flowerpot types

5 Considerations for Flowerpot Purchases

So you’re browsing the aisles of your local garden shop in an attempt to find a pot to grow flowers in. Your flowers are African violets and, as such, you need to find the best African violet pots.

The only problem is that there are so many pots to choose from – and each one is made of different materials, is a different shape or size, and, of course, has a different design. How do you choose?

Here are a few factors to consider when browsing for flowerpots.

Size

If your plants are potted in pots that are too large for them, the soil takes less time to dry out. This means that your plants can be susceptible to root rot. When the plant it too big for its pot, the soil dries too quickly and, in addition, the entire pot is at risk for tipping over. The general rule of thumb is that you should pot your plant in a container that is 2-4 inches larger than the plant.

For slow growing plants, a pot of 1-2 inches larger might work okay.

Drainage

In general, household plants don’t do well sitting in a puddle of water, so you need to make sure that your pots have adequate drainage at the bottom. If you cant find a drainage pot that you like the look of, opt to pot your plant in a suitable drainage po and then place both the plant and pot into a larger pot that looks pretty. This is known as double potting.

Material

The most popular pots are made from clay or terra cotta, and plastic. Plastic pots tend to hold moisture better, while clay pots are ideal for drainage. Plastic is also better for hanging plants as it’s not heavy. Terra cotta pots are heavier, better for on-ground plants, and more expensive.

Color

Aside from aesthetic purposes, color should play another important role in your decision. See, certain colors like black and navy attract heat, white colors like white and pastel colors don’t attract it as much.

Essentially, this means that if your plant has sensitive roots you should be mindful of which color of pot you put it in if you’re placing it outside because. This is because the sunlight will either absorb or deflect from your plant based on the color of the pot.

Of course, all pots will attract heat – we’re not trying to say that light colored pots won’t. All we’re saying is that lighter pots attract less heat than their darker counterparts.

Weight

As we mentioned briefly above, pots of different materials have different weights. When it comes to where you’re placing your plant, this factor can be crucial. For example, if you’re hanging your plant you’ll want a lightweight planter and if you’re placing your pot outside where there is a lot of strong wind, you might want one that is a bit heavier and more sturdy.

organic gardening

12 Tips to Make Organic Gardening Easy

Organic gardening is growing in popularity. Not only is it better for the ecosystem, but it’s also thought to be beneficial to the human body.

If you’re looking to hop on the organic gardening wagon, here are a few tips to make the journey easier.

Use garlic to ward off pests

Bugs don’t like the smell of garlic. In addition, they will avoid chives and onions, too, so surround your organic garden with these plants as a natural pest control.

Use cornmeal to get rid of slugs

If you have a slug problem, consider using cornmeal to get rid of them. Like ants, who eat sugar until the explode, slugs are attracted to and eat cornmeal – despite the fact that it kills them.

Make a soda bottle into a mini greenhouse for delicate plants

Have a small plant that needs a boost? Use a plastic soda bottle that has been cut in half as a mini greenhouse. This will protect the plant from frost, keep it warm, and help it grow.

Start seedlings in the house

One good way to kick start your organic garden is by starting your seedlings in the house. You can do this by planting them in half an eggshell or half a lemon peel with a hole cut in the bottom. Once they have sprouted, you can plant the whole thing in your garden.

Measure plant spacing using gardening tools

One simple way to save money is by using a garden tool as a means to gauge the space between plants. Use a marker to draw a line on your favorite garden tool; then, use it to measure the distance when planting new seedlings.

Reuse water when you can

Conserving water is important for the organic gardener. Use water from boiling vegetables for dinner in your garden, wash veggies over a rain barrel to reuse the water or dilute your urine and use it as a fertilizer (no worse than cow manure!)

Soak your seeds

If you’re looking for a new way to decrease the germination time of your seeds, soak them in warm water for 24-hours before you plant them. This will soften their shells and help them grow faster.

Water in the morning

Although it means getting up a bit earlier, watering your garden in the morning will help prevent the growth of fungi and weeds that thrive in high humidity.

Repurpose coffee grounds

Are you a coffee drinker? Reuse your old coffee grounds! Your acid-loving plants will appreciate your old grounds.

