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.
During the festive holiday season many will purchase potted poinsettias from there local garden center or nursery as a holiday decoration. If you host a festivity at your house you may receive the potted poinsettia as a hostess gift. Either way we want to provide some tips that may help you to make that plant rebloom next Christmas.
Basically, Poinsettias are easy to grow and maintain. However if you want them to bloom into a second season it will take some effort but is not impossible. Start by thinking them of a basic houseplant instead of a Christmas only plant.
Start by placing the garden planter in a area with bright light, water slightly and feed with fertilizer according to the label directions. Unfortunately the leave or flower petals will fade and fall off. At this point cut the stems to just below the flowers and let them continue to grow.
Come next Spring, when the temps are consistently about 50 degrees. place the potted poinsettias outside where they can get bright sunlight. They will grow but will remain green all summer long. Prune back the plants to one third in midsummer and repot them in a slightly larger pot. Use new potting soil and feed with fertilizer during this growing time.
At the end of summer, bring the pots indoors when temps start dropping below that 50 degree mark. From Sept thru Oct the plants need 15 hrs a day of uninterrupted darkness and 65 degree temps. This is the secret to triggering new flowers and for the leaves to change color.
Every day at 5 pm you need to cover the plants. Uncover them at 8 in the morning. Absolutely no light can penetrate the darkness. Place a box over them if you must. In a spare room no light can come in thru a door or window crack.
If you successfully carry out this darkness routine by early November the plant will develop the red color and you can end the daily darkness and move the plant into indirect light to grow.
There are all kinds of plant materials that can be potted and placed on your porch or patio areas. In this post we would like to focus on Bay Leaf or Bay Laurel plants.
If you have ever followed a receipt for a hearty stew or soup you will see them tell you to add a large bay leaf. It adds a robust flavor and unique seasoning. So lets' talk about the basics of potting the plant up and growing these beautiful leaves.
Start by selecting a large garden container. Even thought it's a slow growing plant it can reach heights of 59 feet if all conditions are right. Of course a container potted plant will not get this high but keep it pruned to around 6 feet tall. Not only will it be more appealing but you can move the pot into the garage or shed when the weather gets colder.
Make sure the planter has a drain hole. Bay leaf plants are tolerant to most soil types but they will not tolerate soil that doesn't drain well. The plant grows best in full sun to partial shade so place the selected pot where you want it before you pot the plant.
Bay leaf plants have small yellow flowers in spring which turn into berries in the fall. They are lush with leaves a green green with a yellow vein. Flat broad leaves help to fill in the planter so you will have a great addition to your landscape or patio area.
There are many uses for bay leaves, hole, or crushed like poultices and aromatherapy. You can look them up online. They can even be used in wreaths and head crowns for athletes and rules of the past.
Decorating the inside of your home with potted plants is just as important as decorating your patio, porch or patio areas. There are so many fun pottery pieces to try to put together and many of the benefit are not only appearance but function issues.
The best place to start is to decide on the type of houseplant you want to grow and pot. Then researching on line or talking with the customer service reps at your local nursery. You need to know a number of things. What kind of light, water, etc your potted plant is going to need. How large of a decorative garden container you will need to transplant it into and many other factors. Once you get this information on the type of potted plant that you think will meet your need you can then move on to selecting a planter.
Choosing a garden planter for a potted houseplant you just purchased from the local nursery is probably the most fun part of this process. Because the container will be indoors you can go with all kinds of materials, color and sizes.
Terra-cotta pots are always a good choice because the clay breathes and is considered healthy for a plants root systems. However you will need to put a waterproof saucer underneath to catch any water overflow while watering. A glazed colorful decorative planter is always fun since there are so many colors and styles to choose from. This is the time to match your planter to your interior decorating with complimentary colors and textures.
Make sure that any container you select has a drain hole so the plants roots are not sitting in standing water. This will cause them to rot which results in one dead potted houseplant. If you can find a glazed pot without a drain hole you can drop the nursery pot into the decorative container and that planter will act like a saucer and catch the water instead. Then you won't need a saucer.
Lastly, make sure you know where to place the indoor garden planter. That depends on how much sunlight it needs, can it handle being close to a heat register, should you place it by a window that may have a breeze coming thru it. All of these details will help with the health your potted houseplants will have. So, have fun using houseplants to decorate your home with. With a bit of planning you can much success for many years.
Every time we see something unusual and fun to plant and grow in a garden planters we have to share it with you. Today it's how to grow Okra in a flowerpot. It doesn't require a lot of space and is considered easy to grow and if you have ever eaten fried okra you will know why this is a great idea.
Okra in general is a warm season vegetable. It has delicate leaves and showy bloom that look beautiful. If you are growing for a decorative purpose or to eat they are easy to pot and place on a patio or porch area.
