DIY planter boxes

Hello Everyone! My name is Shavonne and I’ve popped over to Plant Project Canada’s webpage
from Once Upon a Bungalow with instructions on how to build planter boxes with a stunning
blooming trellis archway. This is a great beginner woodworking project and the final result will
have you beaming with pride.

If you already have two planters that will work for this project and only want to build the
archway, scroll past the planter instructions to find the arch instructions. However, if you’re like
me and love a good DIY project, follow along with these instructions to build the planter boxes
too!

Here we go!

Here’s what you’ll need:

These planter boxes are ideal for raised vegetable gardening as they are deep and have ample soil space for your rooted vegetables to thrive.

The below instructions will build two planter boxes. Each finished planter box will bed 39” W x 26 ½” H x 26” D. I used non-pressure-treated pine to create my planters, but this can be substituted for any ideal preferred type of wood. Start by cutting all the pieces first, to save time throughout the build.

 

 

 

 

 

 

materials:

– 1 ¾” Deck Screws
– 2” Deck Screws
– 1 ¼” Brad Nails
– 32 Pine Fence Boards (1”x 6” x 6’-0”)
– 6 Pine Boards (2” x 2” x 8’-0”)
– Sandpaper
– Wood Glue
– Wire Mesh
– Stain and or Paint

 

tools:

– Table Saw
– Mitre Saw
– Brad Nailer
– Tape Measure
– Various Clamps
– Electric Sander
– Jig Saw
– Speed Square
– Pocket Hole Jig (Optional)
– Staple Gun

 

cut list:

– 8 2×2’s at 26” (Leg’s)
– 4 2×2’s at 22” (Side Supports)
– 4 2×2’s at 22 ½” (Bottom Supports)
– 4 2×2’s at 20 ¼” (Bottom Supports)
– 24 Fence boards at 35” (6” width) (Long sides & bottom of the planter)
– 16 Fence boards at 24” (6” width) (Short sides of the planter) *Tip: Use a table saw to cut the following pieces at 2 ½” width first, for less material waste.
– 16 Fence board pieces at 26” (2 ½” width) (Side Trim)
– 4 Fence board pieces at 38 ¾” (3” width) (Top Trim)
– 4 Fence board pieces at 26” (3” width) (Top Trim

step 1.

Making the long sides of the planter box: Take 4 of the 35” fence boards and lay them out on a flat surface. Use clamps to press the four fence boards together for an even and taught placement. Place the 26” 2×2’s on either end of your 4 boards, with the top of the 2×2 flush with the top of your planter—the remaining length of the 2×2 will overhang. Use wood glue on the back of the legs. Use clamps to secure the legs in the right position before anchoring them with screws. Once the legs are in place, pre-drill holes and then use 1 ¾” deck screws to secure the legs. Find the center position using a tape measure, and place the 22” middle support using the same process of wood glue, clamps, pre-drilled holes, and screws. Repeat step one 4 times. See the images below.

step 2.

Attaching the short sides of the planter box: Lay one of the completed “long sides” on a flat surface to begin attaching the 24” fence boards to the 2×2 leg on the “long sides” assembled in step one. Attach these boards flush, use wood glue, pre-drill the holes, and then secure with 1 ¾” deck screws. Continue attaching until all four 24” pieces are attached. Once complete, attach the other completed “long side” to the other end of the 24” piece. Complete the box by adding the 4 remaining 24” pieces to the opposite end. Use a speed square to ensure all corners of the box are at a 90-degree angle. See the images below.

step 3.

Bottom supports: Measure 8 ½” over on the “long side” from each 2×2 leg. Attach the 22 ½” 2×2’s from the outside by using wood glue, pre-drilling, and then using 2” inch deck screws. The 22 ½” boards may have to be trimmed to fit in this space (That’s okay!). There will be another support between the legs of each of the “short sides” of the planter. The 20 ¼” 2×2’s should fit snuggly between the two legs. Use a pocket jig to pre-drill the holes to attach these, or toenail screw from the front side. See the images below.

step 4.

The planter’s bottom: Using the remaining 35” fence pieces, place one piece in the base of the planter box. Press these boards up against the sides until they are snug. Mark where the legs butt up against the fence piece. Mark these locations with a pencil on the fence piece. Measure the length that the leg protrudes into the box and measure this distance onto the fence piece. Use a Jig Saw to cut out these notches. There may be space between these boards, which is okay, as it will allow for drainage in the planter. See the images below.

