Caring for your Plants
Given proper care, the right amount of sun, soil and water, many plants will grow successfully in pots placed or hung near windowsills, porches and patios. To maintain healthy plants, read the tips below or stop by our Floral Department for more information.
Plants harness energy from the sun to grow and thrive. Place your plant in an area where it will receive direct sunlight. If the plant begins to wilt, move it into moderate sunlight. If you have a plant that requires more shade to thrive, place it near trees or bushes or in a shady, darkened location.
Most plants are happiest when humidity reaches 50 percent or higher, though 30 to 40 percent is acceptable. With dry air, it’s tough for plants to absorb enough water in their roots to keep up with the water being released from their leaves. When humidity drops to 10 or 20 percent, frequently mist your plant with water. If you have more than one plant, huddle them together so they can benefit each other as they release moisture into the air.
Soil helps plants absorb the nutrients they need for proper growth. Use a potting mix or soil that contains peat moss, pine bark and perlite or vermiculite. Different soil may be needed for various plant types. For instance, some plants prefer well-drained soil that’s thoroughly mixed with sand while others require more moisture-retentive varieties. Check the label on your plant for any soil requirements.
If stunted growth occurs or if roots emerge on the surface or drainage hole, it may be time to change the soil. Turn plant on its side and ease it out of the pot. Detangle roots with fingers, and rinse pot of all excess dirt and soil. Partly fill with new potting mix, place the plant in the center of the pot and fill sides with the remaining mix. After replanting, keep soil moderately moist, do not expose to direct sunlight right away and wait at least one month before fertilizing.
Potted plants need to be watered more frequently than those grown in the ground. Check plants daily. Make sure the soil is always moist (but not wet) and never let the soil dry out completely. Wet leaves can lead to fungus, mildew, disease and sunburn, so water the soil and not the leaves. Add enough water to reach the roots at the bottom of the pot. A good indicator that you’ve watered enough is when the water begins to run out of the drainage holes. If water drains too quickly, pour at a slower rate so the plant can fully absorb the water.
To keep a pest-free plant, insert a garlic clove into the soil. To keep away invaders that may damage your plants such as spider mites, whiteflies, thrips, mealybugs and scale insects, create a solution of 1 cup cooking oil and 1 tablespoon of gentle dish soap mixed with 1 pint of water. Store in a cool dark area until needed. To thoroughly control the pests, treat plants weekly.