Dealing with summer heat - Darren Wogman Gets Gardening

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  While spring has been a very wet one this year, already plants are suffering from the summer heat, which leads to them not having enough water at their root systems. Water companies are maybe thinking about hosepipe bans and so how to use water efficiently and to benefit your garden is highly important.      Established large plants such as trees and shrubs are mostly ok. They have a greater spread of roots underground than there are branches, twigs and leaves about ground. There is a balance between the plant’s ability to draw water from the ground and the amount of growth attained above ground, and in a dry year, the growth rings of trees will be closer together than in wet years. Dendrochronology is the science of mapping tree rings from this data and tells us how the moisture has affected tree growth, enabling trees to be dated accurately. Plants can absorb nutrients only in soluble form, and in dry conditions the growth will slow down tremendously. A really good wat

Darren Wogman Gets Gardening - Looking Inside - The top tip for healthy indoor plants

A variety of different house plants. Darren Wogman Gets Gardening

 

This time I'm taking a break from the outside and am looking at what we have inside. Houseplants.

These are often overlooked and under cared for. Houseplants are different from traditional gardening plants and are usually plants that originate from tropical climates. This means they are not very hardy, will die if left exposed to the chilly British air and also are probably used to a more humid environment.

Overwatering

Overwatering is the number one issue for houseplants.

Many people enthusiastically bring home a pretty houseplant for the first time, and proceed to water it every day to keep it happy. While understandable, you're setting yourself for heartbreak and frustration. It is natural to assume that the one thing we know we have to do to plants should be done often, and the more often the better, but root rot is usually not fixable and will slowly kill your lovely plant. Under watering, on the other hand, can be fixed very easily. As a rule of a thumb, once a week is perfect for most plants.

Under and overwatered plants. Darren Wogman Gets Gardening

 

 My Next 8 Top Tips

1) Give them a sunny spot. Seems obvious, but we might be tempted to place them for aesthetics out of sun. There are plants that don't mind (ferns are the best example), but most do. Give them sun or grow light. Remember that more sun makes them dry up more often (so on a sunny window sill, water once every 5 days, in a shadowy corner, once every week)

2) Once every 2 weeks, take a soft cloth, slightly wet, and clean the leaves. Dust sets on them as well, and it makes it harder for them to undertake photosynthesis properly. It is also a rather soothing activity. Everyone wins.

3) Get a plant food and don't be afraid to use it. Just follow the directions on the bottle. Be careful not to over fertilise though as this can damage these delicate plants. Never feed house plants in the winter, or non-growing season.

4) On the topic of eating, many houseplants are toxic to pets if ingested. If you have pets, particularly playful ones, make sure to research ahead to avoid trouble!

5) Don't rush to repot. I know you want to put them in these cute pots you got, but keep them in nursery pots for at least a month. Many plants experience environmental change shock between you taking them from the store and bringing them home, so don't make it harder for them, they will thank you with many happy years in those sweet pots of yours.

6) Speaking of pots, always have drainage. Try not to put plants straight into a decorative pot without drainage - get a bigger planter and put it in with nursery pot and tray.

7) Remove any leaves that go yellow - they won't go green again, and the plant is wasting resources on it.

8) Your plant may experience a bit of a shock after about half a year since you bought it, as the fertiliser given in store usually runs out around that time. Don't panic, it is not dying, just give it a little love and plant food, and it will be happy again.

Special Mention - Cactus

If cacti or succulents, you still have to water them, albeit rarely. Many people recommend cactuses as the most beginner houseplants, but you can absolutely kill both cactuses and succulents, and not only as a beginner (I'll be the first one to admit I've killed a few). But even if they do not die on you, they will not look as lush as when bought in a few months unless quite a lot of care is given. If you really want an unkillable plant, get a pathos or peace lily. They both droop when thirsty (so they give you a clear indication as to when to water them), have a lovely chunky foliage, are quite cheap and very sturdy. Another great ones are snake plants. Most cactuses and succulents would go on 4th and 5th place on the "hardest to kill" list.

 

Cacti In a pot. Darren Wogman Gets Gardening

Follow these, and you should be just fine for the majority of plants.

House plants are awesome decorations that can light up any place, and more than you think are extremely low maintenance. It is a nice hobby for the soul, and don't stress if you kill one, happens to everyone every now and then. Some species are drama queens, and some specimen of no-fuss plants are ungrateful bastards. That being said, most will comply, because they want to be alive just as much as you want them alive

by Darren Wogman

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