28 September 2020

Plant Hacks That Will Help Your Indoor and Outdoor Garden Grow Strong

The idea of being surrounded by plants is lovely. Executing this idea, however, is a whole other adventure. You buy plants, find the perfect spot for them in your home, do your best to care for them, and… then slowly watch them die. We’ve all been there, because taking care of plants isn’t as easy as it may seem. You have to remember to water them, watch out for bugs, make sure they’re getting enough sunlight, repot them as they grow, and so much more. To put it simply, some of us just don’t have green thumb instincts, which is exactly where plant hacks come into play.

Plant hacks can help those of us who fear plant parenthood, giving us helpful tips and tricks to keep our green friends alive. Whether you’ve run out of plant food, have a wilting plant, or notice a caterpillar munching on some of your leaves, these plant hacks can save your little jungle. And if you’ve come back from vacation to a bunch of dead plants — been there, done that — we’ve also got you covered.

Grow Your Own Rose Bush

Have you ever been given a bouquet of roses that you never want to die? Want to keep the love alive for as long as possible? Well, the good news is: You can keep your flower forever with a DIY plant hack. The best part is that you probably have everything you need right in your kitchen.

Just grab some honey and a potato — yes, that’s all you really need! Cut a small hole in your potato, place a dollop of honey on the end of your rose stem, place the rose in the potato hole, plant it in some soil, and cut off the flower and leaves. Since honey stimulates roots and potato fertilizes, before long, you should have your very own rose bush.

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Now, you will always have roses to brighten your day. And the best part is that you’ll never need to go out and buy expensive roses. You can cut them right from your very own rose bush!

However, if roses aren’t your thing…

Grow Your Own Succulents

If you feel like one succulent simply isn’t enough, this plant hack is for you. It will essentially allow you to start your own succulent garden, so that you can completely surround yourself with these green beauties. And just like our last hack, this one is also super simple to execute.

Take a pair of scissors, use them to cut holes in a water bottle, and place individual succulent leaves in each hole. Yes, that means you’ll have to pick some leaves off your succulent, but we promise they’ll grow back. After, add 2 inches of water into the water bottle, screw on the top, and watch your new succulents sprout in about two weeks.

All you have to do is plant them in some soil and watch your succulents grow!

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Just imagine how fun this water bottle will look in your home! While the succulents are growing, it’s basically a unique piece of home decor that will really get people talking. And once the succulents finish growing, you could easily give some away to the people who were interested in your water bottle experiment.

As for making sure your succulents stay alive while you’re out, we’ve got your back.

Keep Your Plants Alive On Vacation

We’ve all packed for vacation, looked around at all our plants, and have crossed our fingers with the hope that they survive while you’re away. Well, guess what? You no longer need to keep those fingers crossed! Rather than leaving your plants’ lives to chance, all you have to do is fill a large vase with water and grab some thin pieces of rope.

Once you have your rope, place one end in the vase and the other end in your plant pot. The water should then flow from the vase, down the rope, and straight into your pot. This will work for about 2 weeks, and you can do it with multiple plants, so no need to worry about your green friends dying while you’re away.

And if you’re away for more than 2 weeks?

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If you’re going away for longer than 2 weeks, you should probably send someone over to check on your plant children. And rather than individually watering each and every plant you have, all they have to do is re-fill your vase. That way you can come home to healthy, happy plants!

Now, if you are dealing with a wilted, unhappy plant who needs some love…

Wilted Plant x Hair

Whenever you clean your hairbrush, you probably grab all that hair and throw it right in the trash. However, you can actually reuse that hair… yes, really. Rather than throwing out your hair, you can actually use it to cure a wilted plant, making it perk right up!

Why does this work, you ask? Well, since hair contains nitrogen, and nitrogen promotes nutrients in plants, your hair will give your plants a nice boost. It’s almost like giving your plants a sweet snack to help boost their energy throughout the day. Because nothing is worse than a plant that’s looking super sad.

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The best part is that you don’t have to go out to buy fancy fertilizer or plant food — or worse, watch your new plant slowly wilt away. Instead, you can just walk into your bathroom, grab that hairbrush of yours, and clean it out. It’s essentially free plant fertilizer that you already have right in your home.

Though a wilting plant is pretty bad, what’s even worse is…

Pencil Shavings x Bugs

If you’re not a fan of bugs invading your home (I mean, who is?!), then you probably react like us whenever you see an insect crawling around your space. You stop, stare at it, and freeze. “What am I supposed to do now?” you ask yourself. Because if there’s one thing that’s worse than having a bug in your home, it’s getting that bug out of your home.

When it comes to hating bugs and wanting them out of your life, plants don’t exactly help the situation. They make great hiding places (and homes) for our insect friends, and what’s worse is that they might even be munching away at your precious greenery. Fortunately, there’s a super simple way to get those bugs off your back (and your plants).

All you have to do is grab a pencil and pencil sharpener. Yes, that’s it!

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Because cedar wood repels insects, those good old pencil shavings should act like a barrier between your plants and any insects that come around. Now you don’t have to use any harmful chemicals or worry about killing any unwanted bugs. Instead, you can just grab your sharpener and get to work. The best part is that now, all your pencils will be sharpened!

As for another plant-related problem that could be attracting bugs…

Vertical Bottle Garden

Do you know if you’re watering your plant enough? Do you ever go to give your plant some water and a ton ends up flowing out of the bottom of the plant? Not only is this a waste of water, but it’s also creating a humid environment for insects to thrive in.

