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Enviable Houseplants with the Smart Soil Separator

November 10, 2014 | By | Reply More


The “after” shot. I gave this plant a little haircut too, prior to repotting.

Ahhhh, it’s fall. Finally, the garden and its massive harvests are slowing down. I’ve made just about everything I can think of using my nearly 250 pounds of tomatoes. I’ve canned jam, pickled nectarines, and made applesauce. Could it be that now I can rest for a bit?

Nope. While all of that was going on this summer, I shamefully neglected some of our houseplants. I had moved them outdoors when the weather warmed and then I forgot about them. Now, they’re indoors for the winter, and their pitiful appearance is a constant reminder that I was a bad plant mom.

I’m going to spend some time over the next several weeks using my green thumb for good deeds indoors, re-potting, pruning, root pruning and feeding some of our most neglected houseplants.


“Before” shot-plant has lots of brown spots on the leaves.

I recently learned about a handy product called the Smart Soil Separator™. It’s made in the USA by Nature’s Footprint, the same fabulous folks who make the Worm Factory 360® vermicomposting bin which I sell in my online shop.

The Smart Soil Separator is a ventilated disk that slips into the bottom of your pot, creating a permanent air space between the plant’s roots and the bottom of the pot. It allows the roots to pass through it and promotes better access to water and nutrients.

houseplantsOne of my biggest challenges with houseplants is that I never know if I’m watering just enough, too much, or not enough. I start watering with a trickle of water on the surface of the soil, letting it absorb. Then I add another little trickle. And another. And another. The whole time, I’m watching the bottom of the pot to make sure water isn’t pouring out the drain hole in the bottom.

Just when I think I’ve got it right, I walk away. Later, I end up stepping into a puddle of cold water with my socks on – my pet peeve – because the water eventually leaked out the bottom of the pot carrying valuable nutrients out with it.

The Smart Soil Separator has an option for “sub-irrigation” which means you’re watering the plant from the bottom. You simply add water to a tray underneath the pot, and the plants roots take in the water as needed, so there’s no guesswork. You’re also not leaching nutrients from the potting mix every time you water. As a bonus, adding a tray of water underneath a plant creates essential humidity around it. Heated air in many homes is very dry and can wreak havoc on your houseplants.


Smart Soil Separator with installed with sub-irrigation plug removed.

I found the Smart Soil Separator very easy to use for re-potting my poor houseplant. As you can see, I’ve added a tray of water under the pot to take advantage of the added humidity and sub-irrigation. I also pruned both the plant’s foliage and its roots before putting it into the pot with fresh potting mix and a handful of recently harvested vermicompost. I can’t wait for this baby to really take off!

Fall and winter are perfect times to give your houseplants a little TLC. While the folks at Nature’s Footprint were kind enough to provide me with a sample of the *Smart Soil Separator, I plan to use them with many of my indoor plants that need to be re-potted. And, I only write about products that I believe in. In fact, I like this one so much that I’ve added it to my online shop.


I will add water to this tray to promote humidity and water plants roots from the bottom.


*Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Category: Flowers, General, Home and Garden

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