So, you want to turn your home into a mini green oasis? For those living in concrete jungles, potted plants can instantly help create green, ambient spaces. But caring for potted plants can be time-consuming and challenging, no matter how experienced a gardener is. With the right combination of soil, light, fertilizer, and water, anyone can learn to grow potted plants and keep them alive! Here are a few fundamentals to keep in mind when growing potted plants.
It’s All in the Soil
Are you looking for the best soil to grow your container plants? Say goodbye to garden soil and get special potting soil instead. Garden soil is heavy and often comes with weed seeds. It can also cut off the oxygen supply to the roots. Instead, opt to buy or make your own lightweight potting soil mix to bring your plants to life.
How Much Water Is Too Much Water?
Why can’t I keep my plants alive? It’s a question plaguing many gardeners. The number one cause for potted plants dying is overwatering. As a rule, remember to water plants deeply but infrequently. Sprinkling light showers on them daily may do more harm than good. A few additional tips to remember: water only when the soil feels dry and use room temperature water.
When to Water Plants
The best time to water plants is first thing in the morning. It enables moisture to evaporate over the day, especially before the evening when dampness can settle in and bring disease. Additionally, containers with drainage holes are imperative to prevent plants from sitting in water. Saucers or plates under pots work perfectly to hold excess water. Just remember to remove excess water after an hour to keep the roots from getting soggy.
And How Often?
The frequency of watering can be tricky but depends primarily on the plant type, pot size, sunlight, and other factors. Typically, lush plants or those with larger leaf surfaces need more water. For outdoor container plants, watering once or twice a day is ideal – especially in hot weather. Reduce the frequency during cooler weather. The rule of thumb: the larger the container, the less watering required.
The Right Amount of Sunlight
All plants are the happiest when they get enough sunlight. Identify and group plants according to their light requirements. Keep sun-seekers together and shade lovers in a different space. Never mix the two in a single container.
Fertilizing Potted Plants
Each time we water plants, a ton of nutrients get washed away through the drainage holes. Revive the soil by using time-release organic fertilizers containing microbes that release nutrients. Compost is another excellent method to keep soil healthy. The best way is to feed the soil when first potting the plant. Remember to fertilize the soil every month after that.