*Note: Once I was at this stage of the build, I took the time to stain the planter box with an outdoor deck stain. I then painted the side trim pieces in black before attaching them to the planter boxes. * Tip: Having a friend with you helps speed up the process! See the images below.

step 5.

Side trim pieces: Attach the 26” side trim pieces using wood glue and 1 ¼” brand nails. Place the first trim piece on the “short side” flush with the edge. The piece should sit flush with the ground and flush with the top of your box. Then place another trim piece on the “long side” of the planter, glue, and then brad nail. Repeat this process on each corner of the garden box. Use wood filler to fill in all brad nail holes, sand, and then touch up paint. See the images below.

step 6.

Top trip pieces: Cut the 26” fence pieces with a 45-degree angle to frame the top of the garden boxes. Using wood glue and a brand nailer, attach each of the pieces, only after arranging all 4 pieces on the top to ensure an even trim for the top of the planter. Use wood filler to fill in all gaps and brad nail holes, sand, and then touch up the stain of the top trim. See the images below.

DIY planter boxes arch trellis

step 1.

Creating the supports: Cut 2×2’s at the desired height. 62” inches is the height of the supports shown in the image below. Stain or paint the supports to match the design cohesively. Attach supports to the 2×2 legs inside the planters using 1 ¾” deck screws. 3 screws in each support should be sufficient. See the images below.

step 2.

Adding the wire mesh: Measure the distance between the two supports. Using that measurement cut the wire mesh to size. Start below the trim of the planter box and attach the wire mesh to the supports using construction staples. Remember, the mesh doesn’t have to go all the way down into the box, it just has to begin at soil level.

step 3.

Light it up: Using solar lights, string the lights over the archway to create a stunning glowing effect in the early months of spring before the trellis fills in with your gorgeous climbing plants.

DIY planter boxes with arch trellis tips & tricks:

  • Fill the planters with sticks, grass clippings, and leaves before adding the soil. This will naturally enrich the soil over time and it will take up space in each planter, costing less to fill.
  • Use both Miracle-Gro Garden soil and potting soil. Using a 50:50 blend of these two soils will provide a lighter, more suitable mix for raised bed plants to thrive.
  • Use Miracle-Gro Shake n’ feed to give your garden a boost and remember to fertilize every week as this makes all the difference.

I’m so honoured to be a guest on Plant Project Canada’s blog, and I look forward to seeing all of
the planters and trellises you create! Be sure to tag me in your creations. Thank you for stopping
by!

Xo Shavo

Follow Shavonne on Instagram and TikTok

#happycreating!

are you looking to spruce your outdoor space with a unique and creative garden? Look no further than creating your own vertical garden!

Vertical gardens are the perfect way for gardeners of all skill levels to create aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly backyard decor that brings an extra level of life, colour, texture and personal expression into any outdoor living area. Plus, they can provide fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies right in your kitchen. How cool is that?

lets gro #plantproject

starting your vertical garden journey

If you thought a vertical garden was only for large backyards, think again! They are perfect for smaller spaces like balconies too. You can design them any way you like and choose the plants that suit your fancy. With a vertical garden, you’ll have a touch of nature and beauty at your doorstep. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get gardening!

here’s what you need

If you’re into vertical gardening, let’s get your plants up and growing! First things first, you’ll need some supplies. Grab yourself a vertical planter or frame – it’s like a fancy framework for your plants to climb on. You can buy one from a garden store (think trellis or wooden ladder) or get creative and use what you already have, like your deck or fence. Feeling crafty? Build your own and make it totally unique to your yard and plants. You can use nursery pots within your vertical structure, similar to the ones featured here. For a bit of a different look, use clay or painted pots. Whatever pot you choose to use, make sure there’s ample drainage.

choosing the perfect plants

With so many different plants to choose from, how do you know which ones are right for you? First, think about how much sunlight your space gets. Some plants, like succulents and ferns, are great with less light, while others, like herbs and veggies, crave that sweet sunshine. Before you get too carried away, decide if your garden will be indoor or outdoor. Also, consider the size and weight of your plants. If they’re big and heavy, they might need some extra support. It’s also essential to consider the aesthetic you want to bring to your garden. Do you want that lush, leafy look, or are you more into the sleek and modern vibe? Keep all this in mind before you dive into the world of vertical gardening.

nurturing and nourishing your vertical garden

Once you’ve got your plants, it’s time to pick the perfect soil. Our top recommendation? Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control Potting Mix – it’s jam-packed with all the essential nutrients your plants need to thrive. Bonus points for this potting soil because it helps to regulate the moisture in the soil, and protects your plants from over and under watering. Regular watering and pruning are vital to keeping those pesky diseases at bay and promoting healthy growth.

