I can kill an indoor plant in 4.6 days. I've talked about my skill in this particular area before, but when you're good at something you want everyone to know. Some person in Waynesboro, Virginia for example is really good at shaving cats bellies. As such, they've taken to ... shaving the bellies of all their neighbourhood cats.
7 cats in the past few months in Waynesboro have returned home with shaved bellies. They aren't hurt or injured or anything. They're mainly just a little bit indignant. But cats are like that all the time - so. Local authorities are now involved and the town of 21,000 is on the lookout for anyone looking to purchase a loom and/or wearing calico sweaters.
Waynesboro police captain Kelly Walker, has used his own finely tuned cunning and intuition to solve this mystery, saying, "Probably the best solution is for whoever is doing this to just stop," Walker said.
Amen. Someone get this guy on a plane to the Israel/Palestine border.
So these plants of mine. When The New York Times came to shoot my house I had to replace my dead houseplants with some live house plants because you can only get away with dead houseplants in some of your more avante garde publications, like The Addams Family Circle. When I was picking up some new plants I grabbed some new clay pots as well.
The problem with new clay pots is they look new. Looking new is never a problem with white tee shirts, shoes or manicures, but with pots? You don't want them to look new.
The pot on the left is my instantly aged clay pot. The one on the right is a regular old clay pot. No insta-age on that one, it's fresh out of the store.
I couldn't figure out a way to age these pots instantly. I was not going to sit around all night painting them before the photographer showed up and I didn't have a handy bottle of moss and buttermilk to spray on them only to discover in 6 months that you can't really grow moss that way.
So I thought of salt. Salt stained things and left a white residue, which is what the minerals in water over a period of time does to pots. Leaves a white residue.
After some experimenting and mishaps that involved open wounds and multiple brand new swear words I figured it out.
I tried 3 different methods and all of them worked in their own way. Which one you use will depend on how much patina you want on your pot and how permanent you want it to be.
How to instantly age clay pots
- Fill a bucket or bowl that's larger than your pot with hot water.
- Pour salt into the container until no more will dissolve. The water will be fully saturated with salt.
- Set your clay pot in the water for a few hours until it's fully absorbed the salt water. If you have to, flip the pot over in the water so both the top and bottom get immersed.
- Remove the clay pot from the salt water and let it dry.
- After drying it will be instantly aged with white patina all over it.
The longer the pot dries the more salt will appear. This continues over the period of a week, but the salt is noticeable after only a few hours of drying.
As you continue to dip your clay pots into the salt water the amount of salt saturation will be less and less because the first pots have absorbed so much of it. Just continue to add more salt to the water OR be pleased with the fact that all the pots will have different levels of the white patina on them.
You can also take your salt solution and fill a spray bottle with it. Spray the pot until it's fully saturated.
This method works well, but the salt doesn't get pulled as far into the clay so it's more easily removed with handling and watering.
The last method you can use if you don't even own a spray bottle is to soak your clay pot in regular water and then sprinkle salt all over you want the patina to appear. You have to sprinkle the salt IMMEDIATELY so the salt melts on contact allowing the clay pot to pull the salt into itself as it absorbs the water.
If you use the soaking method you'll have to use a plastic liner in the pot. As a professional plant killer I can tell you that a sure fire way to kill a plant is to set it in a pot filled with salt. Salt kills plants.
You can see here how easy it is to rub off the salt patina from a pot that's only had salt sprinkled onto it.
A soaked pot on the other hand really pulls the salt into itself and is much harder to remove the patina from.
If you decide there's too much salt patina on a soaked po,t you can scrub it down with a brush or scouring pad.
I used a piece of my homegrown Luffa sponge.
See? Too much salt isn't a problem. A little elbow grease and it's toned down.
INSTANT aged pots. You can make 'em quicker than a loon can shave a cat's belly.
Oh, I don't think I can read anymore comments. (sooooo haarrrrd) and I know I am the laziest reader you have. Clay pots are $$$ and break easily and the dang bottoms are just as much! I always use a liner (called leaving them in the pot they were bought in?) but then your pot looks new forever. Annoying.
CONGRATULATIONS to Karen! !!!!!
LOL. Thanks Nancy. :) ~ karen!
Just tried this and I LOVE IT!