Use your organic waste

No need to throw away uneaten food or organic waste! It can be turned into fertilizer. All you need is a compost tumbler and you can fertilize your garden with natural organic fertilizers that you have created yourself.

Make DIY plant tags

When you have so any plants that you need to label them, make your own plant tags instead of purchasing commercial tags. You can do this by shaving the bark off of a small twig and writing on it with a marker.

Make use of small pet droppings

If you have a rabbit at home, you have plenty of natural fertilizer right at your finger tips. You can use their droppings in your garden.

rose thorns

How to Remove Thorns from Roses

Roses, as gorgeous as they are, can be dangerous. Not in the jump-out-and-attack kind of way but instead because they are silent attackers with thorns that are just waiting to sink into the palm of your unsuspecting hand. Yikes!

When you pick roses, you need to be very careful. When giving them to other people as gifts, however, it’s generally a wide idea to remove the thorns first and today we’re teaching you how to do it safely.

Why do roses have thorns, in the first place?

Surprisingly, roses don’t have thorns just so that they can hurt us when we pick them. Their thorns actually serve a purpose that benefits the flowers in the wild: pest control.

That’s right – those painful thorns are painful for a reason, and that reason is to ward off pests like caterpillars that would otherwise munch the stems.

Should I remove rose thorns?

If you’re planning on using the flowers for decorative purposes, then yes. However, if you’re thinking of de-thorning live roses there are a few factors to consider, as well as a few reasons as to why yu might ant to avoid doing that if you enjoy the look of a vibrant rose garden.

Of course, removing the thorns give pests much easier access to the flower but, in addition, removing the thorns can cause unnecessary harm to the epidermis of the rose stem. Ultimately, this can lead to infections, more pests, and a rose that dies much faster than those with their thorns still attached.

Removing Rose Thorns

Stop! Put down the giant garden shears; they aren’t needed to get this job done.

To remove thorns from roses all you need is a bit of patience, gardening gloves, and some simple garden tools.

1. Put on your gloves and pick your rose.

2. Lay it down and carefully pluck the thorns from one side of the rose, then turn it and do the other side and repeat.

It’s so simple yet so complex when you consider all the different tools you could use to remove the thorns. While garden shears could work, they tend to be overkill for this small job.

So, instead, consider using a sharp pairing knife or nail clippers. The knife should be the sharpest one you can find; ideally, one that removes the thorn in one go as to avoid harming the stem of the flower. One way to use the knife is running it up the length of the stem, effectively taking all the thorns off without labor intensive clipping.

You can opt to remove the thorns at their base, cutting the entire thorn off or you could just cut the pointy end off each individual thorn. This method preserves some of the natural appearance of the flower without the risk of being stabbed, poked, or scratched with thorns.

succulents

How Big Do Succulents Get?

Succulents are some of the most popular, low-maintenance plants that one can get their hands on. Most of the time, all they require is just a little water and a bit of sunlight.

So, the question when it comes to succulents is then, how much space do they take up? And how big do they get?                                                                                                                                                                          

According to all the species of succulents on record today, the smallest can be as small as 1.5-inches tall and the largest up to 1,200-inches tall. The size of succulents depends on a few factors, all of which can mean the difference between a large succulent and a small one.

Here’s a quick look at these crucial factors.

Temperature

Temperature can and does have a huge impact on the growth of succulents. There are very few species of succulents that can tolerate frost, so cold temperatures are best avoided. In fact, most species of succulents can thrive in unbearably hot temperatures–temperatures that are much hotter than those that exist within the human home.

Most succulents do the best between 50 and 90 degrees, with some species requiring very specific temperatures for optimal growth. With temperature in mind, the best way to protect your succulents and keep them growing properly is to find their correct temperatures and maintain them.

Soil

Succulents get most of their nutrients from the soil they are planted in. The specific soil requirements for each type of succulent will vary but in general, most species thrive in well-draining soil with little organic or clay matter.

Potting soil for succulents should contain only the ingredients needed for adequate drainage. The addition of other ingredients can mean slow growth and/or succulent death.

Once potted, a succulent will use the nutrients in its soil and, after a period of time, its soil should be replaced to replenish the nutrients that have been used. Failing to change the soil can be detrimental to the growth of your succulent.