Speaking of watering, maintaining a vertical garden can be a challenge, but investing in a drip irrigation system is a game-changer. It ensures your plants get an even dose of hydration without one area getting drenched. Smart, right? Oh, and let’s not forget about lighting. If your wall is a bit shady, no worries! You can always go for plants that don’t need as much sunlight. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, supplement with some cool artificial light.

revitalizing the environment and your health

Vertical gardens are fantastic for so many reasons! First, they’re like superheroes for the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air while giving us clean oxygen in return. Plus, they’re like magical noise blockers, shielding you from those noisy neighbours and giving you peace and quiet. But that’s not all! You’ll have your own organic produce parade with a vertical garden. Think about it – fresh yummy fruits and veggies, growing all within reach! And here’s the cherry on top: gardening is the ultimate stress reliever. So, when you add a vertical garden to your outdoor space, you’re not just taking care of your health and the planet but also putting a smile on your face. It’s a win-win!

Whether you have a tiny apartment or a spacious house, a vertical garden is a fantastic chance to bring joy to your outdoor space! Plus, you don’t need to break the bank. Many folks have been pleasantly surprised to discover that this seemingly intimidating project is totally doable! So, if you’re looking for some cool ideas to live a greener life, why not try a vertical garden? Trust me, it’s worth it!

#easypeasy

Beginner

snapdragons

aka antirrhinums, dragon flowers, and dog flowers

Snapdragons are a beloved choice for cottage gardens and perennial flower beds, adding charm and beauty to any landscape. These flowers possess a unique charm with their dragon-like flower heads and a stunning range of colours including white, yellow, pink, orange, and purple.

variations

Tall snapdragons, Dwarf snapdragons, Twining snapdragons (climbing snapdragons), and Angelonia snapdragons.

light

full sun

For best blooming results, make sure they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.

water + feeding

thirsty

Snapdragons are somewhat drought-tolerant and prefer a good drink followed by a period of dryness.

toxic

yes

While Snapdragons are safe for humans they can lead to an upset stomach for furry friends.

size

it depends

Snapdragons come in different sizes depending on the variation. On average, they grow between 1 and 3 feet tall. Dwarf varieties only reach up to 10 inches, while larger species can reach 4 feet.

pro tip

give them room to bloom

Snapdragons like to have a bit of personal space. Make sure to leave about 6 to 12 inches between each plant to provide ample space for them to expand and thrive. Plus, it can actually help prevent the spread of diseases. These aren’t wallflowers—they like a little room to show off their vibrant blooms!

fun fact

snap it open!

The name ‘Snapdragon’ comes from an old superstition that says if you hold the flower by the stem and squeeze it, its mouth will “snap” open and close. They may not actually snap at you, but it’s still a fun way to engage with these beautiful plants! So don’t be afraid to give them a gentle squeeze and watch their petals snap.

beyond the basics

  • soil and potting  

    Snapdragons thrive in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil like Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Garden Soil. For outdoor planting, choose a sunny spot with ample spacing of 6 to 12 inches. In containers, use a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and wide, providing the roots with enough space to expand and thrive. Also, make sure the pot has good drainage to keep those roots from getting waterlogged.

  • companion planting

     Snapdragons are versatile plants that effortlessly blend into any garden. They complement summer blooms like petunias, lavender, and sunflowers, as well as aromatic herbs like rosemary and sage.

  • blooms

    Different varieties of snapdragons have single, double, or frilly petals and come in many vibrant colours. The most common variations are tall snapdragons that feature flowers with broad petals on strong stems, dwarf snapdragons that boast delicate blooms in an array of colours on short stems, and double snapdragons which feature multiple rows of ruffled petals.

