Household plant influencer Andrew Buhagiar is back on the blog and this time with a green giveaway!
READ ON for Crazy plant lad’s BEST PRACTICES TO ENSURE YOUR PLANTS THRIVE.
Watering Your Plants
Overwatering your plants may lead to root-rot which is the most common way how plants die. A diligent watering schedule is very important for a successful plant story. Watering requirements vary from one plant to another. Some plants prefer having a moist environment while others prefer drying out completely between watering sessions, so it is important to look up the plant’s requirements when purchasing. But how do you know when a plant has dried out and needs watering? The best and cheapest way to find out is by carrying out the finger test. Stick your index finger in the soil around 2-inches deep. If the soil feels moist and there’s soil sticking to your finger then the plant does not need watering. However, if the soil feels bone-dry and there’s little to no soil sticking to your finger, then the plant is due for a soak. If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you may also conduct this test using a wooden chopstick. There are also plenty of moisture meters on the market to help you keep track of your plants’ moisture level.
drainage part i
Proper draining is also very important to avoid root-rot. Always make sure to use pots which have proper drainage at the bottom. Do not use pots with no drainage holes, otherwise water will collect at the bottom of the pot and as a result the roots end up sitting in water causing the roots to rot. If you do not like the look of nursery pots, you can cover them up with beautiful decorative pots. Always buy a decorative pot which is slightly bigger than the nursery pot and add pebbles at the bottom of the decorative pot. The pebbles will elevate the nursery pot which gives room for the excess water where to go when watering your plant. Another alternative (and my personal preference) would be to use terracotta or clay pots. The porous nature of this material allows air and water to pass through the walls of the pot, thus improving the drainage. However, these pots will make the soil dry out quicker and therefore more frequent watering will be required.
drainage part II
Proper drainage can also be achieved by using the right potting soil. My number one tip in this regard is to add perlite to your standard potting mix and use this mixture for your plants. Perlite is a naturally occurring mineral that is highly permeable. This permeability helps drain excess water from the soil quicker reducing the risk of having roots sitting in water. Perlite is relatively cheap and is widely available in all garden centres and pet shops. I find that mixing the standard potting soil with perlite in a 2:1 ratio works well for most houseplants. If you are repotting succulents and cacti, I would recommend a 1:1 potting mix to perlite ratio, since succulents and cacti prefer being on the drier side.
Plants also require feeding during the active growing season between March and September. Fertilizers can be found in every garden centre and pet shop. However, you can also use your old food scraps as fertilizers including:
- Adding crushed eggshells in the soil. This simple hack will increase the calcium level in your plants.
- Reuse the water used for boiling vegetables to water your plants. The extra nutrients that are released from the vegetables will fertilize your crops and plants.
- Soak banana peels in water for a few days and use that to water your plants. This will boost the potassium, phosphorus and calcium levels in your plants.
On a final note, I recommend using filtered water instead of tap water when watering if possible. If this is not an option, let tap water rest in a bucket for at least 24 hrs. This will give enough time for harmful chemicals to evaporate. Other alternatives are using AC or dehumidifier water for your plants.
competition time: WIN 3 CUTTINGS
We are giving away the above photographed cuttings (all rooted). Here’s how to enter…
- Subscribe to our website via the link below.
- Follow Gozo In the House on Instagram
- Follow Crazy Plant Lad on Instagram
- Head to Gozo In the House Instagram and tag two friends to win three cuttings from the man himself.