Helping you create a home by hand.

A Touch of the Tropics

I am really missing the sand and surf and the palm trees this winter.  Well… I miss them all the time when we’re living away from the ocean but most especially in the winter.

There’s not much I can do about the sand and the surf but one of the local stores had some small palm trees on sale for a little over $10 so one came home with us on Monday.

Palm tree before repotting
It’s called a Cataractarum Palm

Most plants for sale in stores are usually pretty close to being root bound and this one was no exception. So Dave and I searched through the collection of pots in the garage and found one that was about an inch bigger all the way around than the ugly black plastic pot the palm came in.

The pot was given a good wash in a mild bleach solution to kill any bacteria that might have been in it and allowed it to air dry overnight.  Then we added small felt pads (<-affiliate link) to the bottom of the pot to prevent it from scratching the floor.

Felts pads on the bottom of the pot

A scrap piece of window screen was added to the bottom to prevent the potting soil from being washed out through the drainage hole when it’s watered.

Scrap of window screen in the bottom to prevent soil loss.

Then I poured a potting soil into a bucket and added enough water to get it good and wet without being soggy or sloppy wet.

Potting soil and a bucket

I placed a layer of soil in the bottom of the pot.

Layer of potting soil in the bottom of the pot

Next the palm was gently loosened from the plastic pot and transferred to its pretty new one. Soil was added all the way around the edges up to the level of the soil it came in.

Palm with soil added around the sides

And here she is in her new home in the living room where she’ll get lots of daylight.

Palm tree in its new home

While we were at it, we decided to re-pot the poinsettia that our landlord gave us for Christmas. Usually by now poinsettias that I’ve had in the past would be all spindly and scraggly looking… but this one is still looking as pretty as the day he brought it over.  I decided that it deserved a pretty new home too.

When we lived on Maui, there was a huge poinsettia growing by one of the older homes on the route I took to take our kids to school each day.   So with the palm and the poinsettia we’ve got a little bit of the Hawaii going on here in Southwestern Ontario.


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  • Mary
    March 4, 2015 10:00 pm

    Now you need to add a plumeria to the collection! The palm and poinsettia look so pretty against that dark wall.

  • MA
    March 4, 2015 7:19 pm

    I have an awful time keeping plants alive in the apartment we live in now, but I have to admit I’ve drooled over those plants in the local grocery store but didn’t get one because I figured it was cruel to bring it home just to kill the poor thing.

  • Linda
    March 4, 2015 5:18 pm

    Your tropical touch and the spring sunshine are refreshing no matter how cold it is outside. Soon spring will be here.

  • Diane
    March 4, 2015 3:18 pm

    When I get done with the spring cleaning–though I have to start the cleaning first!!–I plan to get me some large houseplants–
    though I do have a ‘brown’ thumb–so don’t know how long they will stay living plants–love yours!!

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