiple lines that need to line up and be level, a crooked dowel will stand out like a sore thumb!
Here is your measurements and angles:
The trickiest part of this project is cutting the angles in the dowels so that when they are joined together the whole piece is straight and level. This isnt a hard thing when you are building something out of square or rectangular pieces, but round dowels are a whole different story. Because you are cutting the angles on both ends of the pieces, if it’s off then the shape gets wonky. But never fear my friends, after multiple failures and attempts at cutting them right, I figured out the easiest hack!!
How To Easily and Correctly Cut Angles in a Round Dowel
The first thing that you want to do is set a jig up on your miter saw. A jig is a piece of wood that is clamped in place so that when you put your piece to be cut, it sits against the clamped wood. This makes it so that every cut is the same. It also makes things go quicker because you dont have to measure and mark each individual piece. Life changing info here folks.
Cutting your first 45 degree angle is easy, you just put the dowel against the fence of your saw (the back part) and cut. Cutting the second angle is trickier, so let me show you the hack!
Take one of your off cuts and place it, long side, against your jig. That way, when the tip of your dowel (where the first cut is) touches the jig, this scrap piece meets up with it and forms a 90 degree angle.
This does 2 things. It makes it so the dowel is straight so that the second cut is made correctly. It also keeps the point from your first cut from being mashed into the jig, or wiggling around.
Determining the right size space for your planter
There are a world of different planters that you can use in this project. I love the IKEA Citronsyra for this project because they looks so great with their curvy shape, but if you have other planters that you love, it’s really easy to make them work as well. Just make sure they arent straight up and down because they’ll just slip through the hole. Measure the diameter of the opening on your planter and subtract 3/4″. This is the size you want the space for your planter to sit. I HIGHLY recommend building one of the holders and making sure that the planter sits the way you like before building all of them.
To join my dowels together I used wood glue (I love Titebond III) and pin nails. The pin nails do a great job of holding everything in place while the glue dries.
To hang the planters start by predrilling the screw holes that will hold it onto the wall. I LOVE the look of having the screws visible for this project. Because of the way that the dowels will line up on your wall, you will want to make sure that they are drilled the same on all of the planters.
Once you’ve got your holes predrilled, hold the planter up to the wall and level it. Make sure that it is leveled side to side, and front to back. Drill through the hole in the dowel into the wall. This is where you need to place your anchor if you didnt hit a stud. We have tried SO MANY different types of anchors, our favorite are Hillman (they’re the ones with the grey rubber on them.) Set your anchor following the instructions of the box and then screw through the front of the dowel into the anchor.
When you are setting your other rows, use a large level on the edge of the dowels to make sure that they all line up!
Plant your pots with your favorites and stick em in! I love how easy it is to change where they are placed, you can swap them around until you get the perfect layout. (I recommend putting the tall guys at the top and the spilly ones in the center!)