Smart Plants: Four Tips for Indoor Gardening-Santa Barbara Independent

2021-11-12 02:44:40 By : Ms. Lois Fang

How to make your green friends happy

In the past year and a half, many of us have been confined to our homes, so indoor activities and hobbies such as bread making, board games and jigsaw puzzles have become popular. The same is true for indoor gardening. Here are four simple tips to make your green friends thrive, well, green.

Place. Place. Location: It is very important to provide your indoor plants with the right amount of sunlight to make them grow well. Some plants will thrive in low light, while others need bright light. Before choosing a plant, do some research to find out what kind of plant it needs. Remember, the sunlight coming in from the south window or west window will scorch the young leaves. In addition, just because a plant can grow in low light does not mean it will thrive in a dark, windowless living room. Gro-Lights can help. Your desk where you work under fluorescent lights is more than enough for many plants.

Drinking water: There is no simple answer, "How often should I water the plants?" The temperature of the room, the time of year, the type of plants, and most importantly, what type of medium (soil) it is planted in. Is an important factor. Some plants like to stay moist, while others, such as cacti and succulents, like to dry out slightly between watering. A good rule of thumb for all green things is to water the soil in the pot when it is "near dry." In other words, do not water the plant when it is already damp or damp, but do not let the roots dry out. The best way to determine this is with your fingers. Gently place them in the soil and use your best judgment. Through practice, you will be good at it. I am not a big fan of hygrometers. You already have 10 in your hand.

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They are what they eat: although some potting soil does contain the nutrients needed for plant growth, these nutrients are quickly used up or leached from the soil due to frequent watering. Regular feeding of "natural" or "organic" type fertilizers will keep your plants growing and flourishing. In general, it is best to feed the plants only during the months when they are actively growing. Follow the label instructions, but the frequency of use is much lower.

Don't bother me: if you take care of your plants correctly, they are less likely to be infected with bugs and diseases. Always use the least toxic and earth-friendly remedies to eliminate pests. For example, spider mites thrive on dusty plants, so they often wash the leaves, including the underside. If you have those annoying fungi and mosquitoes buzzing on the surface of your soil, try using potting soil that is more porous and lighter. To make your own insecticide, mix a few teaspoons of liquid detergent with a quart of water. Spray or wipe the solution on the leaves and stems of plants to kill aphids. For rodents that are difficult to kill, such as scales, try to dilute the horticultural oil solution. For mealybugs, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to solve the problem.

Randy Arnowitz, or Mr. Green Jeans, well-known in Santa Barbara, is a gardener and writer who grows Green Thumb throughout Southern California. See

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