  • pest control

    Snapdragons generally are resistant to pests, but it’s important to keep an eye out for aphids and thrips. If you happen to spot any of these pests, it’s recommended to employ natural methods such as using an insecticidal soap like Ortho® Bug B Gon® ECO Insecticidal Soap or rinsing the foliage thoroughly with a forceful stream of water to dislodge any potential invaders.

troubleshooting

  • why aren’t my snapdragons blooming enough?  

    Insufficient sunlight exposure or subpar fertility conditions. To ensure your Snapdragons thrive, ensure your plants receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. To improve soil fertility, you can enhance it by incorporating a nutrient boost like Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food. This will enrich the environment for your plants and promote their growth. Also, to encourage the formation of new buds, try deadheading to clear up any withered blossoms.

  • why are my snapdragon’s leaves powdery?  

    Fungal disease. This tends to appear in warm and humid climates. To prevent and treat this condition, ensure adequate air circulation between plants by leaving sufficient space when planting, avoid wetting the foliage during watering sessions, and use fungicides if necessary.

  • why does it look like my snapdragons are wilting?   

    Over watering or under watering. Excess moisture can result in root rot, hindering your flowers’ ability to absorb essential nutrients. Conversely, a lack of moisture can cause your flowers to dry out or wither. To ensure optimal growth, carefully assess soil moisture levels and adjust watering practices accordingly.

  • why are my snapdragons falling over?   

    Insufficient sunlight. To address this, try moving the plant to a spot that ensures 6 hours of sunlight. Additionally, consider pruning the leggy stems and using supports such as stakes or trellises to help the stalks stand tall.

have an idea?

we all want a stunning garden, right? one awesome way to achieve this is by deadheading your flowers. 

If you’re not familiar with it, deadheading means snipping off the dead or faded blooms from your plants. It not only spruces up your garden, but also helps keep your plant babies healthy and blooming for longer. So, let’s dive into everything you need to know about deadheading flowers, including why, when, and how to do it!   

lets gro #plantproject

benefits of deadheading flowers

Deadheading does more than just make your garden look tidy – it can also make your blooms last longer and keep your plant healthy. It helps redirect the plant’s energy to producing more blooms instead of seeds, resulting in a fuller and healthier plant. With a healthier plant, you’ll be less likely to have to deal with pesky diseases and insects. And let’s face it, there’s just something satisfying about snipping off dead and fading blooms.

when should you NOT deadhead flowers?   

At the start of the season, hold off on deadheading until the plant has produced a few seeds. This is most vital for plants that require their seed pods to produce new flowers in the following season, like lilies. Additionally, some plants, such as cosmos and zinnias, have a beautiful seed head that can add interest to your garden even after the blooms have faded.   

Certain flowers produce deadheads that contain seeds birds love to munch on. Flowers like aster, bee balm, black-eyed susans, coneflowers, false sunflowers, gayfeather, globe thistle, ligularia, pennisetum, sedum, and sunflowers are some examples. For these flowers, resist the urge to deadhead. Leave the deadheads as nature’s snack bar for our bird friends!  

comment étêter les fleurs 

Supprimer les têtes de fleurs mortes est un jeu d’enfant! C’est comme si vous donniez une petite coupe de cheveux à vos plantes, mais avec beaucoup moins de tracas. Voici comment procéder : 

  1. Repérez la fleur morte ou fanée et faites vos adieux.
  2. Repérez l’endroit où vous devez couper : au-dessus de la première série de belles feuilles ou de bourgeons et en dessous de la fleur morte.
  3. Sortez votre beau sécateur ou vos ciseaux et commencez à couper! Attention aux bourgeons frais. 
  4. Après avoir coupé les têtes mortes, donnez à vos plantes un peu de soin avec de l’eau et de la nourriture, pour aider vos fleurs à reprendre de la vigueur et à être encore plus belles. Pensez à utiliser un engrais comme l’Engrais pour Plantes Ultra Bloom Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘N Feed.
  5. Enfin, rangez et désinfectez vos outils de taille avec de l’alcool à friction. Et voilà, c’est fait : votre jardin ressemblera à un paradis fleuri en un rien de temps!


So why not try deadheading your flowers? It’s not rocket science, and there are a variety of techniques you can try until you find what works for you. You might even find it to be a relaxing and enjoyable way to connect with your garden. Give it a go and get ready to show off your beautiful garden full of healthy plants and stunning blooms!  

