This post is about the rescue of a spider plant, testing out a new technique I was working on. I wanted to try to reuse a candle jar as a planter, but I was familiar with the struggles of this from previous plants which had died in candle jars. The problem with candle jars is that they don’t have drainage, and most plants can’t handle the root stress which comes from sitting in water logged soil, or drying out too much. It’s hard to get the watering right when you don’t have drainage.
I’ve had a lot of success in the past with self watering pots, most notably, the variegated monstera propagation three part story! Link to part 1 here
What you need
- Plant: I found a struggling spider plant which was on sale for £1. It was small, ragged, and the leaves were drooping.
- Used candle jar: I found an empty candle jar that was the right size for the plant which I removed all candle wax residue from
- The insert: I used a cookie cutter, however since this project I have come up with an even better solution, which I’ll explain a little later
4th March 2020
I figured I could potentially try to replicate a self watering pot by inserting something in the bottom of the jar. The goal is to lift the plant and soil up from the water, so it’s not sitting in the water. I tried a lot of various items, but in the end the best option seemed to be a household cookie cutter I had found. This particular cookie cutter was enough to lift the plant above the water at the bottom, but also have space for the water to be soaked up. I expect that over time, the roots will have grown into this area and be sitting in water. This happens with all of my plants in self watering pots, and I think as long as the roots grow into the water naturally, they seem to be ok.
I then simply removed the plant from the plastic pot it came in, and put it into the candle jar, making careful attention to pack it in a bit.
20th April 2020
5th June 2020
5th July 2020
The plant is now very healthy and thriving. The next step in the growth will be the mini ‘spiders’ which the plant produces eventually, so stay tuned for more updates! It’s also possible that the plant could be separated into about five different plants to then grow, with enough space.
So the plant insert? While this plant was growing, I decided that I needed to create the perfect insert that could replicate this in other candle jars as planters. I tried various options, and finally was able to get the perfect solution. I created a small kit that can be used to convert your candle jars into planters, and have made a handful available here.
I will be releasing more information about this kit soon!
If you liked this growth progress story, and would like to know more specifically about the spider plant, you might also like this one about another spider plant, or this one about a succulent propagation from a single leaf! If you are looking to purchase your own spider plant, there are updated links to purchase them on this post.