When choosing a pot make sure of a couple of things. Don't go any smaller than a 12" deep pot. You want to make sure that there is room for the roots but not so over sized the plant is dwarfed. You can pretty much choose any material as long as the pot has a drain hole. These plants love heat so a dark poly resin or concrete planter is great but glazed or terracotta will both work.
If you can't find a starter plant at the local nursery you will have to go with seeds. Ask for the dwarf variety so it doesn't grow over 5 feet tall. Plant on potting the seeds when the temperature stays above 60 degrees. Spring is the best time of year and the frost season has passed. Follow the seed packet instructions.
Place the pot where it can get as much full sun as possible. Use a potting mix that is crumbly and rich in organic matter. Water regularly cause potted okra likes moist soil. Fertilize on a reg basis with a low nitrogen fertilizer. Watch for pests and remove them if they show up. When it comes to harvesting, do it on a frequent basis. It blooms in approx 2 monts and fruit appears 5 days after flowering. Pods are harvested when still tender, otherwise they become to hard to eat. Look for them to be 3 to 5 inches in length.
That's it. Have fun experimenting with unusual plants like Okra!
So you have cleaned up your garden, patio and porch area and prepared for the coming winter months ahead. Everything is locked down for the cold. How are your houseplant pots doing? Have you taken any steps to help the indoor pots survive the changing season? Well, we have a few tips to share that we think now would be a good time of year to implement. Take a peek...
Believe it or not, just because your potted plants are indoors doesn't mean they can't be negatively affected come winter. The air dries out more, dust collects and daylight is at a minimum. All of these combined make it very difficult for indoor potted houseplants to maintain their health and beauty.
Keep em clean: Dusting a home is never a fun way to spend your spare time but did you know that all indoor potted houseplants have tiny pores on the surface of their leaves that breathe. If they become clogged with dust and dirt particles growth slows down and the plants start to show stress. Indoor pot plants need as much sunlight as possible and dust blocks out it out. Also it just doesn't look good does it!
Take the time to clean the leaves with a soft cloth or sponge dipped in warm water. Hold the houseplants leaf for support and don't press hard. For hairy leaves try a small toothbrush or cotton ball. Lastly do the underside. It gets dusty too.
Watering times and amounts will change come winter also. Indoor heating can produce dry warm air that is not the best for indoor pots. Try misting your houseplants to create some humidity. Coat the stems and the leaves with misty droplets. Now would be a good time to group them together so that they can benefit each other with the moisture they will expel.
Finally let them rest. Now is the time for everything in nature to slow down and refresh. While your indoor houseplants rest the growth slows or stops so their watering and feeding schedule can change. Fertilize lightly once you are sure that growth has slowed down.
So, spend a few minutes tending to your indoor potted houseplants to prep them for winter and we think you will notice they will weather this harsh season much easier.
Every fall millions of gardeners find themselves cleaning out their summer planters and replacing them with fall flowers and shrubs One of the most colorful, decorative and easy plants or flowers to grow are mums. You will find tons of colors to choose from at your local garden center or nursery. Orange, Reds, Yellow and more....all healthy and lovely waiting for you to take them home and create a fall display of color in your terracotta pottery or glazed garden planters.
Here are a few tips to help you to keep your pottted mums looking their best for as long as possible.
Select only potted mums that have deep green leaves and look healthy. No yellow or wilted leaves please and make sure the flower heads look moist and healthy. This is not the time to nurse back a dried look plant that has wilted. If you have a choice of wilted leaves and dried heads or nothing we recommend nothing. Don't waste your money on these sick mums.
Next realize that mums like lots of water. Keep the soil moist but don't let the plants roots sit in standing or over moist soil. This will encourage root rot and your potted plant will not survive. If you are re-potting into your decorative home and garden planters and pots please use new potting soil. Old or used soil can contain moss, mold and insets that can harm a healthy plant. Make sure the potting soil you use is well draining and meant for mums.
You can fertilize potted mums but it is not necessary. Deadhead any blooms that look spent and remove dried or wilted leaves when they happen. Mums will not survive a cold winter so expect them to look lovely all thru autumn up until winter.
When the weather cools and your garden containers look like they need a lift for fall, this is the time to pot up some colorful, flowering mums. Mix them up and tuck a few small pumpkin or gourds between the plants for a special touch.
Finding the most beautiful and healthy plants and flowers for your garden containers isn't that hard to do. Most local nursery and garden centers carry a wide selection that are mostly healthy and lovely. Now keeping them looking that way for as long as possible is the goal of every container gardener. By following a few tips listed below you are well on the way to achieving that goal.
