If you have read any health magazines you are probably already eating avocado. Well, have you ever thought about potting up that big seed and seeing what will grow? Many of us had the experience of trying to grow a avocado seed in school, where you poked holes in the sides of the see with tooth picks and suspended the see above a glass of water. Yep, remember that? Anyway, here are a few updated tips that will help you grow a real plant that you can pot up and keep.
First if you think that once you pot the seed and grow the plant you will be harvesting avocados that isn't going to happen. Even if you get fruit it won't be quality fruit. But, you can grow a healthy FREE houseplant that is lovely.
1. Remove the seed from a ripe avocado. Don't hit the seed with a knife but pull it out gently with your hand. Clean under warm water. Wrap seed in damp paper towel. Place in plastic food bag (not zipper) and store in a dark cupboard. Check every 4 days or so for germination. Ensure the towel stays damp.
2. When the seed germinates it will gradually crack open and a root will grow from deep inside the seed. Don't break open the seed. Just leave it alone. When the root reaches 3" long it is ready to pot up.
3. Start with a 8" flowerpot that has drain holes. Avocado plants like good drainage so use a new potting mix with perlite or sand to help out. Plant the seed with the bottom and roots aiming down into the pot. The bottom is the flat broader end.
4. Fill the pot halfway with potting meet and place the seed. Add more soil till the top inch of the seed is above level. Water until moist not damp and add more potting soil to the garden planter as needed. Place in a warm, draft free location with indirect sunlight.
Tips: Avocados are tropical plants so they like warm, growing conditions and can NOT dry out. Use consistent watering and mist if necessary. Fertilize ever 3 months. That is it. No toothpicks involved.
Who doesn't love looking out a window and seeing those amazing hummingbirds flying around your potted flowers? They are so small and colorful and they flap their wings so fast they make a humming sound. They fly right, left, up, down and backwards! Amazing creatures that everyone loves to see flying around their porch or patio setting.
Well, here are a few tips on plants that attract hummingbirds. These plants and vines can be easily planted in garden containers and moved to where you can see them from indoor windows. Or place the garden pots around your patio table so that you can enjoy the hummingbirds while relaxing or eating outside.
Hummingbirds like nectar-filled blooms so here are a few good suggestions:
1. Trumpet Honeysuckle: Hummers, butterflies and bees all love honeysuckle. By keeping the potting soil moist and placing the garden container in full sun or even partial shade will you will the best flowering results. The bright red flowers will attract the butterflies and hummers.
2. Mandevilla: Since this is a drought tolerant vine it's perfect for garden pottery but can also be used in a hanging basket. Put this container in full sun or partial shade with well drained soil. This vine can climb so place the pot next to a patio pillar or garden fence.
3. Canary Creeper: Another wonderful vine that likes full sun or partial shade with moist well draining potting soil. It can trail so you can put it in a hanging basket outside a kitchen window where you can watch the hummers eat. If you look at the flowers closely they look like canaries. Potted canaries, who knew! Wonderful.
4. Candy Corn Plant: Love the look of these but you can't eat them. Only the hummers can dive bomb this flower. Again full sun and moist soil in your planters will work best. You can move this potted flower indoors during winter and make it a houseplant if you want.
So here are few suggestions on what to pot up on your porch or patio and attract some hummingbirds. Give one or two a try and let us know how it works out!
We try to offer great suggestions for creating garden planters and today we want to talk about vines or climbers that are perfect for pottery. Adding a vertical touch to all kinds of planters is not as hard to do as it seems. When you display a cluster of different pots with plant materials it always looks best when you use different sizes and heights. Here are the best climbing vines we think that will add a elegant touch to any garden pot.
Ivy - There is nothing that works better and is used more often then placing trailing ivy draping over the outer rim of a garden planter. It has the ability to twist and turn so it can easily fill in where you want it to most. This is a great place to start because it is the most common and easy to use. What we truly love is the different foliage it offers. From deep green to variegated and it stays green all year long.
Morning Glory - It's one of those you will really enjoy because of the colorful blooms it has. Not only is it really easy to grow but it adds lots of color and beauty with it's flowers. This is one plant you don't want to grow in the ground because it will take over any garden area. It's durable and wild. Stake it in a garden pot and it train it to go up for a wonderful vertical dispaly.
