Things to keep in mind while growing Bamboo palm

Bright and cheery, the deep green foliage of bamboo palm is a green-fingered gardener’s go-to plant for adding a tropical appeal to a shade garden. Also famed as “lucky bamboo”, the fantastic houseplant can add interest to an overlooked corner of your home. With the right knowledge, these plants are relatively less-fussy to grow.

Be it the striking appearance or the associated good luck and fortune that entice you to plant the bamboo palm, a bit of care and attention can keep it healthy for a longer time.  This rugged palm has exceptional shade tolerance so it can even grow well while kept in a bright window. If you wish to introduce this green stunner into your garden or indoor, here are some things to keep in mind.

Make Sure the Soil is moderately Moist

Although bamboo palms don’t have to be planted in soil, they can be if you prefer.  Make sure to add well- aerated, well-drained and moderately moist soil.  But remember, it shouldn’t be soggy or desert dry. Also, never let your plants become water-logged.

Provide Indirect Light and Moderate Temperature

Bright indirect light is great for growing bamboo palms, but they can even grow in low light conditions. Low light may reduce their growth speed. The temperature that ranges between 60 and 70 degrees is ideal for the plant which can be easily provided in the most home or office conditions.

Don’t Over Water

Bamboo palms need adequate moisture to thrive, so it is better to mist it every couple of days. However, don’t ever submerge the plants completely underwater otherwise it will cause root rot.  Never overwater it and change the water once in two weeks to prevent rotting of the leaves. Keeping the bamboo in a clear glass container filled with pebbles and water is a good option to provide a humid micro-environment to the plant.

Occasional Fertilizing Is Good For The Plant

Although the plant can survive for a long time with just water, a small amount of fertilizer added to the water can benefit the plant to a great extent. If you are planting it in the soil, feed it with a high-nitrogen slow-release formula during the spring.

Get Rid of Yellow/ Brown or Mushy stalks

If you are noticing yellow leaves and stalks, it can be a sign of too much fertilizer or too much light. Eliminate the yellow portion of the stalk and re-plant the part that is still green. Brown or mushy stalks indicate root rot so you should also remove the brown affected portion.

Protect The Plant From Pest

The presence of white, sticky matter or snail-like growths on the bamboo stalks signals the scale or spider mites infestation. If you observe any of these sign in your plant, wipe the stalks using soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and then replace the water.

Prevent Leave Burn

One of the common problems that your bamboo palm may encounter while kept in a container setting is leaf burn. The presence of too much salt in the water or excessive fertilizers within the soil can cause the leaf burn problem.

Either re-pot the bamboo palms or take out as much old soil as possible to solve the issue. Leaching the soil by flushing the pot with water can also help you get rid of such leave burn.

Keep It Away From Spider Mites

Spider mite can be a serious problem to your bamboo palms in hot and dry season. You will often observe small webbing at the leave edges before the appearance of the mites.

As the pests like hot and dry conditions, it is better to be on the lookout in the summer. Rinsing the leaves with a heavy stream of water cam eradicate the spider mites from the plant. Or you can simply use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to treat the issue.

 

 

 

Flower gardening 101: important tips for first time flower gardeners

garden

Flowers are one of the most magical creations of nature. They can effortlessly enliven even the dreariest of places, which is why everyone dreams of having a bountiful bed of blooms in their garden.

However, flower gardening may seem a bit overwhelming if you are just starting. Getting those gorgeous colorful flowers is much more than digging a hole, adding the plant and watering it regularly. At the same time, it’s easy enough for anyone to learn and start planting. Plus, we’re here to help.

Before you sink in your spade into your garden bed and embark on your first gardening adventure, go through the steps listed below and you’ll be off to a great start.

Familiarize yourself with the Garden

Having a perfect flower garden is more about what you can do with space than about how you imagine it in your mind. Meaning, you may have visions of filling up the yard with beautiful roses and lovely lilies, but it’s important to understand if the culture conditions in your garden are suitable for growing your favorite flowers.

