Are you beginning your indoor planting journey? Are you considering gardening but your space is lacking? Do you eye luscious plants owned by other people but keep killing your pot plants? Not to worry, you have found just the place.
Potted plants are a simple and verdant way to bring a little bit of nature into your home. Whether the plan is to spruce up your living space with aesthetically pleasing flowery plants, or simply pick up gardening as a hobby with limited space, potted plants cater for both. This is because they are convenient for both indoors and outside the house.
Growing Roses in pots require sufficient soil that covers the roots completely above the root crown. The soil should be mounded slightly too to avoid the exposure of roots in future. Well covered roses with a fertile soil endowed with nutrients leads to very good-looking plants and beautiful rose flowers. For more information we have the best guide about growing roses in pots.
Whatever your reason for embarking on this journey, the bottom line is for the plants to remain happy and healthy. These tips should help you handle the basic but crucial business of how to take care of your pot plants.
Table of Contents
Pick the Perfect Pot
Yes, you want something pretty that goes with your living room theme, but that is the least important bit when picking out a pot for your plants. If you have been struggling to get how to take care of plants in pots you need to make the decision after much deliberation of other key underlying aspects that affect your plants, long term. For instance, consider where you want to place your potted plant. If it is on a raised surface such as a window, you need a pot that fits on your surface lest if falls off.
Consider the growth in size of your plant. You need a pot that can be able to house your plant even with its volume when it is fully bloomed. Hence, the need to mind the foliage and root room for the pot-bound plants. If you do not know how large the plant may potentially grow, you can transplant from pot to pot from small, to medium to large. What you do not want is the roots lacking room to proliferate, eventually killing your plant.
The opposite is also true. If the container is too big for the plant, it is easy to water excessively and the unnecessary water retention may progress to rot the roots.
Know Your Plants
Listen, it does not matter how dedicated you are to your plants, how much love you show them, or how accurately you observe plant care tips. If you do not know the first thing about your plant, it will not matter what magic tricks you pull to grow, replenish or revive your contained plants.
Imagine a physician attempting to treat a disease they have not diagnosed yet. Quite pointless right? To take the guesswork out of the equation and treat your plants like a pro by learning as much as you can about your plant. If not everything, the least you can do is understand the basics.
Knowing how to take care of plants in pots comes with knowledge of things like how much sun or shade they need, how frequent they require watering, when to deadhead, which environment they thrive most in, and potential agents that could kill them prematurely would come in handy. When you have this information readily available, your pot-housed plants will bloom and have you to thank.
Select Good Soil
Soil is an essential when it comes to the wellness of plants, especially pot plants. What you will not do is dash for the soil at the backyard or garden with the purpose of using it for the potted plants. Instead, purchase a bag of soil at your local garden centre for potting the plants. This is because you want to avoid soil weakened by overuse, infected with fungal diseases, or infested with weed seeds. Consequently, infecting the plants or stunting their growth.
Finding balance of texture is also thorny. The potting mix cannot be too light or too heavy for the purpose of drainage and retaining water. The soil you buy must also contain the necessary nutrients fundamental for the growth of the plants.
When planting, be careful not to cram together your plants if you are planting then in one container. Additionally, ensure you do not plant too deep or too loosely, as the root ball need to be firmly in the soil without touching the bottom of the container. This will ascertain that water does not wash them off, and the roots get enough moisture even when crust top of the soil in the pot is dry.
Water Plants Regularly
Water is life to animals as well as to plants. Your houseplants need to be frequently watered. However, if you want to get how to take care of plants in pots the right way, you need to maintain a delicate balance to avoid over watering them. You want to replenish them and give them the necessary moisture to thrive, not flood them and cause the roots to rot and eventually die together with the plant.
A tip would be to use a spray bottle or a small can for the very small plants to help you regulate the amount of water going into the potted plant. Depending on the season and the breed of the plant, you can water the plant twice every day or at intervals of up to once in two to three weeks.
To check for the wetness or dryness of the soil, you can dip your finger up to the second knuckle and feel around for moisture. Remember other elements such as the season, size and type of plant matter before watering the plants. There is no exact manual, so you might need to rely on your intuition to strike a working balance.
Drainage helps to refrain from soaking your plants. In case of too much water than can be absorbed by your plants, the drainage holes underneath your pot ensures any excesses drip through to the saucer beneath the pot. More so, for outdoor potted plants, as you need to factor in the rain. Watering the plant during the wet season is not the same as when it is dry. Make certain your drainage holes are functional and protect the plants from being overly drenched.
Furthermore, avoid breaking your plants by watering over them. Instead, direct the spray bottle or watering can towards the soil, and the roots.
Let There be Plenty of Light
Do not stash away your plants in dark corners and light-deprived rooms in the house. Plants need light to be able to feed themselves in a process called photosynthesis. This is how they self-produce their food. Depriving them of light will gradually kill them.
While every plant gravitates towards different sun and shade preferences, no plant grows without light whatsoever. Wherever you put your plants, ensure they can access sunlight. Perhaps by a window or on a surface that receives a healthy dose of sunlight.