Lots of crazypeople and stupid comments here..Thank you for this..easy..fast..clean..cheap..painted pots look painted ..this looks REAL! No sandpaper..paint or mess..
:) Thanks Christina! Now just don't blame me when all your plants up and die. ;) ~ karen!
Oh my gooseberries, Karen! This is revolutionizing my world right now I'm so excited to try this! No handcramping bottle squeezing forget about it after 2 days milk moss mess. And I agree with miss Christina, lots of craziness, uppity and stupid comments, sheesh! You keep doing you, I love your diys and humor. I think you should write a book. I'd buy it. I'd gift it, too! Anywho, I feel a little bit cultured too, now that I know about the shorn cat bellies incident of 2017. That's definitely one for the history books. Thanks for the laughs!
:) People tend to get overly excited about things on the Internet, lol. I'm not worried about it but thanks for the support!! ~ karen
Karen, I am going to put them in a plastic liner..also some I will not put plants in.. they are just for decoration :)
The salt doesn't melt, it dissolves. This reminds me of the Wizard of Oz movie. "I'm melting!". No, you ignorant twit! You're not melting, you're dissolving!! Did you sleep through science class?! Salt melts at 802.02°C . It dissolves in water at any temperature at which water is a liquid. Jeez.
I stumbled upon this blog while staring (and sweating) today in front of the too-orange-for-my-taste-pots....at the Lowe’s in Waynesboro:). This post and the thread that follows has won me over!
So...was the cat mystery ever solved? Did your plants survive the salting? So many questions ....
SALT KILLS PLANTS!!!!!!
Which is why if you soak the entire pot I recommend putting in a plastic pot to hold the plant. Although to be honest I don't think this very small amount of salt here would actually kill the plants. It'd be fun to do an experiment. ~ karen!
I found this on Pinterest looking for a way to age some bricks i am using to line a flower bed. It's a pretty big bed and just a few bricks. I think this should work. I love your writing. I did read your disclaimer on salt killing plants. I'm sorry the other people didn't. :0)
ummmm, salt is not good for plants. DO NOT TRY THIS TECHNIQUE. unless you want pretty pots and dead plants all over your garden or terrace!
I understand you're trying to be helpful, but the post clearly states "If you use the soaking method you’ll have to use a plastic liner in the pot. As a professional plant killer I can tell you that a sure fire way to kill a plant is to set it in a pot filled with salt. Salt kills plants." ~ karen!
Karen, I, too, just discovered you through a Pinterest thread. I identified with you as I live what I would like to think of as a planned result of conscientious efforts; however, my life usually winds up being more of chaos that I hope one finds endearing i.e. I tried the buttermilk and moss thing ages ago, giving my concrete urns a massage with said concoction while the neighbors just whispered and kept their distance...... Thus, do you know anyway to age new concrete garden adornments? ( btw: you had me at the cat shaving narrative🙀)
I found your post is well decribing how to age clay-pot instantly. I was looking for these kind of method for my pot. By the way, I am wondering are there any side effects(expected) for plants?
Hi Jude. If you're worried about salt killing the plants, just keep the plants in their plastic pots and insert those into the clay. That'll keep the salt away from the soil and roots. ~ karen!
So I've been trying to age my clay pots for two days now. I have poured a copious amount of salt into the bucket of warm water and let the pots sit in the solution for hours on end. Not even a bit of patina on them. Perhaps a few more details would be great. How much salt and how many hours? Coarse or fine salt? Sea or iodized? Thanks.
I miss NY.
I find that there's no accounting for taste. Antiques are gross and old-ugh, foolish people!
Why do the naysayers speak on a post about that which they don't like? Narcissist much?
You are funny and I love the idea of SALTING the crap out of the pots and then placing my store bought plant that ALREADY comes with a PLASTIC liner into them. The PLASTIC liner will protect them from the SALT!!! so no Rome replay here.
Martha is full of it. that did not work. Such a mess. Painting looks fake. Love this IDEA and will try it and then placing my store bought plant that ALREADY comes with a PLASTIC liner into them.
READING IS ELEMENTAL. The non readers are not qualified to shave cats! or Salt pots!
Thanks Raven! People don't read. They skim. And sometimes not even that. Sometimes they just look at the photos and surmise, lol. ~ karen!