I have a confession: I am downright terrible with calatheas and ferns. Abysmal. Give me a calathea, and it will be a crispy, dried-up mess in about one month’s time. But perhaps the darker confession is that I’ve been finding myself drawn to calatheas more and more lately. And so because I live in an arid and scorchingly hot pocket of northern California, I bought myself a cloche from Dollar Tree.
How a cloche helps your plants
I’ve made impromptu cloches before from recycled boba cups, but this is the first time that I’ve invested in a cloche specifically for plants. Cloches essentially work like a mini-greenhouse. They protect plants from cold temperatures and help maintain humidity within an enclosed space. Some gardeners will simply place a plastic bag over a tender plant, but you can also buy legit cloches made from glass or plastic. They usually have a dome shape with an open bottom, and all you do is pop them over your plant.
I came across this handy doodad from Dollar Tree and bought it because I recently bought two high-maintenance plants with monstrous reputations for humidity needs: a heart-leaf fern and calathea orbifolia. With only a cutesy mini humidifier at my disposal, I needed extra reinforcements.
What Dollar Tree’s cloche looks like
This isn’t really your typical, Pinterest-worthy bell cloche like the one in Beauty and the Beast. It’s made with a thin plastic (similar to water bottle plastic), and there’s a knob on top that you can turn to expose the built-in holes that help with air circulation. I’ve been keeping my heart-leaf fern underneath it for a week. My fern has really been doing well so far, so I have no complaints in terms of its efficacy. All I’ve done is stick the cloche over my planter, occasionally opening the holes up top to give my fern some air.
What to consider
Even if this product is dirt cheap at $1.25, it might not be the best solution for everyone. To be frank, it’s pretty fragile. The thin plastic can get crushed pretty easily, rendering the whole apparatus aesthetically displeasing or, in the worst case scenario, useless. Additionally, the cloche is fairly small. It measures about 10 inches wide and eight inches tall. The planter holding my fern is about six inches wide and five inches tall, and it’s still a snug fit. If you have a wider pot or a plant with tall stalks and leaves, this might not be your best solution.
With all of that said, I’m still really enjoying this product. The twisted knob is a welcomed touch because it saves me the hassle of removing the cloche every so often. It’s also mostly clear in appearance, so it’s not garish whatsoever. (Let me be clear: it’s WAY nicer-looking than sticking a plastic grocery bag over your plant.) Dollar Tree doesn’t sell this particular cloche online, so you might have to look around in your local store. It does, however, sell this set of floral garden plastic high cloche domes.
Anywho, Dollar Tree is a great place to find plant accessories, especially if you’re a plant beginner who doesn’t want to invest in fancy, expensive gear. In addition to this nifty cloche, you can also find S-hooks, plant hangers, gloves, planters, trellises, and even cute decor pieces—all for $1.25 each!