DIY Plant Rescue: Finding And Bringing Plants Indoors

By Teo Spengler | November 8, 2020
by Teo Spengler
November 8, 2020

I have some crafty friends who are always working on one cool DIY project or another. I admire and am jealous of them, but never seem to be able to emulate them. As a writer and a gardener, I either read, write, or tend to my plants in downtime. I’m a hard-core fan of Mother Nature though, which means that indoors and outdoors is all the same to me. I grow plants indoors, sleep some nights outside, and count on including nature in every holiday or celebration. My greatest skill, though, is bringing plants indoors.

DIY Plant Rescue – Saving Dying Plants

When I say I bringing plants indoors, I don’t just mean an African violet on the windowsill. I have more plants inside than I have pairs of socks and shoes together, and not just the usual houseplant choices.

I tend to bring plants inside when they are not doing well, and they get better but never seem to leave. They make themselves at home here. Many of my plants are rescues – container plants someone else ran into the ground and then put out by the garbage. That’s how I got my huge princess tree, Norfolk Island pine and abutilon. I repot, put on classical music, and wait for nature to do its thing.

Finding Unexpected Plants

Many people who come into my house admire my huge, vibrant ZZ plant. I pulled that ZZ right off the front bumper of a garbage truck. The city worker had not wanted to toss it in with the rest and was hoping to find a home for it. 

Then there are plants from people who are moving. When someone up the block left for Hawaii, I inherited four avocado trees, a potted jasmine vine, and a Meyer lemon. The departing neighbor warned me that the Meyer had never produced a single fruit in her place. It flowered after two weeks in my house and hasn’t stopped producing in the last 18 months.

Getting Crafty with Rescue Plants and More

Yes, I dress all the big plants up for holidays with ornaments and lights, but they are not the only items of nature that decorate my house. Anyone else a collector of sand dollars? I had so many I made a rule that I could only pick up those smaller than a silver dollar. I keep them in baskets, saucers, and even spilling out of a cornucopia at Thanksgiving.

I also have a particular affection for seed pods, including but not limited to pinecones. I tie them up in mesh mini-hammocks, adding in shiny red and green Christmas balls on the holidays. Other people tape pictures of kids or grandkids on their refrigerators. For me, it’s autumn leaves and dried hydrangea blossoms.

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