Whether you’re a novice gardener or simply want to get the most out of your houseplants, there are some things you can do to help your plants thrive.
Plants should be grouped properly for better air circulation and to repel disease. Crowded plants create high humidity and make it easier for diseases like powdery mildew to flourish.
Know Your Plants
Plants are a great way to brighten up a space and add life, but it’s important not to bring home a sick or poisonous plant. Learning how to identify plants and care for them can help prevent future problems and keep your garden healthy.
One easy way to identify a plant is by looking at its leaves and roots. The leaves should be firm and not wilting.
You can also look at the plant’s colour. Leaves that are light green or yellow may indicate a nitrogen shortage. This can cause the cell growth to lag behind and increase the likelihood of disease.
Watering your plants is an essential step in growing healthy, beautiful flowers and vegetables. It’s also a super-critical way to conserve a resource that is becoming more and more scarce, especially in drought-prone regions.
Plants need water to develop deep, resilient root systems, so if you can practice deep, infrequent watering instead of frequent, shallow sprinkling you’ll encourage healthy roots and save water at the same time!
In addition to helping your garden look great, watering wisely can help conserve our planet’s water supply and ease the burden on wastewater treatment plants. Check out the Water – Use It Wise campaign for more tips and resources!
Give Your Plants Plenty of Sunlight
Getting your plant the right amount of sunlight is important for healthy growth. Sunlight is crucial to photosynthesis, the process that plants use to create food from their leaves.
All plants require some sunlight to thrive, though some types can tolerate lower levels of light than others. The amount of sunlight your plant receives will depend on your location, the time of day and the season.
Plants will tell you when they need more or less light through their leaves and stems. If you notice green leaves that are browning, or leaves that have started to drop or appear leggy, it’s a sign that they don’t get enough sun.
Overwatering plants can lead to many issues, including root rot. This is when tiny air pockets in the soil become waterlogged for too long, drowning plant roots and preventing them from receiving the oxygen they need to survive.
Symptoms include wilting leaves, yellowing leaves and new leaves that shed at an accelerated rate.
If you notice your plant’s leaves are wilting, it is best to let the soil dry out a bit before watering again. You can check to see if your plant is dry by pushing your finger into the potting mix (The Sill) or using an inexpensive moisture meter at your local nursery.
Trim Fading Flowers
Deadheading, or trimming off faded flowers, can improve the flowering performance of many perennials. It’s a time-consuming garden chore, but it also prevents plants from wasting energy forming seeds and promotes reblooming.
Depending on the plant, deadheading can involve removing individual blooms, cutting a stalk or cluster of blooms, or snapping the spent flower head cleanly from the stem.
For some plants, like dahlias, gerbera daisies, or peonies, deadheading should happen soon after the first blooms fade. For others, such as dianthus or daylily, it’s best to cut off the spent flower stem just above the nearest set of leaves, allowing the plant to produce more blooms and denser foliage.
Keep Your Plants Clean
A plant’s leaves need to be clean and tidy in order to look their best and be able to photosynthesize effectively. Dirty leaves block sunlight and reduce the amount of oxygen that is released from them into the air.
Dusty or grimy leaves can also make a plant less resistant to pests like mealybugs, scale, and aphids.
A heavy build-up of dirt and dust can also interfere with the plant’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. This will negatively affect their health and the quality of your indoor air.