November 14, 2012

Thinking Outside the Pot

Not all house plants must grow in a traditional pot. Steve Asbell introduced me to the idea of plants growing in a grapevine ball.

My homemade grapevine balls are loose and clumsy. I expect the plants to eventually take over so the vehicle is simply a tool. Grapevines are abundant here, so maybe my wrapping technique will improve. Enough space has to remain so that long-cut moss and the root balls of plants can be inserted. Rooting cuttings in a tray with a long thing root bed seems ideal.

I used what is at hand here: Christmas Cactus cuttings, Graptopetalum rosettes and Resurrection fern, topped off with a Bromeliad pup.

Hanging is not convenient, so I set the sphere in an old clay pot with lots of patina. The pot sits in a bonsai saucer or on a tray of pebbles, depending on my whim as I search for an ideal spot.
Later I set the ball into the top of a decorative cache pot.
See at the bottom, there's a frond of Resurrection Fern?
Resurrection Fern turned out not ideal for a Moss Ball.
This fern likes a constantly moist surface and plenty of humidity. Once it dries out, I have a hard time 'resurrecting' it. Next I will try some kind of dainty fern that came up in the Greenhouse floor.
Graptopetalum makes a good contrast to finer foliage. Its only drawback is that it tends to get leggy. I just break off and restick when it begins to hang on a long stem.

Only the fern at the bottom retains enough water
 to stay green and not all of it looks hydrated.

I can hardly wait for the Schlumbergera to
open, six weeks before Christmas.


Steve Asbell said...

Thanks for the share! I need to do another post on these and love the introduction of succulents to the mix. I think I'll have to do a holiday themed 'drop'.

Anonymous said...

I think this is so beautiful! I've never seen plants growing like this, but it's just lovely! I'm sure your grapevine ball-wrapping skills will improve over time. ;)

Linda@VS said...

Nell Jean, I found your blogs through your interesting comment on mine this afternoon about us being "almost birthday twins." Your photos are gorgeous, but what I really envy is your green thumb. I've never had one of those.

I Blog Here & Here too