Sunlight

In general, succulents do best in sunny conditions. However, the amount f sunlight each species needs is dependent on their species profile. Some species do best with filtered sunlight, while others see the best growth in full sunlight.

To help your succulent grow, you’ll need to know how much light it requires and try to provide it with an adequate amount. Succulents that get too little sun can become damaged; the same can be said when species that require lower levels of light receive too much of it.

Moisture

Moisture related issues are, perhaps, the most common ones that affect succulent growth. Overwatering often contributes to root rot and eventual plant death but doesn’t tend to affect growth much, as the plant doesn’t live very long in the first place. Overwatering is the leading cause of growth problems.

However, underwatering can and does occur, too. Although succulents are tolerant of hot, dry weather and can go a long time without water, underwatering isn’t ideal. Without an adequate amount of water, succulents can grow more slowly and may never grow to be as large as other plants of their species who have had the proper amount of moisture.

In humid environments, succulents can go much longer between regular watering. This is because they suck water from the air. Similarly, succulents that are in less humid environments may need more water.

Now that you know a bit more about what makes your succulent thrive or faulter, you can rest assured that you know how to help them reach their full growth potential. Just remember to pay attention to sunlight, moisture, soil, and temperature.

succulents

15 Mind Blowing Facts About Succulents

So, you’re interested in succulents. Good choice! They are a hardy plant that comes in a ton of different colors, sizes, and shapes. In addition, they’re easy to care for and look great almost anywhere.

Before you start your own succulent garden, why not get acquainted with these unique plants? Here are 15 crazy facts about them.

1. Succulents are resistant to pests

For the most part, succulents are completely pest resistant. You may find the occasional hungry aphid on your succulents but that’s a rare occurrence.

2. The sizes of succulent leaves have meaning

In general, the smaller the leaves are of a succulent plant, the higher elevation at which the plant grows. This means that large leaved succulents are grown at lower elevations and smaller leaved succulents at higher elevations such as on the tops of mountains.

3. 1,300 species of succulents are cacti

Cacti are a type of succulent and all cacti are succulents. In addition, 1,300 of the known succulent species are cacti. This being said, not all succulents are cacti.

4. Succulents can be found in every color of the rainbow

Most succulents are green. However, they can be found in a range of colors including pink, blue, purple, and red!

5. Succulents can do dormant

Succulents, like many other plants, have the ability to go dormant. They do this during the winter.

6. Succulents are ideal for keeping the air clean

You may have heard the rumor that succulents are good for air quality. If you have, you’ll be happy to know that this rumor is indeed true. Succulents are great for removing toxins from the air in the home.

7. There are succulents that can survive in the snow

Despite the fact that most succulents are warm-weather plants, there are some species that can survive harsh winters and snowy conditions.

8. Some succulents are used for medicine

There are certain succulents that can be and are used as medicine. One such type is the aloe vera plant, which is often used for burns and skin abrasions.

9. Succulents can be eaten

There are a handful of succulent species that are edible. These species are often grilled, boiled, juiced, or mashed.

10. Coffee grounds are a good succulent fertilizer

One cheap way to fertilize your succulents is by mixing coffee grounds into their substrate. The roots of the plant will absorb the nutrients.

11. Succulents can be planted together

Succulent pots can contain more than one succulent. In addition, each pot can contain more than one kind of succulent as long as both plants have similar care requirements.

12. Succulents can go months without water

Depending on which type of succulent we’re talking about, it will be able to go 103 months without being watered.

13. Healthy succulents will only shed their bottom leaves

Like any other plant, succulents shed their leaves throughout the year. However, succulents will generally only shed their bottom most leaves; if a succulent sheds its top leaves this could signal disease, overwatering, or pests.

14. Not all succulents flower

Many succulents bloom and grow flowers. Sometimes, this takes years but other times, succulents don’t flower at all. This is dependant on the species of succulent.

15. Succulents can be toxic

While some species are used for medicine, other species are toxic. These succulents can cause skin irritation in humans and sickness in animals.

There we have it – 15 interesting facts about succulents! With any luck, you’ve learned something new and grown a new appreciation for this unique type of plant.