Climbing Hydrangea - We love this for containers that are in the shade or partial shade. It's grows pretty aggressively so you may want to pot it up by itself. It also needs a large planter to grow in and doesn't like being contained by a small container. Hydrangea is know for being fragrant so it's perfect for a patio or porch where the fragrance can greet your guest.
Bougainvillea - In Arizona we know this plant well. It really does great in the warm climate and it's stunning colorful flowers add so much to our desert landscape. Unfortunately it has barbs on it and is not the most fun to keep trimmed and under control. It's considered more of a shrub because it grows out and not just up. You may have to protect this plant in winter months.
Here are a few suggestions that we hope interest you. If you give one a try let us know how you did. We would love to hear from you.
3 main reasons why your container plants fail. Sounds pretty basic so lets dig right in. There are not a lot of reasons why a potted planter may being to show signs of stress. Often it has to do with the plants and what is going on under the soil. Here are a few reasons to help eliminate guessing.
1. Vine Weevils - Grubs can come on sudden and destroy a potted plant arrangement in no time if you don't catch them early. Even though they don't fly they can grip to most plant surfaces and can easily crawl across walls and ceilings. Then they lay eggs in the soil. They can come in a nursery planter so check carefully before potting up the plants you bring home. Once the eggs hatch they burrow into the soil and feed on the roots. Obviously the plant can't take much of that and will stress out leading to death.
The best thing to do is egg shells to the soil mix. Their sharp edges discourage them greatly. Adults can be picked off the plants. You can then add parasite nematodes to the soil to control the larvae.
2. Poor Drainage - This is a obvious one. If your garden container doesn't have proper drain holes or if those holes get blocked with soil the planter becomes waterlogged and the wet soil will suffocate plant root system. Once the roots dye, top growth will collapse and your plant can die overnight. You want damp not wet soil that drains well.
Here it's best to start with broken pot shards covering the drain hole. This let's the water drain but keeps the soil from plugging up the planters drain hole. If using a saucer keep the saucer empty once the pot has fully drained. Don't let the planter sit in standing water.
3. Starvation - Nobody thinks about your plant starving especially if you use new potting mix. When you water your plants, the water will leech out the soil nutrients eventually leaving your healthy plants sitting in nutrient depleted soil. Because your plants are contained and can't search for nutrients they will eventually collapse and die.
Here is where fertilizer comes into play. No matter how good your potting soil is, your garden containers will need regular fertilizer treatments. Try to use a good organic fertilizer and follow instructions well. Over fertilizing can burn your plants roots and also cause stress.
Yep, we can honestly say we LOVE terra-cotta garden planters! When Arizona Pottery first started that is all we sold. Nothing but real clay garden pottery and some accessories. They were and still are the basis of our business. You may ask yourself why do we love terracotta planters so much? Well, let us explain.
Plant Health - Terracotta breathes. This means the clay, which is real and harvested out of the ground is not so compact that it lets air thru it. This also means water will saturate the pot and seep. A plants roots like good air circulation and clay flowerpots are know for being healthy. Once you use real clay you will find that your houseplants will perform better.
Watering - Since a clay pot is porous it will keep water from sitting in the bottom of the pot, soaking the roots and possibly drowning them. The water will seep into the clay and dissipate. Unfortunately if you have chemicals in the soil or water they will show up on the sides of the pot as a white calcium line.
Beauty - Because real terracotta pottery is porous it will start to age and show it's wear. Many folks really like this and will even take steps to age their clay containers by applying yogurt or milk to the outside of the clay pot. Everyone has a different idea of what beauty is but we love the aged, rustic look of terra-cotta pots and planters.
Selection - Arizona Pottery imports real clay flower pots from Italy, China, Mexico and Vietnam. Each factory uses their own clay mix or will harvest the clay out of the ground using their own firing process. Some clays are smooth and silky like the Italian, while the Mexican clay is dark and very porous. So porous and heavy that it will start to break down the first year of use. We love the old traditional styles of Rolled Rim Garden Planters as well some of the newer more contemporary styles. There is always something to choose from.
Many Uses - Yes real clay garden pottery will break but that doesn't mean you should toss them. You can re-purpose them into pot shards to fill the bottom of your larger containers. The terracotta shards will shield the drain hole and keep soil from plugging it up. You can stack large pieces into pots and create a fairy garden or elf shelf. Don't toss those broken pieces.... think outside the box and have fun with them.
So those are a few of the reasons why we love our terracotta home and garden planters so much. If you wish to share your thoughts we would love to hear them.