#easypeasy

have an idea?
Beginner

mint

aka mentha

Mint is an easy, fast-growing herb that is used in drink and food recipes. It is a perennial herb that grows little white and purple flowers. There are over 30 different variations of mint, but the most commonly grown is spearmint and peppermint.

variations

Apple/Pineapple Mint, Corsican Mint, Pennyroyal, Peppermint, Citrus Mint, Spearmint

light

full sun

If the soil is nice and moist, full sun is okay. Mint can also thrive in partial shade.

water + feeding

thirsty

Should be watered at least twice a week.

toxic

no

This plant is safe for animals to nibble on.

size

small to medium

Mint can grow to between 1 – 2 feet tall.

pro tip

An effective remedy for headaches

If you are prone to tension headaches, you can make a compress out of mint leaves for your forehead or rub peppermint oil on your temples.

fun fact

Ancient origins

Mint was used in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt

beyond the basics

  • soil + potting

    Mint does not need to be fussed over which makes it perfect for first-time gardeners. When planting your mint consider using a well-draining soil that can help with moisture control, like Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Garden Soil. This soil helps to prevent from over- and under-watering your mint plant.

     

  • companion planting:

    Luckily, mint is an easy herb to find companion plants for. You can take your pick of popular home garden veggies such as: carrots, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, beans and even zucchini.

     

  • harvesting

    Frequent harvesting is important to keeping your mint flourishing. Young leaves have more flavour than older leaves. With this in mind, you can start harvesting your mint as soon as it comes up this spring.

  • pest control

    If you see your mint plant drooping, there might be a pest problem. Common pests you might see with mint plants are aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, or flea beetles. If you are seeing curling leaves or holes in your leaves, these are tell-tale signs of pests. Don’t worry, there is an easy fix. You can use a gentle insecticide like Ortho® Bug B Gon® ECO Insecticidal Soap Ready-To-Use to safely and quickly get rid of those little nuisances.

troubleshooting

  • What do I do with my mint once I harvest it?

    You’ve got options.

    Once you pick a few sprigs from your mint plant, you can keep them in water for a few days. It is best to use your mint while it is fresh, about 3-5 days. If you are looking to dry your mint leaves, cut them right before flowering and let the leave air dry. Once dry, store the dried mint in an air-tight container.

    Or you can just pick the leaves from your mint plant as you need them.

     

  • Why is my mint looking leggy?

    More sunlight. Most of the time, if your mint plant is looking thin and leggy it is lacking sunlight or water or nutrients. The best way to prevent mint from getting leggy is to make sure it is growing in a warm spot that gets lots of light. Keep it in a big pot with well-draining and nutrient rich soil.

  • Why is my mint turning crispy and brown?

    Under-watering. This is easy to fix. Try watering your mint on a schedule, aiming for once or twice a week. Be sure to water under the leaves and close to the soil so you don’t damage the leaves.

  • How do I know if my mint is healthy?

    Healthy, ready to use mint is a deep, rich green. If your mint is yellow and falling, it is likely due to its growing conditions. Keep your mint plant in full or partial sun, with a well-draining potting mix like Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Garden Soil. Make sure you water your mint whenever the top of the soil is dry, usually about twice a week.

have an idea?

Whether you’ve run out of shelf space for your plant babies or are looking for a rental-friendly way to bring hanging plants into your life, a hanging plant stand can be a cute and functional addition to your space.

here’s how to turn a humble clothing rack into a minimalist plant stand

here’s what you need to get started:

  • steel clothing rack (available at many big box stores)
  • project panel/wood/plywood (to fit clothing rack)
  • 4 EMT straps (sized to fit around pipes of the plant stand)
  • 4 wood screws
  • flat black spray paint (or colour of your choice)
  • wood stain
  • paintbrush
  • drill or screwdriver
  • sand paper
  • saw
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • hanging plants and pots

lets gro #plantproject

measuring and marking shelf for plant stand

step one.

Measure the base of the clothing rack, where you will eventually add the bottom shelf, and note the dimensions. With a pencil and measuring tape, use those dimensions to mark the piece of wood where it will need to be cut to fit on the base.

step two.

Use a saw to cut along the guidelines you made in step one.

