Cheap and Easy Plant Keeper

We absolutely love having greenery throughout the house, even though we have black thumb tendancies.
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And it wasn’t until the evening before we left for Palm Springs that it hit us: we forgot to make arrangements to have someone water the plants! If it was just a few little blooms I wouldn’t have panicked but when I mentally tallied how many plants I would have to replace if we came home to crunchy brown leaves it was quite staggering. It would have been about $200-$300 worth of plants to replace, definitely money I would rather put towards a kitchen sink or new faucet…
Of course I should have thought about it sooner or even popped out to grab some of those water globes but at 10:30 pm I didn’t have many options so I had to get creative.
If you are like us then you probably have a container full of recycle-able bottles and cans waiting to go to the bottle depot. Sean had taken ours all out the day before but completely forgot one tupperware container (everything happens for a reason, right?). Using the same principle as the water globes of inverting a water source into the soil I set about washing and cleaning everything from wine bottles to olive oil containters (like the one below). I even used a 2L pop bottle for the biggest plants.

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It was a bit tricky to quickly flip the containers and shove them in the soil without spilling too much, but after 2 I had the hang of it. It was still a gamble to leave, not knowing whether they would last the whole 15 days or if they would just drowned the plants the first day or two. But upon returning all our plants are healthy and happy and the soil was remarkably still damp, even though the containers were emptied.
So if you need a cheap plant sitter definitely consider recycling a few bottles before your next trip! Of course, we would still recommend giving them a test run before leaving so you know how much or little water your plants will need. But I may just resort to using them all the time so I don’t forget to water them (or over-water them which is my usual crime against botany).
Cheap and Easy Plant Keeper

29 thoughts on “Cheap and Easy Plant Keeper

  1. Holly I just want to know one thing. How did you convince your husband to let you have a white house? I love all the white. I know some people feel like it's too much but you have the perfect contract with the floors and the greenery, I swoon whenever I'm looking at your blog. My husband however starts to make this face, kind of like he's constipated whenver I start bringing in too much white lol. I have a huge crush on your house!

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  2. Thanks for the tip, Holly! I've always had a tough time with plants – black thumb here too – but you've inspired me with your lovely pictures to try again!
    By the way, I'm a new neighbor! Come by and visit sometime.
    Sheri

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  3. Hi Holly!

    I just recently started reading your blog and I absolutely love it! I am so happy that you posted on your plants today. I have a recent obsession with succulents and have been looking for cute little pots to stick them in. I am in LOVE with that set of six in the wire carrier. Where did you get that from? I think I remember seeing a previous post about that particular item, but of course, now that I want details, I can't find it. Thanks!!

    Lauren

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  4. super creative idea.

    i love all your plants and wish i didn't have a black thumb or i'd have tons too.

    and, um, i do spy with my little eye… curtains in that picture of the dropleaf table in the MASTER BEDROOM! and i'm reminded that you say the master looks nothing like it used to… so, SHOW US! pah-lease. with a cherry on top. unless you don't like cherries, then make it strawberry. or, a macaroon. i don't care, just show us! :)

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  5. I water my indoor plants with ice cubes. They slowly melt and water the plant. Maybe you could freeze the water in the bottle and it would slowly melt thus watering your plants. Love the blog!

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  6. I water my indoor plants with ice cubes. They slowly melt and water the plant. Maybe you could freeze the water in the bottle and it would slowly melt thus watering your plants. Love the blog!

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  7. I would have never thought to use water bottles. When I go away on a trip I usually just put all my plants in a big bowl with water in them to keep them watered from the bottom. If you have a window in your bathroom you can fill your bathtub up with a little water and sit the plants in that too.
    Thanks for the great idea!

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  8. oh my!

    i think when i die … and go to heaven (of course) … it will look just like your house.

    seriously. gorgeous.

    and that little pops of green and charchols and even a tiny bit of blue are just magic.

    i'm sure you know all this … i'm just sayin'

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  9. Smart. Just smart.
    Thank you for the tip!
    My peace lily thanks you.
    Did you know that I thought I had a truly unique dining room hutch until I just saw yours?!
    Here's mine:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ALkjIVQfNRI/TQEM7wHyl5I/AAAAAAAAEWI/R0RAOUzHJFU/s1600/2o.jpg

    Are they sisters, or what!?
    Mine is a pale yellow. After seeing yours, I think I might paint mine white, too…
    Thank you for all the inspiration!
    HUGS and blessings,
    ~Leslie

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  10. Hi, if you live near an Ikea, you should check and see if they have any Boston Firns. They are so adorable for $5.99. and they have alot of cute grey terra cotta pots for cheap. I bought all of them at my store! :)

    Shelbie

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  11. Thanks for the tip .. But I think I finally just need to invest the money and buy some water globes … because as of right now, I only have one surviving plant … I definintely have the over watering problem too

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  12. This may sound a little crazy to people not living in drought but we used to do this quite regularly for outdoor plants during the hot summers here in Australia. We had water restrictions that meant we couldn't water our gardens more than twice a week and only during specific times. To keep plants alive in the most convenient way, we used this bottle trick.

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  13. I think you're brilliant, Holly! My boys are always telling me we need AquaGlobes for our house; they see ads for them on TV all the time. Thing is, we don't have any indoor plants!

    I love the way they look in your house, but we have a cat who eats anything green that I try to have inside, and then he vomits everywhere. Takes a little somethin-somethin away from the beauty of the plants when you have to clean up cat vomit all day long. ;)

    One other thing: I love how your house is such a beautiful backdrop for colorful items. Your photos almost have the look of hand-tinted photographs, the ones in which only certain key elements are tinted … just because the minimal pops of color are so vivid against all the white.

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