Houseplant Journal: Simple Steps To Dress Your Plants

Dressing your plants is important topic for house plant owners because your plants are likely going to be in some kind of stand-alone container that needs to “play nice” with the rest of your decor. Houseplant Journal shares where he find his favourite planters and his approach to investing in the best ones.

Something important to note: most of my plants are potted in a plastic nursery pot and then placed in a water-tight container.  In this way, I have maximum control of soil moisture and I can change containers as I please.  Yes, it does mean that I’m always lifting the pot out to drain excess water but this is part of correct watering habits.  If you simply poured water into the soil in the exact same way, erosion and soil compacting would eventually kill most plants.

Let me first explain my vision: Years ago, when I got my first snake plant (the one in the blue container), I envisioned a collection of different cultivars all growing together in complimentary pots.

I always kept an eye out for different varieties of snake plants wherever I saw house plants for sale.  At first, I thought the pot theme should be terracotta, but then I heard stories of clay pots being broken from the growth of snake plant roots.  That’s when I settled with the white container theme since it complimented both the green from the plant itself and the deeply stained wood from my shelf and floor. More importantly, since white is a readily available colour of planter, I knew I would be able to find them just about anywhere.

The general vision for my Sansevieria collection was to use mostly white containers with two or three accent pots.  

Here’s a lineup of my white pots (left to right):1479958227226

  •  Dollarama ($2) – perfectly fits a 5″ nursery pot. My Sansevieria ‘japonesa’ has enjoyed this pot for the last few years.
  •  Ikea ($1.99) – the designs at Ikea change from year to year; nowadays, their selection of white pots all have patterns.  The S. ‘moonshine’ just barely fits in its 4″ nursery pot.
  • Acquired from neighbour moving out: “hey, I have some extra plant pots, would you…”, “YES!” And I just lifted the pot to see that it is also from Ikea.  It is the home for my S. cylindrica.
  • The S. ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ and white ceramic pot was a gift from Urban Gardener (IG: @urbangardenerto)
  • Canadian Tire ($9.99) – I got the S. ‘black coral’ from a small flower shop called Market Four Seasons and needed a white container that could fit a 6″ nursery pot.  This spherical container did the trick!1479958410197

Here are two “accent” pots among the white pots – the Modernica ‘Case Study’ planter: definitely a designer planter but I love that it still almost perfectly fits my S. ‘black gold’ in its 10″ nursery pot (I suppose I could cut off the plastic rim that sits above the rim of the pot).  The other is the little orange pot with the feet.  

If you’re looking for unique and/or antique containers, garage sales (especially in old neighbourhoods) and thrift stores are fun and cheap ways to find them.  You might have better selection from actual antique/vintage stores but be prepared to pay a bit more.  This orange container cost me 50 cents at a church yard sale.  It houses a very special snake plant – the shorter variety is rarely seen in stores these days, at least not in Toronto (not to be confused with the bird’s nest or ‘Hahnii’ cultivar).  It was given to me from a nice elderly lady when she moved out of my brother’s current home.  She had a dozen or so in her home because the plants had spawned so many offsets in the years she lived there.  She told me the original plant was from her grandmother!  I’m happy to be the owner of this “vintage cultivar” of Sansevieria.

This is just my container theme for my Sansevieria collection, which is a large proportion of my entire plant collection.  With social media, we get a glimpse into so many people’s personal plant collections – if you’re on Instagram, Pinterest, etc, you’re bound to find some inspiration!  

More from Houseplant Journal:

The Simple Things Every Plant Parent Should Know

5 Beginner #PlantParenthood Tips For Happy Plants