GETTING STARTED

One thing that you must consider if you are thinking of purchasing a house plant is where you are going to put your plant. A big factor in deciding where to place your plant is the amount of light the area receives. The amount of available light will greatly affect which plant you should purchase and the health of that plant. Usually the best place for a plant is in a south facing window which gets a high amount of light. If you have a low light area or no light you still can grow a plant indoors. You might need to have additional lighting or you can select a low light plant. If you need to add lighting you should use a grow light. The reason for using a grow light rather than a normal light is that plants need both blue and red light spectrums to grow and regular lights put off high amounts of light only in the red light spectrum. These links have more info on light and the needs of plants:

 

Http://www.earthsky.org/radioshows/50054/artificial-light-plant-growth,

 

Http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC1450.htm

 

The temperature at which you keep your living quarters will affect the type of plant that will be happy in your house. If you keep it really cool you will want to stay away from tropical plants. Humidity is another thing that needs to be taken into consideration. Desert type plants will not be happy in very humid areas.

 

Once you know what type of light, temperature and humidity you have in your chosen area, you are just about ready to go purchase your plant. There are a few other things that you will need to know in order to take proper care of your plant.

 

WATERING:

 

How do you know when your plant needs water? There are a few ways you can tell: You can look at the plant and see if it looks droopy (the leaves are hanging down and do not seem to be healthy). If so, then it probably needs water. The droopy leaves method is not the best way to gage whether a plant needs water, because when your plant reaches this stage it is already under stress. This can cause your plant to be more vulnerable to disease and pests.

Droopy-leaf method Health plant

Droopy-leaf method Healthy Plant

 

The next method is the finger test this entails sticking a finger into the soil about an inch or so to determine if the soil is damp or not. The problem with this method is that it is very subjective and can be a bit dirty besides.

 

A better way would be to purchase a moisture tester. This device will tell you whether the soil is wet or dry. It has the advantage of giving you a consistent way to know when to water your plants. Since it takes all the guess work out of plant watering, I think this is the best way to determine when to water. Moisture gauges can be purchased online or from many garden centers. Here are a couple of links to sites that sell moisture testers. They range from around five dollars to around twenty dollars. I personally use one of the less expensive models and find it quite satisfactory.

 

Http://www.cleanairgardening.com/moisture.html,

 

Http://store.greenfeet.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=9006-00245-0000

 

Now you know how to decide when to water your plant, now you need to start thinking what to use to water it with. You could simply use a glass or other container out of your cupboard. This is probably the cheapest way to water but it can present some problems for you and your plant. First of all it is not good to water the foliage of most plants as this promotes disease. You might think, “Well, I can just water it from the bottom” but this can also be bad for your plant. Letting it sit in water takes oxygen away from the roots and can cause your plant to damp off (that is, the roots rot away). I recommend using a watering can that has a spout. This allows you to water the soil and not the foliage. There are several different types of watering cans available for purchase. Which one you choose is a matter of taste and your budget.

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Welcome to Plants for Every Season

This Blog is intended to provide information to novice gardeners on how to grow houseplants and also how to grow outdoor plants. I hope it will also provide a point or two that might be of interest to long-time gardeners.

I have been gardening since I was little and I am currently enrolled in a Horticulture program. I hope to share some practical knowledge that I have gained in my course-work and while this Blog is not intended to be overly scientific, I will certainly try to make the information scientifically accurate as well as informative.

I hope you will find this Blog useful.

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