How to Create a Successful Potted plant?
Many enthusiastic gardeners or plant lovers live in apartments of multi-story buildings where the gardening outside is mainly limited. Fortunately, the range of houseplants is great, whether trees and shrubs, non-woody plants, foliage- or flowering species, in fact, many plants prefer the conditions of a protected patio. Plants proving permanently decorative should be evergreen and able to live a year in a year. Introduce a little nature to your home, office or patio to unite the outdoors and indoors while creating a friendly atmosphere.
For a successful pot, planting ensures adequate light, moisture, correct potting mixtures, and feeding.
the plants often enough to ensure they stay moist or less, according to plant requirements.
Most indoor plants grow outside in shade and will need their own individual amount of light intensity. Those requiring only little light can be placed well away from an open well-lit window, with no possibility of direct sunrays. Place those wanting moderate light 3m from bright windows or glass doors. Those that usually grow in full sun outside need to be placed at least 1m from a well-lit window.
The growing mediums
should have similar pH, moisture retention and draining abilities to the growth factors it is used to in the wild. Of the many growing mediums available John Innes Potting compost is the most ideal, which is a high-quality loam mixture. When preparing potting mixtures yourself mix 1 part fibrous compost, 2 parts coarse washed river sand and 3 parts fibrous, un-sieved loam together. Change the sand and loam amounts according to draining requirements, succulents, for example, will need more drainage, therefore add more sand.
is made simple by available plant foods manufactured for specific plant types. Trim the plants’ dead stems, leaves of flowers periodically and control the dustiness seasonally by putting the plant outside in a shady spot and spraying it clean with a soft spray.
for economic value and practical shape. The “mouth” should be the widest part of the container to make re-planting possible. The pot’s size for planting and re-planting should always be 2 sizes higher, for instance, replant a potted plant of 15cm in a new 20 cm high pot.
is necessary when the plant roots have filled the entire container and water the plant thoroughly a day prior to re-planting. Prepare the pots by ensuring sufficient drainage holes and adding 3cm of crushed stone to the base. Incorporate some of the potting soil on top of the stone level and test the height by placing the original potted plant inside. Add more soil to the base until the plant’s top rootball is 2cm below the new level. Remove the original pot from the plant by turning it on its side and whack and roll the container, while pulling at the stem gently. Place the plant center on the added soil in the new pot and fill with potting soil. Do not firm the soil down, but water in and fill more if necessary, for this ensures air getting trapped in the soil.
Troubleshooting Houseplant Pest Problems
Even the best gardeners will have indoor plants that do not perform well. Cultural and environmental factors play a big part in the overall success of your indoor gardening efforts. Sometimes, however, insects and diseases can take their toll on your houseplants, too.
As I discussed last week, the two main reasons gardeners fail with houseplants is a failure to provide proper levels of water and light. Either too much or too little of each can harm your plants; this depends largely on each plants’ water and lighting needs. Not all plants like the same conditions.
Abnormal foliage color can be associated with low light, overwatering, insect or disease pressure, or lack of nutrients. When the very tips of the leaf margins (edges) turn brown, this can be associated with overwatering, exposure to cold, or too much fertilizer. Too much fertilizer causes a buildup of salts that will burn the tips of the leaves. When salt levels are high, you can sometimes see a white ring around the pot. Flushing the soil with plenty of water will usually correct the problem.
Spotted or discolored leaves may indicate root rot from too much water or burn from too much sunlight. Sometimes diseases can cause leaf discoloration, too.
Have you ever noticed your houseplants suddenly dropping all their leaves? This common problem can be associated with water stress caused by too much or too little water. Other times leaves will drop due to transplant shock or a sudden change in light intensity. This can be a common problem when plants that have enjoyed the outdoors all season long are brought indoors for the winter months. Gradual acclimation from higher to lower light conditions is important to lessen this shock and help decrease leaf drop. Cold drafts can also cause leaves to fall off.
Most houseplants that are supposed to bloom need the proper light intensity levels to do so. Sometimes, however, houseplants that fail to bloom may be undernourished or kept in areas that are too warm or too cold.
Botrytis blight, powdery mildew, and root rot are a few common diseases that plague houseplants. Prevention is the best method of control. Provide proper cultural and environmental conditions to lessen the occurrence of these diseases.
Spider mites, cyclamen mites, and mealybugs are common insect pests of houseplants. Several houseplant insecticides are available. Particularly useful on houseplants is insecticidal soap that kills soft-bodied insects quite well. With severe insect infestations, a more potent insecticide may be required. Whatever you choose to use, read and follow label directions carefully.
Remember, it isn’t always an easy task to grow plants indoors. Always research your houseplants of choice and learn what makes them happy, because happy houseplants add a bit of coziness and warmth to any décor.
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