This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.
If you find yourself invited to a cookout next week, you might want to come prepared with a hostess gift. If you want something that comes together lickety split, give a potted flower a try! If you’re looking to get into gardening for the very first time, you should check out The Gro Project for great resources to help you get started.
small terra cotta pot
Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix
Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed Plus Moisture Control All Purpose Plant Food
small flowering plant
Line the bottom of your pot with some pebbles to ensure proper drainage. Potted plants like to get a drink of water, but they need some breathing room too. Watering a plant without enough drainage is kind of like giving a person a bottomless glass of water and telling them to drink it in one sitting. It would never survive.
Next, grab your flowering plant. Gently remove it from its store container by placing your hand over the top of the soil surrounding the plant and tipping it upside down. Some plants will pop right out, and others might need coaxing. Don’t grab your plant by the stem and yank (ever). A combination of massaging the container the plant came in and mild shaking do the trick for me.
When your plant is out of its store container, you’ll want to give it a fresh start by breaking up the container-shaped soil it’s in, removing about a third of the soil it came with. Don’t worry about tossing the soil – store bought plants’ soil can be chock full of excess fertilizer, bacteria, or mineral salts. If you’re having trouble removing the soil, you can use a chopstick or twig to carefully poke around in the roots to loosen the soil. Be careful not to rip apart the roots too much. Some plants do have really thick roots up and down the sides and bottom of the container they come in. In that case, you can be significantly more aggressive in loosening the roots and soil.
Really, the ultimate goal is to give your plant a fresh start in a healthy environment, spreading out the roots and removing some of the store soil before transferring the plant is the way to accomplish this. Speaking of happy potted plants, another way to avoid overwatering is to use the right potting soil. Miracle-Gro’s Moisture Control® Potting Mix is an additional step in the right direction. Add some potting soil on top of your layer of rocks, just enough so that when you hold your plant over your pot, the roots are just touching the top of this first layer of soil.
Set your plant in the pot, centering it, and add potting soil around it until the roots are nice and covered. Even out the soil with your fingers, but don’t pack the soil down too tight. Overpacking the soil makes it harder for your plant’s roots to grow.
When you’re all potted, add a little sprinkle of Miracle-Gro’s Shake ‘n Feed Plus Moisture Control All Purpose Plant Food to get your plant the nutrients it needs, then water your plant well and let it drain.
Don’t forget – if you’re a newbie gardener, check out The Gro Project for more beginner gardening projects. You can also find fun garden projects on Miracle-Gro’s Pinterest page.