There are many things to consider when looking after your plants, and the most important thing is to ensure you are providing them with all the care they need.
Plants require sunlight and warmth for optimum growth. To keep your plants healthy, check their specific light requirements as well as your home’s microclimates.
Whether you’re watering an indoor plant or a tree in the backyard, water is an essential part of keeping your plants healthy and looking their best. It keeps the soil and root system moist, which helps a plant grow and thrive.
Watering a plant correctly can prevent problems like wilting and brown leaves, stunted growth, and even death. Depending on your plant, it may require more or less water than another, but the basic rule is to water enough to keep the roots moist.
To help you make sure your plants are getting the right amount of water, we recommend using a moisture meter or feeling the soil in your palms. This simple way is one of the best ways to know if your plant needs water.
The light your plants get is important for the growth and development of their cells. Without sufficient light, plants will not grow well and will likely die.
Plants use light energy from the sun to photosynthesise, or produce sugars that they can use to grow. The quantity, quality and duration or photoperiod of this light are the most influential factors affecting plant growth.
Most plants thrive when they receive a bright, indirect light source that lasts 4-6 hours a day. This can be direct sunlight (250-450 mmol m-2s-1) or medium light (150-250 mmol m-2s-1).
Whether you’re growing vegetables, flowers or trees, fertilization is an important part of plant care. Without it, a plant will not flourish or produce its best fruit and flowers.
Fertilizers contain a combination of nutrients to provide plants with the chemical elements they need to grow and thrive. The basic elements are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).
Nitrogen promotes growth, improves flowering and fruiting, and increases hardiness to a range of weather conditions. Phosphorus helps plants set buds, improves vitality and increases seed size.
Most commercial fertilisers will contain a balanced N:P:K ratio, and many will also include a little extra potash, which boosts root growth. However, it’s important to remember that these chemicals are only available for a short time and should be used sparingly.
Pruning is a necessary horticultural practice that helps trees, shrubs and flowers grow and flourish. It’s also used to maintain plant health and promote fruit production on fruit trees.
The basic purpose of pruning is to remove dead, weak or damaged parts of a plant. This will help your plants get more sunlight and space to grow better.
For example, pruning can help you keep gardenias and peonies healthy by removing old stems that can inhibit growth. It also can help you control the size of trees by thinning out overgrown branches or stems that are crowding other parts of the tree.
Pruning can also be a preventative maintenance technique to help plants recover from injuries caused by severe storms, severe insect infestation, or other physical damage. It also helps protect your family and neighbors from accidents that can result from collapsing of dead tree limbs or vines.
Plant diseases are the result of an infection caused by a disease-causing organism, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and phytoplasmas. This infection causes the plants to become sick or die, reducing their productivity and aesthetic value.
Some signs of disease include abnormal tissue coloration (leaves, stems and roots) including chlorosis, necrosis, purpling and bronzing, mosaic or mottled patterns. Other changes include wilting, defoliation, an abnormal increase in tissue size, and replacement of host plant tissue by that of the infectious organism.
Damage usually occurs in a gradual or random pattern on a single plant species or cultivar throughout a planting. However, chemical damage may follow a spreader or sprayer pattern where one side of the affected plant or an area of the landscape is damaged while adjacent areas are unaffected.