Inverted Houseplant Care: Can You Grow Indoor Plants Upside Down

Inverted Houseplant Care: Can You Grow Indoor Plants Upside Down

By: Amy Grant

If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably heard about verticalgardening and maybe even growcrops upside down. The advent of the Topsy Turvy planter made this quitethe thing some years ago, but today folks have taken it to a new level by growingnot only outdoor produce but indoor plants upside down.

There are several advantages to upside-down houseplantgrowing, not the least of which is what a space saver an inverted houseplantbecomes.

How to Grow Houseplants Upside Down

Whether you live in a cramped studio apartment or a palatialmanor, houseplantshave their place. They are the most sustainable way to clean the air andbeautify your surroundings. For the aforementioned apartment dweller, upside-downhouseplant growing has another benefit – space saving.

You can grow indoor plants upside down by purchasingplanters made especially for this practice or you can put your DIY hat on andmake an inverted houseplant planter yourself.

  • To grow indoor plants upside down, you will need a plastic pot (on the small side for the sake of weight and space saving). Since the plant is going to grow upside down, you will need to make a hole in the bottom to accommodate it. Drill a hole through the bottom of the pot.
  • Use the bottom of the pot as a guide and cut a piece of air conditioner filter to fit. Fold this foam piece into a cone and then snip the tip of the cone to make a circle in the center. Cut a radius line into the filter next.
  • Drill two holes for the hanging rope into opposite sides of the pot. Make the holes half inch to an inch (1 to 2.5 cm). down from the top edge of the container. Thread the rope through the holes from the exterior to the interior. Tie a knot inside the pot to secure the rope and repeat on the other side.
  • Remove the plant form the nursery pot and place it in the new inverted houseplant container, through the hole you cut in the bottom of the pot.
  • Press the foam filter around the stems of the plant and press into the bottom of the inverted houseplant container. This will prevent soil from spilling out. Fill in around the plant roots if need be with additional well-draining potting soil.
  • Now you’re ready to hang your indoor plants upside down! Select a spot to hang the inverted houseplant container.

Water and fertilize the plant from the top end of the pot and that‘s all there is to upside-down houseplant growing!

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Read more about General Houseplant Care

Planting cucumber seedlings in outdoor upside-down planters too early in the spring leaves them vulnerable to late season frost. Wait until temperatures consistently are 70 Fahrenheit during the day and 60 F at night before planting. Easy-to-move upside-down planters make it possible to plant early. Just keep them hanging in a greenhouse or on a protected porch until spring temperatures reach the optimum range.

Drying out poses a significant risk for cucumbers in upside-down planters. During hot weather, water daily or even twice a day if the soil feels dry at the top. You generally water this type of planter from the top. The majority of the roots, however, grow at the bottom of the planter where the roots meet the base of the stalk. Adding a little water to the top of the planter won't provide enough water to the main root system. Always water until you see excess moisture dripping out the hole in the bottom.

Alys Fowler: how to repot a houseplant

If your houseplant is slow growing or you don’t wish it to grow any larger, repot it into its existing pot by refreshing the compost. Photograph: Tetra Images/Alamy

If your houseplant is slow growing or you don’t wish it to grow any larger, repot it into its existing pot by refreshing the compost. Photograph: Tetra Images/Alamy

I t was a distraction tactic I was supposed to be cleaning my house for a guest who would notice if my floor didn't sparkle, but instead I repotted my houseplants. Life is too short to be judged on your housework, but I would hate anyone to notice that my mother-in-law's tongue is less than spiky.

Most houseplants earn that title not because they particularly like houses, but because they can withstand low light levels and epic amounts of abuse, soldiering on in the same pot year after year.

Still, just because you can neglect them doesn't mean you should. Repotting a houseplant offers up new room for roots to roam and a fresh source of food, which also extends the plant's life.

If your houseplant is very slow-growing or you don't wish it to grow any larger, you can repot it into its existing pot by just refreshing the compost. However, if you are going to split your houseplant or allow it to grow bigger, you will need another pot.

Don't overpot: a giant pot and small plant mean that the roots end up sitting in lots of wet soil that becomes anaerobic. It's like sitting in wellington boots filled with water – you'll get trench foot eventually. Choose a pot that gives you an inch or two of room around the diameter of your existing root ball and not much more.

You can buy houseplant compost, but multipurpose compost with some grit or bark mulch to aid drainage works just as well. Don't add broken crocks to the bottom of the pot – it's a myth that they improve drainage.

If you need to repot indoors, lay down a plastic sheet first. Carefully tip the plant upside down. If it is overgrown, you'll find it needs a thump if that doesn't work, take an old kitchen knife and slice around the edge of the pot.

If you want to keep the plant in the same pot, either divide it or root prune it. You can do this using a sharp knife to shave away an inch or two of the root ball from the outside and then replant it with new compost.

If you are potting up, put a little compost in the bottom of the pot, then lower in the plant, making sure the stem is at the same level as it was before, and fill the gaps with new compost.

Firm the compost down gently, then give it a thorough soaking by sitting the pot in a bucket of water. Top-dress with bark mulch, grit or pebbles. Your new compost will most likely have food added to it, so you're relieved of feeding for the rest of the summer.

How Drawbacks of Upside-Down Tomato Growing Compare to Pros

All in all, there are far more benefits to growing tomatoes upside down then any cons. They allow for easy harvest, eliminate soil born pests and disease, and can be moved from place to place. Upside down planters can be made from a variety of low-cost materials and can be reused year after year.

That said, while the idea is very clever, there may still be a need for some improvements to upside-down container gardens. Tomatoes will grow very well right side up without so many issues and their flavor will be much better with open exposure to light. If you have absolutely no space, by all means try the upside-down planters. However, it may be easier and have a better outcome to simply grow them right side up in a container.

Looking for additional tips on growing perfect tomatoes? Download our FREE Tomato Growing Guide and learn how to grow delicious tomatoes.

Watch the video: How to make Inverted plant pot. Upside down hanging planter. Sky planter