If you don’t have a saw (or aren’t comfortable using one), most major hardware stores will cut wood pieces down to size for you – just be sure to bring the exact dimensions you need!

staining shelf board for plant stand

step three.

Sand any cut edges on the piece of wood.rnrnTo finish the shelf, coat it with the wood stain of your choice. Skip this step for a more boho look, or paint the shelf instead for a modern farmhouse vibe.

spray painting clothing rack for plant stand

step four.

Spray paint the clothing rack. You may need to do several thin coats to ensure full coverage, letting each coat fully dry before going in with the next.

step five.

Use four EMT straps and wood screws to attach the piece of wood to the bottom shelf area of the clothing rack.

styling plants on the finished plant stand clothing rack

step six.

The final step – and my favourite one! – is to style your plants on your new plant stand. Place larger plants or plant care supplies on the lower shelf, and smaller hanging plants in macrame hangers from the top bar. Vary pot and basket choice to really express your style and help your new plant stand fit in with your space!

#easypeasy

Intermediate

alocasia

aka alocasia

The Alocasia family contains about 70 different variations. They’re tuberous perennials with long stalks. Alocasia leaves vary between being arrow and heart-shaped, and may be interestingly decorated

variations

Alocasia amazonica ‘Polly’, Alocasia amazonica ‘Bambino’, Alocasia amazonica ‘Ivory Coast’, Alocasia micholitziana ‘Frydek’, Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’, Alocasia infernalis ‘Black Magic’, Alocasia rugosa ‘Melo’, Alocasia maharani ‘Grey Dragon’

light

indirect

Place in a spot where it’ll get 6 – 8 hours of indirect light.

water + feeding

not too thirsty

Water until it flows through the drainage hole.

toxic

yes

Should be kept away from your fury friends.

location

a little picky

For spaces that may not get enough light, use a grow light.

humidity

love it

They love high humidity.

size

medium

They can grow between 2 – 6 feet.

pro tip

dry as a bone?

Keep the soil pretty dry throughout the winter, giving it a little water at every 2 weeks.

fun fact

need light and dark

The short days and long nights of fall and winter are perfect for poinsettia. It’s actually what causes them to bloom.

beyond the basics

  • soil + potting

    Your Alocasia needs a well-draining potting mix. The Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix contains coconut coir and perlite to hold onto and release moisture as your plant needs it. If you find that your plant is wanting a little extra, you can add in some Miracle-Gro® Cactus, Palm & Succulent Potting Mix. Adding this succulent mix helps keep your soil light and airy.

  • when to repot

    Like most indoor tropical plants, the best time to repot is in the spring or summer, when your plant is strong. Your alocasia will likely want to be repotted every 18 – 24 months. When you’re selecting its new pot, choose one that is about 2 – 4” bigger than its current one.

  • propagation

    To propagate your alocasia, use the division method. Remove the plant from its pot and separate a small clump of roots from the main rootball. Replant the small clump into a new pot with fresh soil. Make sure it’s buried at the same depth as the original plant.

  • pest control

    Your alocasia may be more prone to spidermites than your other indoor plants. To help prevent those nasty mites from appearing, make sure your plant doesn’t dry out too much over the winter. If you see spidermites on your alocasia, you can use Ortho® Bug B Gon® ECO Insecticidal Soap Ready-To-Use. Spray this insecticidal soap on your plant to eliminate those pesky mites.

     

troubleshooting

  • Why are my leaves dying?

    Not enough humidity or dry soil. Your alocasia could probably use a good watering. If you’re already on a watering schedule and you’re still noticing dying leaves, consider increasing the humidity in the room.

     

  • Why are my leaves turning yellow?

    Overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering your plant again. For future waterings, make sure the soil is about 25-50% dry before watering.

  • Why are my leaves turning brown?

    Probably a sunburn. If your alocasia is too close to bright, direct light then it’s time to move it away. Your alocasia wants to be in bright but indirect light, so find a spot that isn’t right in front of a window. If your lighting is okay, then it could be fertilizer burn. To fix this, drain any accumulated fertilizer from the potting mix, or repot with fresh soil.

  • What are these rusty spots on my leaves?

