Tag Archives: ammonia

Re-potting and Re-loving your Plants

I must admit. I need to be better about taking care of our house plants. So today I got serious! I decided to re-pot them, mix the soil around, add new soil and a little home-made plant food.

The How To’s:

1.Making the Plant Food:

Since we recently started composting, I figured that instead of buying any plant food from the store, I had to put our compost to good use.


In a blender I added some coffee grinds, a couple of eggshells, and some compost (which included apple cores, carrot peels and other goodies). I added a healthy amount of water and blended it.

A word about plant food:

Many home made recipes call for a mixture of  Epson Salts, baking powder, regular salt, and household ammonia. Whatever rocks your boat. Personally, adding ammonia, which is considered to be a toxic substance, to anything seems a little crazy to me. Its a natural and organic compound produced and used for growth of many plants, but having a jug of ammonia in the house does not seem like the best and most eco-friendly solution. (If it gets in our water ways it can be extremely harmful). So sticking with all-natural, non-toxic, home-made plant food seems like a better solution to me.


2. Mixing the soil

I took old soil from plants that had died due to extreme heat in our kitchen (whoops) and mixed it with new soil in a bucket. I tossed it and added a bit of the juicy plant food (mostly the water part) to moisten the soil. I added more water to the mix in order to have the soil thoroughly moist.

3. Re-potting your plants

***The most important thing I did through out this whole process was talking to my plants! Call me crazy, but I really felt like they needed to know what was going on. Imagine being pulled out of your warm comfy home and abruptly placed in a new pot! So as I did this I explained the process, was really gentle, made them feel more at ease, and made ME feel like I knew what I was doing (even though it was my first real re-potting experience!)…So it helped us all : )

-Start by having everything ready and clean. I made a mess, so cleaning as you go is definitely recommended.

– Prep your flower pot with a little dirt at the bottom. If there is a hole you can cover it using a shard of an old broken pot making sure you don’t cover the hole completely. Add a bit of the plant food that you have prepared.


-I took my first plant and flipped it gently until it loosened and came out of its pot. I dug a little around the edges and it helped to get it out. I untangled the roots a bit and watered them slightly and placed it on the pot.

-I covered and filled the pot with dirt and half way through I added a bit more of the plant food. Then I covered it completely, making sure I stayed at least half an inch from the rim (if not when you water it, it can overflow).

-Use a spray to clean the leaves of your plants if they have dirt on them, so they can breathe!

Tell your plants that they are awesome and that this is for their own good even if they hate you… ; ) Sun, water and love will make their day!

Now they will grow stronger than ever and produce beautiful blooms and strong green leaves!