Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Winter weather means gardening indoors

Light is certainly important but the leading cause of death to most houseplants comes from overwatering. Soggy soils can happen for a variety of reasons. First, and absolute, your container must have drainage holes. It is unbelievable to see how many beautiful houseplants are placed in expensive decorative containers that need to have holes drilled. Essentially the new plant was put in a bathtub and its days numbered.
Selecting a good lightweight potting soil is also paramount to your success. Cheap potting soil sold by the pound is heavy and it simply holds too much water. I still find many unsuspecting gardeners using topsoil from the garden in containers. This is not a good idea from the standpoint of drainage, soil borne diseases and insects.
Once you do have your plant in good soil you can determine whether or not your plant needs watering by gently pushing your finger to about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep to feel if it is dry. Make this a regular practice before each water application.
Spring is coming, and the landscape will wait, but for now see where some foliage or flowers might add beauty to your home and indoor environment.

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