Something to consider is the kind of plants best conditioned to thrive indoors. Plants that can withstand the amount of sunlight limited to inside a house. An example of such a houseplant is the Heartleaf Philodendron.
When it comes to outdoor plants, know which of your plants require more sun, more shade, or a moderate of both. This way, you guarantee their getting enough without overdoing it.
- Feeding and fertilizing
Arguably, most potted plants, especially indoor ones require minimal fertilizing. Nonetheless, all plants need feeding at least occasionally. Fertilizing ensures your plants receive the proper nutrients that support growth and good health.
With contained plants, nutrients are particularly lacking than plants that are not. Thus, you must supplement them with the requisite food. You may use water-soluble fertilizers and spray them on the soil while watering. Still, you have to observe limits as too much can cause the plants to die. However, make sure the soil absorbs the fertilizer.
Otherwise, you may use compost. Layer it on the soil or during replanting mix it with the soil.
Cut off those fading and dead flower heads on your potted plants in a process referred to as deadheading. The spent blooms not only diminish the overall appeal of your ornamental plants, but also deny them a vital chance to grow. By ridding your plant off these dead blooms, the plant is able to conserve energy that generating seeds to produce more flowers instead.
If you have done some homework on your plant as suggested in tip 2, (see 2. Know your plant), you know not all plants need deadheading. However, if your plants need this process, understand the techniques to do it properly as it can be detrimental to your plants if poorly done.
You can pinch away the spent flower stem with your fingers while removing the seedpods behind the flower. You can also use garden shears or some small scissors to sip of the parts. If forced to cut whole stems off for looking distasteful without any flowers on them, do not fret they will grow again. In addition, the blooming and budding of healthier flowers will occur.
Weeds are irritating. Unfortunately, like garden plants, potted plants even when placed indoors often grow weeds. This occurs because of poor compost, poor quality of potting soils, unsterilized containers, weed seeds transported to the potting soil by insects or other pests and neighbouring plants into your potted plants.
Part of plant-care is regularly removing weeds from your plants as they may not only grow in the soil in the pot, but also attach themselves on stems and leaves of the houseplants. They can be injurious to plants, competing for the moisture and nutrients in the soil meant for your plant. There are steps you can take to make sure your potted plants do not fall prey to weeds. Such include,
Sterilize pots: If the pots you intend to use are not new, you may want to scrub and clean out the old one before planting.
Buy high-quality seeds fortified against weeds: By doing this you limit weed attack on your plants.
Feed your plants well: Healthy and nourished plants have a strong chance to withstand and fight weed infestation.
Mulching: This is simply using dry leaves, hay, grass, dried newspaper etcetera, to cover the top of the soil in the potted plant to discourage weeds from attaching themselves on the soil layer.
Use natural repellents: Mixtures such as garlic sprays will keep creatures like birds and insects, which transfer weeds on your potted plants, away. Be mindful of the repellents you use as some can harm your plants.
Weeds can persist if you do not administer treatment properly. Some methods to apply include but not limited to,
Physically remove: Use your hands to uproot weeds from your potted plants. Check to pull out from the roots, as they will otherwise grow back.
Use natural weed killer: Natural weed killer eliminates the weed problem while limiting the damage on the plants. Some include vinegar spray, alcohol rub, and baking soda spray.
Replanting: You may need to replant in another container, with different soil altogether for substantial results.
Ultimately, consult with a weed control expert.
Keep Pets and Pests Away
With indoor potted plants, your adorable pets might want to show your plants the same love you do. Do not let them. As they play around the potted plants, they may chew on the leaves and blooms; break stems or uproot the whole thing. To prevent this, place your potted plants on higher ground such as windowsills, tables and stools or tie them up on walls with cords.
If you are not around to supervise, lock the doors to the rooms where the plants are accessible to pets. This applies to your toddlers as well.
Pests are like to ruin outdoor potted plants. You can apply the above-mentioned measure of tying the pot plants on walls using cords or strings. What’s more, you may have your garden fenced-in or screened-in.
Dust You Potted Plants
Cleaning the dust off your potted plants restores their natural and lush bloom. It makes them appear healthier and well cared for. Most importantly, it unblocks the pores on the leaves that trap in moisture, which is very beneficial for the plant.
Dust clogs the pores and slows the absorption of light, which in turn enhances photosynthesis, which as mentioned earlier, is crucial for plants because that is how they manufacture their food. Show some plant-care by brushing off the dirt on your plants.
Bonus Tip: Spray insecticide and quarantine
This is applicable the moment you bring home the plant from the store of purchase, and during the perennial process of caring for your potted plants. Spraying the insecticide kills the parasitic insects already on the plant before transplanting to a pot, and keeps any other insects that may enable weed pollination on the potted plants from wherever else.
Quarantine is simply placing the new plants isolated from the other plants. It provides you an opportunity to observe their progress, monitor for worrying symptoms, and curtail infections from further spread to other plants.
Observe the discussed tips on how to take care of potted plants, and hopefully your gardening expedition may yet prove very rewarding.