1. Pick the perfect garden pot. Make sure you get the right size before anything else. You do not want to put a palm into a pot that is so small it tips over in a robust wind or so little that it cramps the roots from growing and spreading. All plants and flowers have roots that need room to grow in soil that has nutrients in it. If a container is too large it can result in over moist soil and drown the roots. If you have a lot of space in the pot and you keep the soil moist, you may get moss and mildew issues that are not welcome. Also make sure you garden container has drain hole. No standing water in flowerpots is recommended.
2. Plant you new pottery container with a plan. It seems harmless to just dig in and go for it but the result will not be as successful if you follow a few steps. Make sure you use plants with the right light needs with where you are putting the finished pot. A plant that needs full sunlight will not grow if you place the garden planter on a covered porch that sees mostly shade. Try to mix flowering plants and colors with green foliage to fill in the planter and make them look overflowing and full. Just make sure they need the same amount of water.
3. Be selective about the potting soil you use. Never use garden soil for many reason but mostly you will NOT have healthy plants. If you plant succulents make sure you are using pumice soil that drains well. If flowers are more to your liking a nice potting mix that has compost in it works great. Don't recycle potting soil if you had diseased plants growing it in already. Start fresh! The main thing to remember here is never underestimate the power of the correct potting mix.
So follow these easy steps and you are well on the way to have garden containers that look stunning all season long.
Whether you shop online (and we hope you do) or visit your local garden center, finding the perfect garden planter, plant materials, soil etc to create lovely flowerpots to decorate your home or garden area is easy to do. Lot's of choices, colors, textures that when put together can make a look that adds color, beauty and life to your garden decor.
However, keeping those potted containers looking nice all summer long when the heat and windy weather can beat them up pretty good, is another thing. We want to give you some tips that may help you over come the garden planter blues.
Start by selecting the perfect container. Make sure the size is correct for the plants that you are putting in the pot. Too small and roots are crowded, too large and soil stays too moist and you have fungal issues. Make sure the pot has drainage. No plants like to sit in standing water.
Next get a plan on what you are going to plant. Don't go to the local nursery and buy impulsivily. Choose plants that will thrive in your area and add some foliage to pots to fill them out when you are planting flowers. Try to buy a plant to place in the center of the pot for height. This really adds a focal point for deciding what to plant around it.
Get good potting soil. Don't ever use the ground soil and don't use old soil that has been sitting in the garage for a few years. If you choose to reuse soil from a spent container make sure there are no spores, fungus or mites and other unfriendlies can live in long after the plants are gone.
Presoak the plastic nursery pot in a tub of water to loosen and relax the roots before knocking the plant out of the pot. Just fill a shallow basin, or wheelbarrow with water, sit the pots in so the drain holes are covered and let them soak for 30 mins. Then knock the plant out and repot in your decorative garden container. The roots will be pliable and soft and they will thank you for this, presoak. The after the pot is complete make sure to give everything one last drink.
Don't underestimate how important it is to keep up the grooming of the finished planter. Deadhead spent blooms, cut back straggly stems and replace anything that just isn't doing well. This little weekly step makes a big different in how your planters look all season long.
And finally, fertilize. Purchase a slow release fertilizer or better yet every two weeks water with a liquid fertilizer to keep everything looking it's best all season. Every time you water a pot till there is water coming out the drain hole you loose valuable nutrients. These need to be replaced.
Can you ever really have to many pot tips? We don't think so! We believe you can never have enough. We see hundreds a year and all are good tips that are timeless. So as in the past, here we go again for some more great pottery tips.
Try putting a raw egg int he bottom of your garden containers when planting each spring. As the roots grow around the eggs and they break down they will feed the plant giving it vitamins.
Even though you may wear quality garden gloves when planting your garden containers, sometimes your nails and fingers suffer abuse. Moisturize your hands, slip on latex gloves and then put on your garden gloves. By the end of the day of potting you will be amazed.
At the end of the season instead of dumping out the good potting soil you planted in your garden containers, try sifting it thru a frying basket. The openings are exactly the right size, the basket has a handle which you can shake with and you can sift over a pail for convenience.
In large garden containers place a plastic milk jug with the cap on prior to adding soil. At the end of the season you can dump the soil and re-use the milk jugs. The milk jugs keep the pot lighter in weight then rocks would do.
Use aspirin to keep flowers blooming. Just drop two tablets of aspirin for each quart of water in the vase. The salicylic acid slows the aging process to cut flowers.
Use Alka-Seltzer to make a vase sparkle! Have a hard to clean vase? Fill with water, drop in 2 Alka-Seltzer tabs and wait 10 mins. The effervescent action lifts the grime your can't reach.
So that is enough good tips for now. We have tons more to share so stay tuned. Give some of these a try and let us know how it works.