    Fungal infection. Poor light and warm, humid conditions can be responsible for fungus. To prevent this make sure the leaves stay as dry as possible. Instead of overhead watering, opt for bottom watering or watering straws instead. Be sure to remove any dead, decaying or diseased plant matter from your alocasia’s pot.

have an idea?

let’s talk root division propagation!

There are a few different ways to clone your favourite plants. Not sure where to start? Do not fret, root division provides a quick and easy way to double up your plant collection.

propagating with root division

propagation by division

Propagation by division is pretty much exactly how it sounds. It is when you divide a plant into multiple plants. This method is best used for plants like snake plants, ZZ plants, peace lilies, pilea or spider plants.

what is root division?

Root division is another form of division propagation. It is super simple. All you have to do is separate sections of a plant, including a section of their roots. These new sections can then be repotted and nurtured to grow into new plants

lets gro #plantproject

here is what you will need to get started.

One of your favourite plants

(best results are with plants like pilea, snake plant, spider plant or peace lily)

Clean, sharp scissors or clippers

Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix

A nursery pot or a decorative pot with drainage holes

spotlight of crowns in root division process

look for ‘crowns’

Look for ‘crowns’ in the parent plant. These are sections that can be easily separated and will have its own root ball.

loosen up the soil

Take the parent plant out of its pot and loosen up the soil. Once the soil is loose enough, you can separate the crowns. Be sure to keep as many healthy roots as possible on your new section. If they do not come apart easily, you can gently trim the section with your clippers.

repot

Repot your parent plant with new potting soil such as Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix. Make sure the roots are fully covered with soil. Then pot the section you just divided. Again, make sure its roots are fully covered with soil and you have chosen a pot the right size for your new plant.

And as easy as 1-2-3 you have a new plant! Still have questions about propagations? We’ve got answers. Check out our post about propagating your plant pals.

#easypeasypropagation

root division

root division

Beginner

poinsettia

aka euphorbia pulcherrima

Poinsettia are native to Mexico and Central America. They are often used as decoration and gifts during Christmas holidays.

variations

There are over 100 varieties of Poinsettias. Some variations include ‘Premium Picasso’, ‘Monet Twilight’, ‘Shimmer’, and ‘Surprise’ poinsettia.

light

indirect

Need about 6 hours of indirect sunlight daily

water + feeding

not too thirsty

Water in moderation when soil is dry to the touch

toxic

kind of

They’re not toxic to humans or pets. However, the white, milky sap can irritate some people’s skin and can cause an upset stomach.

location

flexible

They’ll be happy in a semi-shaded or sunny area

humidity

love it

Poinsettia enjoy 50 – 75% humidity, so boost up the moisture

size

small friends

Potted poinsettia will remain small at 8 – 12 inches

pro tip

dry soil is ok

Allow the soil to dry out between watering, especially in the spring.

fun fact

need light and dark

The short days and long nights of fall and winter are perfect for poinsettia. It’s actually what causes them to bloom.

beyond the basics

  • soil + potting

    Whether poinsettia is growing indoors or outdoors, they prefer a loose, well-draining potting mix. Consider using Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix. You can also add Perlite and Peat Moss to your soil for some added nutrients.

  • when to repot

    As your poinsettia grows, so does its roots. To avoid your poinsettia getting root-bound, repot it in the spring. It’s generally recommended that by mid-May, your poinsettia will be ready to repot. Choose a pot that is about 2 inches wider and deeper than its current pot. And of course, refresh the soil when you repot.

  • propagation

    The most common way to propagate poinsettia is by taking a cutting. Propagating from cuttings ensures a clone of the parent plant. No surprises! To start, wait until the spring to take your cutting. Using sharp scissors or pruners, cut a 3 – 4 inch stem from the parent plant. Then cut off a few of the lower leaves to promote root growth from the cut edge. Be sure to leave at least 3 leaves at the top of the cutting. Transplant your cutting to a small container with well-draining potting mix such as using Miracle-Gro® Seed Starting Potting Mix. Keep your cutting in a bright, humid area, and mist the leaves regularly to stimulate growth.

  • pest control

    Whiteflies are the most common pests for poinsettias. Do regular checks under the leaves of your poinsettia and keep an eye out for clumps of greenish eggs. Use a gentle insecticide like Ortho® Bug B Gon® ECO Insecticide Ready-to-Use to easily and quickly get rid of white flies.

troubleshooting

  • Why are my cuttings collapsing?

