Potting – Use a 4 inch (or larger) pot. Place a curved pot shard over the bottom drainage hole so excess water will drain out but soil will stay in place. Put the plant in the pot at the depth it was growing. Fill with good potting soil up to ½ to 1 inch below the container rim. Water generously. When using cubes or peat pots, press soil down to eliminate air pockets, but avoid packing so tightly that drainage is blocked. Repot plants when roots poke through the drainage holes.
Watering – Each plant has different moisture requirements. Overwatering is the biggest mistake indoor gardeners make. Know each plant’s particular moisture needs. Pot size, room temperature, soil type and species of plant should all be considered in your watering schedule. As a general rule, water when soil is dry to touch. Plants appreciate humidity. Setting pots on gravel in trays of shallow water increases moisture in the air. Misting plants with a spray a bottle is beneficial. Patio plants may require daily watering in warm weather.
Light – Most flowering plants need full light. A south or southeast window is usually a full light location. Foliage plants require less light, especially those with dark green leaves. Be sure to match your plants with the type of light available. If your plant’s light needs are not being met, it may droop, drop leaves, lose its leaf color or seem to stop growing.
Fertilizer – Most houseplants thrive on a monthly application of water soluble plant food. Be sure to follow the feeding instructions on the package.
Ventilation – Fresh air is good for plants, but not hot or cold drafts. Keep plants away from heating and cooling outlets. In summer, indoor plants may enjoy a change of scenery outdoors, but be careful to avoid extremely hot sun and temperatures.
Repotting and Pruning – Healthy plants balance their foliage and root growth. Good pruning and repotting habits help plants maintain this balance. Regular pruning and pinching back encourages fuller growth.
General Hints – If a plant isn’t doing well, try a new location. To avoid lopsided growth, rotate your plants regularly. When plant growth slows down, indicating a seasonal rest period, reduce its water and foods.
Hanging Basket – Prepare baskets for planting as you would a pot.
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