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How To Plant A Container Plant At The Office

by Ruby Bayan

'Container Garden' by Ruby BayanNormally, a new employee moving into a new office would bring all the office space "decor" at the same time -- the picture frames, trophies, and the pots of Dwarf Chinese Bamboo, Bonsai Bougainvillae, or Anthuriums. Usually also, plants brought into the office are already planted, stable, and just waiting to find a comfortable nook to thrive in.

But if for some reason an employee settling into a new cubicle or corner office decides to start an indoor garden from scratch, these are the container planting tips to remember:

  • The basics: choose hardy, semi-shade, room-temperature houseplants; get lightweight, all-purpose potting soil; opt for decorative planters for a personal touch (or to accent the new office color scheme); don't forget the drainage catchers; pick up a watering can and a small trowel; grab some plastic or rubber gloves, too.

  • Before starting work on planting and replanting, lay out some old newspapers over the work area. No matter how careful a gardener is, soil particles will eventually scatter -- the newspapers will make clean-up a lot more convenient. Have some paper towels handy, too, for instant hand wipes, in case the phone rings or the boss beckons. Plastic/rubber gloves will also be helpful.

  • If the new plant is being replanted from a generic black nursery pot to a decorative planter, transfer the plant with the least disturbance to its roots. This can be done by wetting the soil of the nursery pot so that the old soil doesn't fall off the roots in transit.

  • Pour some new soil into the decorative planter up to about a third full.

  • Dig up the plant from the nursery pot with a trowel carrying as much old soil as possible. Gently put the plant into the new planter and hold it in place.

  • Trowel new soil into the planter to fill it up to an inch below the rim. Pack the soil down gently with your fingers to hold the plant firmly in place. Don't fill the planter all the way because without the 1-inch allowance, soil and water will spill out during watering.

  • Water the plant and wipe the planter clean.

  • Keep new replants away from strong and prolonged exposure to sunlight for a couple of days. This will allow the plant to recuperate from the shock.

  • When the plant is a bit stable, set the planter where the plant will thrive and give joy to everyone around.

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