    Bacterial rot. This causes the base or stem of the cuttings to become mushy and eventually collapse. You may also notice a smell surrounding your plant, which is also caused by this bacterial infection. You may be able to mitigate this by proper watering and misting practices. It’s best to cut off misting and watering for a while once you notice the stems are a little soft.

  • Why are my poinsettia’s leaves turning black?

    Temperature fluctuations. Sudden temperature fluctuations will shock these tropical plants. To keep your poinsettia happy, make sure it’s in a bright space that can also receive a few hours of shade or darkness. Be sure to keep your plant away from radiators, fireplaces and space heaters too.

  • Why is my poinsettia so pale all of a sudden?

    Could be spider mites. These little pests feed off the plant’s sap, causing the leaves to turn pale and sometimes develop little red spots. If you catch spider mites early enough, you may be able to salvage your plant. Use a gentle insecticide like Ortho® Bug B Gon® ECO Insecticide Ready-to-Use to gently take care of this problem. A recovering poinsettia will perk up and brighten up within a week or two.

  • Why are my poinsettia leaves drooping and yellow?

    Over- or underwatering. Both over and under-watering your poinsettia will cause its leaves to droop or look wilted. If you’re over-watering your plant, be sure to let its soil dry out a bit. Discard any excess water at the bottom of its pot to prevent it from sitting water and developing root rot. If you’re underwatering, consider boosting your watering routine with Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food for the next two watering cycles. You can also start misting the leaves of your poinsettia to increase its water in-take. But don’t overdo it, let the soil dry out a bit between watering.

have an idea?

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Do you want to build a community with like-minded gardeners, but you’re not sure where to begin? Starting a seed library can be the perfect way to meet some plant-loving friends. It’s also a fun way to grow your own food and encourage others to do the same.

So, what is a seed library? Think of it as a library, but instead of borrowing and returning books, you borrow and return seeds. And as a bonus––no late fines!

Setting up your own seed library takes a bit of thoughtful planning at the start, but once you get going, it’s fun and easy to maintain.

here are some tips to help you get your library off the ground:

let’s gro #plantproject

step 1. find some seed-savvy friends.

Seed libraries thrive when passionate folks with green thumbs join forces. Connect with gardeners in your community and ask them to share their expertise (and their seeds) as you build your collection. You will also want volunteers to help you manage the library once you’re ready to go. If you have a local gardening club or society, that is a great place to source some support.

step 2. pick a spot.

Find a nearby location that is convenient for borrowers to access. You might want to ask your local community centre or library (the kind with books in it) if they can house it. Seed libraries do not take up much real estate, so it’s a fairly easy sell. You can also set it up outside on your street, like the Little Free Libraries you see around your neighbourhood. It all depends on what vibe you are going for and how accessible you want it to be.

step 3. start building.

Put on your architect’s hat, because you will need to create some sort of structure to hold the seeds. But do not stress––you don’t need to get too fancy. A wooden apothecary cabinet with tiny drawers makes a great home for a seed library. Check out your favourite vintage store or browse your local buy/sell groups online and see what you can find. And if that sounds like too much work, any type of container or small box will do.

step 4. gather supplies.

Collect the following materials:

  • Mini envelopes
  • Labels
  • Date stamp
  • Pencils (for people to write helpful instructions for harvesting)

Again, no need to break the bank here. Hit up the dollar store for lots of low-cost options. You can even see if your local home and garden centre will donate supplies.

step 5. choose your categories.

A truly useful library is an organized one. To simplify the process for your borrowers and lenders, divide your library into different categories. You can choose to do this however you wish. Some options:

  • Alphabetical
  • Level of difficulty (easy to hard, or beginner to expert)
  • Type of plant (veggies, herbs, flowers, etc.)

step 6. tell people how this all works.

For your library to really thrive, you need a steady stream of people contributing to the flow of seeds coming in and going out. If your neighbourhood is part of the Nextdoor app, make sure to post there, or in any other relevant social groups. And don’t forget good old-fashioned word of mouth––tell your neighbours, your friends, your kid’s school council, and anyone you think might be interested in popping by.

And just like that, yYour seed library will be bustling and blooming before you know it! Don’t forget to share your progress with our community in the Plant Chat.

#happygardening

#easypeasy

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