New Life for Old Pots

paintedpot1.JPGI’m constantly looking for ways to streamline or repurpose around the house; here’s a lovely way to give old plant pots new life. This project was inspired by: a) plant clippings we already had rooted (plus more overgrown plants that needed grooming); b) yet another snow day where we were looking for something to do; and c) a tired collection of empty plant pots. Laurel and I decided to paint one of our old pots to make a creative, earth-friendly gift for a loved one. Here's the how-to:
1. Collect Plant Clippings

Trim clippings from overgrown plants (e.g., pathos or other plants that tend to grow long). Trim just above the node, making sure that your clipping is long enough such that there are 1-2 leaves (nodes) of extra length. Trim these bottom leaves off and place clippings in a jar of water in a sunny spot; new roots will grow from the nodes where you trimmed off the leaves. Rooting time will vary depending on plant, sun, temperature, etc., but allow about two weeks.


2. Paint the Pot

This is a perfect inclement weather project. All you need is an old plant pot and your child’s painting supplies. We used a plastic pot, but I think terra cotta would probably hold basic kid paint better (we saw a little paint flaking using the plastic once the paint dried).


I recommend flipping the pot over so it’s easier for your child to paint (if the pot tapers), and also to prevent your child from painting inside the pot. Laurel simply painted freestyle but one could make patterns of stripes, dots, flowers, paint the recipient’s name, etc.


3. Plant the Clippings

Once the pot is dry and your clippings are rooted, fill the pot with soil, plant the clippings (use all of the same variety or mix different clippings), and then give the soil a good soak to help the roots acclimate from going from the water to soil environment. You may want to do this step in the sink or outside in case the water runs up over the drainage dish holding the pot.