To fix this excess water problem, what you can do is create a handy vertical bottle garden. All you have to doc is cut the tops off a few water bottles (and recycle the rest), place a coffee filter inside them, and add soil and a plant. Once that’s done, you just need to punch some holes in the top, put some string through the holes, knot it, and connect it to other water bottle plants.

It’s environmentally friendly, but also a home decor hack!

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Thanks to your vertical garden, once you water the plant at the top, the excess liquid will drip down to the second plant. And once the second plant gets enough water, it will flow down to the third plant. Now, no more water waste, but you also have a cute vertical garden with happy plants.

Speaking of keeping your plants looking cute…

Easy Plant Food

Whenever you get a beautiful bouquet of flowers, you probably want it to last as long as possible, right? The best product for that tends to be the plant food the florist includes with the bouquet, but what happens when you run out of that?

You can make your own plant food by combining sugar, lemon, and bleach in a water bottle. The lemon lowers the pH, sugar offers the flowers food, and bleach helps cut down on bacteria growth. Together, this concoction will help keep your plants happy. And once you have the ingredients in your water bottle, you can use a glue gun to create a hole in the top. It’s like your very own watering can!

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Now that you have a hole in the top of your water bottle, you can easily use it to sprinkle some plant food into your vase. That way, you’re reusing a water bottle to bring life back to your bouquet. Because no one likes to come home to a pretty vase filled with sad, dead flowers.

But what happens when the problem isn’t the flowers themselves?

Heal Rotting Roots

If your plant is looking wilted and its leaves are turning yellow, you might have root rot on your hands. That basically means that the plant roots are rotting away because of too much water and a lack of oxygen, or because they’ve been affected by fungus. You can tell if this is happening by pulling the plant out of the soil and looking at the roots.

If they’re black and mushy, you’ve got some root rot on your hands.

To fix this, combine some water and hydrogen peroxide, and use it to water your plant. It boosts your soil’s oxygen levels and also helps get rid of any unwanted fungus or pests. Yes, it’s as simple as that — and uses two ingredients you already have in your home. Before long, the hydrogen peroxide will help clear up any root rot you’re seeing.

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Thanks to this simple solution, you’ll have healthy roots and a happy plant. Just look at the above photo — it’s like night and day (literally). You can even make a huge batch of the hydrogen peroxide mixture and keep it filled up, so that you’ll always have an easy solution for wilting, yellowing plants.

Once your plant is done wilting, now you’ll want to feed it.

Rice Plant Food

If you want to make plant food in bulk, all you need to do is make some rice for dinner. Take some white rice, put it in water, and allow the two to mix together. Once the rice has infused into the water, take out some of the water and divide it between an ice cube tray. Then, pop those rice water cubes into the freezer!

Once the rice water is frozen solid, you’re good to add it to your plant’s soil. As the ice melts, your soil will be nourished with the rice water. That’s because rice contains starch and starch is good for soil. Therefore, this is best for potted plants that are rooted in soil — as opposed to a bouquet of flowers in a vase. For plant food for your bouquet of flowers, see “Easy Plant Food” above.

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Though watering your plants and making sure they get enough sunlight is important, it’s also nice to give your plants a little treat to perk them up. This rice water trick is perfect for that, since it’s simple to make and can be created in bulk with your ice cube tray.

And if you’re looking for another way to feed your plant a snack…

Healthy Soil x Eggs

Fortunately for all us plant lovers, there are many easy ways to nourish your plant and its soil. And sometimes, all you have to do to make this happen is boil some eggs. Now, you have a healthy breakfast, and your plant has some nourishing food!

Grab a pot, add some eggs, and fill it with water — just like you would when you’re making your everyday hardboiled eggs. Once your eggs are boiled to your liking, remove them from the pot, but leave the water there. Allow the water to cool down completely (you don’t want to burn your plants!) and then use it to water your plant’s soil.

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Egg shells contain a high amount of calcium, which infuses into the water while your eggs are boiling. Since plants love calcium, and need it to grow big and strong, your green friends will drink this calcium water right up. Plus, it’s another great way to recycle water.

Now that you know what to feed your plants, let’s talk about where to put them.

Shoe Organizer Garden

If you’re the type of person who loves having a million plants around, and putting them in cut pots that complement your home decor, then this is the hack for you. Fortunately, you don’t even need to go out and buy an expensive pot for it!

Using a simple, over-the-door hanging shoe organizer, you can create the most lovely garden. First, remove your shoes from the organizer. Second, line each of the shoe pockets with pebbles and soil. Once your pockets are filled, place your seeds in an orange rind and plant that rind in the soil.

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Orange peels contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are great for soil. Plus, orange peels are biodegradable, which means you don’t have to worry about them littering the earth because they’ll break down over time. They’re also great for getting rid of pests like whiteflies, so it’s a win-win-win.

However, once your orange peels are gone, there is a great way for you to get rid of any unwanted flies who buzz around.

Soap Repellent

If you notice flies buzzing around your plants, you’re probably freaking out. “How am I supposed to get rid of these flies without pouring chemicals on my beloved plant?” you ask. Luckily, the answer is simple.

All you need to get rid of some unwanted flies are soap and water. (Note: Make sure the soap doesn’t contain bleach, which can hurt your plant!) By mixing these two ingredients together in a water bottle, and pouring them on your plant, you have an easy fly repellent that will keep all those bugs at bay.

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Soap contain potassium of fatty acids, which work to break down an insect’s exoskeleton — without leaving any unwanted residue behind. For a triple threat, in addition to the soap mixture, you can also add pencil shavings and orange peels (see above) to really keep any insects away from your garden.

With these 12 plant hacks in your arsenal, your garden will be the best in town.

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