Kidproofing (& Pet Proofing) Houseplants

| |

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Aren’t houseplants beautiful?  The endless green leaves, the air freshening qualities, the… DIRT.  Dirt, the stuff of kid’s dreams and my nightmares.  What’s a plant AND kid loving person to do?  It’s simple, really.  Figure out…

How to Kid and Pet Proof Houseplants #kids #pets

Last year for Mother’s Day, my husband gave me a gorgeous hibiscus tree that amazingly made it through the summer.  Once cooler temps hit, I had a choice: say goodbye to the tree, or bring it inside and attempt to keep it alive amidst two crazy kids and a cat.  Especially a cat that likes to do this:

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

Just so you know, her eyes are saying “back AWAY from the Hibiscus.”

I needed a solution that would cover the dirt but also allow for water to get through to the roots.  It was easier than I thought, and I had all the materials already on hand so it was free.

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

First, I cut out a circle of weed fabric with a slit to the middle so it would go around the trunk without finessing it too much.  There, all done!

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

Ah, no.  Turns out weed fabric is permeable and works well keeping the dirt inside the planter, but it isn’t the most attractive solution.  So I did the same thing with burlap fabric.  Burlap may be rustic but it looks great when paired with plants.  Cut a circle with a slit, and add it over the weed fabric.

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

I added tacks around the perimeter to hold both layers down, and made sure there were enough to keep the fabric in place.

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

It was kidproofed, but still in the {ugly} original pot.  I set off for Homegoods with a clear picture of what I wanted in my head, which historically means I would never ever find  anything close to said clear picture.  Imagine my amazement when I spotted the exact thing I was looking for– a black and white striped basket in a water repellent material.  And WOW, it was the perfect size!  I think I mowed down three shoppers and a poodle to grab it off the shelf, whispering to it softly:  “shhhh, you’re home now.”

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants


Now, water goes through and dirt stays in.  And my hibiscus flowers like CRAZY!

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

Perfect medicine for these gloomy winter days.

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

After a few days, the blooms fall off and a new huge flower explodes.  Waiting in the wings are 10 other buds, waiting their turn.

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

It’s been 6 months since I kid/pet proofed the hibiscus, and I’m here to say it works.  I’m so glad we brought it indoors and gave it love, water, and burlap.  Those flowers are the best gift ever!  I’m trying my best not to drive my Instagram followers crazy by taking photos of them every day.  It’s hard.  Ooops, one escaped.  😉

kidproofing houseplants

 Burlap.  Weed fabric.  Landscaping Pins.  A simple formula that allows me to revel in this each morning:

 Kidproofing and Petproofing Houseplants

Ahhhhhh.  God is good.  And spring IS coming.  I think.

Share This Post With Friends!
Pin on Pinterest
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone
Print this page

Similar Posts


  1. Great tip! I love Hibiscus and can’t wait to bring ours up from the basement. We overwinter them every year and they live out on the back patio in the summers… So pretty!

  2. Haha – love the picture of the kitty curled up in the pot! Your hibiscus is stunning – love the soft pink color! Great tips Carrie! We need to buy some houseplants since we had to leave all of ours behind when we moved this summer! 🙁

  3. Pingback: 10 Ideas for Remodeling Your Kitchen on a Budget | Making Lemonade
  4. This is such a great idea! Have you found any issues with root rot or molding since you’ve placed that protective layer over the soil?

    1. It was awhile ago, but no, there were no issues! It’s very ‘breathable’ if that makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.