Posted by: Erin | March 18, 2010

Pre-Spring Indoor Plant Cleaning

I’ve been meaning to post forever, but as usual, I got sidetracked. I discovered a disgusting thing growing under one of my lemon-lime dracenas, on the bottom of the pot, a few weeks ago. It was nasty. It must have been mold of some variety, probably caused by the fact that I’ve had small clear plastic plates under most of my houseplants, to keep them from dripping on the rug/fridge/counter/floor. I cleaned that up and thought that maybe if there was some air circulating under the pots, it would prevent that from happening again. So the wrought-iron-looking plant stands I bought for my kitchen are now living in my living room. (The crotons I had in the kitchen died a while ago, and I never found anything I liked to replace them, so I wasn’t using the plant stands anyway.) I don’t love them there, especially since there is a bit of detailing on the ceramic pots the dracenas are living in, but they don’t look too bad. (The ceramic pots in the kitchen are solid, so the plant stands look better with them.)

It occurred to me that I should also check under the other plants, so this weekend, during a probably-storm-related power outage, I cleaned under the rest. I found some of the same mold-like stuff under the Christmas cacti, and the peace lily. The aloe, zebra plant, and pothos seemed fine. But as a precautionary measure, I cleaned all of the bases of the pots, and I used some of the “vase filler” (black/gray stones) I bought from Target forever ago to prop up the pots on their plastic saucers, sort of like makeshift pot feet. Hopefully that will work, and allow enough air to circulate under the plants so the gross off-white moldy stuff won’t come back, because seriously, that stuff looked disgusting, and it was slimy when I wiped it off. Ick.

On a happier note, I noticed something exciting on my way out the door today. We’ve had crazy rain last weekend – three days, non-stop. I have six pots out on the porch with dirt in them, covered in garbage bags. (I’ve learned my lesson about leaving dirt outside uncovered over the winter – it won’t ever dry out, a total waste of dirt.) I also left out the infamous day lily that rose from the dead last year. This year, I did make an effort to cut it down before the winter hit, but with all the rain we’ve had, I was beginning to wonder if perhaps the bulb had drowned and/or rotted. I noticed crocuses blooming yesterday (awesome!), and it got me thinking about the lily. Well, this morning, I looked outside, and low and behold, there are little green things poking out of the soil! Very exciting. I’m thinking I need more practically-no-maintenance stuff like that that’ll just come up out of the ground on their own every year. I had a grand time going through the latest Burpee catalog a few weeks ago (I seriously want to grow EVERYTHING). I need to narrow down my choices to a more reasonable and rational list, but perhaps I’ll throw some day lilies in there, too, since they seem to like me and not require much attention.

Other random update stuff I forgot to mention:
The small peace lily finally kicked the bucket a month or so ago. The big one is fine, but the small one just kind of gave up on life. Oh, and all of the Christmas cacti bloomed in January-ish, which was nice to see. Only a few flowers on each, but it’s nice to know that they’re all still alive and capable of blooming. Also, two of the three dracenas in my bedroom died, much like the tall spiky dracena I had originally did last year. The one left looks fine, though, so I took out the dead ones and centered the living one in the pot. So far, it seems fine there.

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