Essential Steps On How To Keep Indoor & Outdoor Plants Thriving
Proper plant care can increase the quality and longevity of your plants and flowers. If you want your outdoor and indoor plants to look healthy year round, it’s important to learn the right way to take care of your plants.
Check the health of your plants. Whether you’re transplanting plants from nurseries or growing your own from seeds, fully inspect your garden plants to make sure they are pest and rot free. Bringing in infected or diseased plants can harm the whole garden.
Water properly. Overwatering can lead to fungi growth, leaf spots, and unhealthy plants. Only water as often as necessary during the growing season for your specific plant species, and let the soil dry between waterings to keep from oversaturating. The trick is to keep your garden well-watered but not soaking, and avoid wetting the foliage.
Treat your soil. Soil degrades over time and needs to be refreshed every so often. You can buy new soil from a local garden center, so make sure to check the quality of your garden soil and replace when necessary. Adding mulch is also useful for retaining the soil moisture of your garden. your soil when it begins to degrade.
Perform plant maintenance. Deadhead, prune, and cull your plants as needed. Deadheading removes old flower blooms to encourage new growth. Pruning is cutting back the branches of your plants to control growth and make room for more. Culling your plants will clean up the unhealthy bits and also create more space for your garden to flourish.
Destroy the weeds. Weeds are garden killers. They can suffocate the roots of your healthy plants, harbor pests, and become an unsightly nuisance. Weeds take up space and resources that your plants could be using, so weeding your garden can keep it healthy and growing.
Stake your plants. Staking involves fixing sticks into the ground and tying your flower stems or other garden crops to them with cloth or thread (you can also use a trellis). Staking your plants—like cucumber, pepper, or tomato plants—reinforces the stems and keeps them from bending or breaking, keeping them upright and healthy.
Try raised beds. Adding raised beds to your garden plans can significantly increase your plant’s longevity. Raised beds are great if you want to start small, or plant a variety of sections. Raised beds come with a barrier, provide proper drainage, and can help keep your garden bed safe from pathway weeds and other menaces.
Learn to recognize when houseplants need water. In general, you should be more concerned with over-watering than under-watering; most houseplants are better off slightly dry than sopping wet. The goal is to provide your plants with enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Pour water slowly into the potting soil until it trickles out from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Most plants only need to be watered once or twice a week.
Ensure that your houseplants get the right amount of light. With the exception of succulents, most houseplants need indirect sunlight rather than direct sunlight. Houseplants that thrive in indirect light grow well near west-facing windows or—for plants that require bright light but not direct sun—a few feet back from south-facing windows. Some houseplants require artificial light to grow indoors.
Use the right potting soil. A high-quality potting soil will help plant roots grow by providing the ideal balance of nutrition, aeration, and water absorption. Potting soil mixes typically include peat moss, shredded pine bark, perlite, and vermiculite. Garden centers sell generic potting soils, but whenever possible you should choose a potting soil specific to your houseplant.
Select a pot that fits your plant. When choosing a pot, make sure to consider its material, size, and drainage capability. Use a pot that’s proportional to your plant’s current size—not more than a few inches wider in diameter than your plant’s root mass. Once the plant outgrows its home, you can transplant it into a larger pot. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole at the bottom.
Use fertilizer to supply nutrients. To achieve sustained, healthy indoor plant growth, regularly replenish the nutrients in the potting soil. In general, fertilize your houseplants once a month when they’re growing or flowering. During the winter months when plants typically stay in a stagnant state, it’s acceptable to decrease or pause your fertilizer regimen.