To get it right, familiarize yourself with the garden landscape by assessing the conditions. Know how much light your garden receives all day. Take note of the area that gets the most sunlight and the areas that remain in the shade most of the time. Also evaluate the soil, topography and the moisture conditions to know which type of flowers will be best suited for the garden.

Placement

After you’ve familiarized yourself with your garden landscape, it will be easy to pick the spot where your flowers can thrive. Next, you’ll need to figure out how your flower garden will fit in with the rest of your landscape. The design and placement of your flower bed should be influenced by the architectural style of your home and your personal preferences.

Clear the ground

Clearing the ground of weeds or excessive grass is essential before you start planting. Start with removing the sod from the area of your flowerbed. Clearing the sod will create space for your flowers to bloom.

Prepare the Soil

Preparing soil

Now, one of the most critical steps to successfully planting a flower garden is preparing the soil. Garden soil isn’t always ideal for planting flowers and hence needs to be enriched with nutrients and minerals that make the soil more fertile and help the plants thrive. The easiest method is to add compost, old manure or any other organic material into the top 6 inches of your soil. After a few months, your soil will become perfectly fertile to plant the flowers.

Pick the flowers

Time to put your flower research into action! While thinking about which flowers to grow, it’s important to consider how much work you are willing to put into the maintenance of your garden. In addition to that, you must factor in the culture conditions, flower sizes, and colors, bloom time, etc.

Plant

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The simplest way to get flowers is to buy them from a nursery or a garden store. Once you’ve obtained flowers, water them thoroughly before planting so that they won’t have to go through transplant shock. Next, dig a hole for each plant. Make sure that the hole is sufficiently deep for the plant and about twice as wide so that you fluff up the soil at the bottom. Place the plant inside the hole and fill it up with soil or compost. After planting, you will need to add a layer of mulch (around 3 inches) and water it properly so that the soil settles around the root.

Feed Fertilizer

Feeding fertilizers help the plant thrive, makes it resilient and protects it from the attack of insects and pests. Make sure you choose the right fertilizer for your flowers. You can go with either synthetic fertilizers, which tend to act fast but may leach away from the soil quickly, or organic fertilizers that cost more and take time to show results.

Water

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Newly planted flowers need to be watered every other day so that they can develop a strong network of roots. Following that, you may water as needed, which may vary upon the flower, soil, humidity and rains.

Keep it up

You are right on track to have a beautiful garden with lovely blooming flowers. All you need to do is keep watering and feeding fertilizers as required.

Enjoy the blooms!

Arrowhead plants: how to grow and care for this plant in containers

Looking to enhance your indoor garden? Well, look no further than the beautiful Arrowhead Plant.

Arrowhead Plant is known by a variety of names and is known as Arrowhead Vine, Synovium, Nephthytis, Five Fingers, and American Evergreen. It has withstood the test of time and is considered as one of the best houseplants.  This plant grows out as a solid green plant and has green and white colored leaves with the distinct shades of green and pink. The leaves of this plant always come in the shape of an arrowhead.

These plants, when young are pretty full and make an attractive choice for side tables, coffee tables, bedside, and other surfaces. As this plant comes with the colored foliages, they add both edge and interest to your décor. For augmenting the appeal of your space, you can also let it grow alone or keep it mixed with other plants too.

Arrowhead is a great choice for décor and here is how to care and grow this plant in containers.

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Arrowhead Growing Guide

The arrowhead plant serves as a great container plant for indoor and balcony spaces or gardens that don’t get light directly from the sun. You should only allow southern exposure from the sunlight inside your surroundings as this plant can get bleached in the direct sun. This plant is winter hardy in Florida and grows very well as a houseplant in all other states which have the US hardiness zones 10 and 11.

You will have to water this plant as the surface starts to dry. But make sure that you only moist the plant and not wet it completely. Its proper care requires humid conditions. So, spray little droplets of water daily or place the container in a tray that is filled up with water and pebbles.

Fertilizing is not mandatory. However, you can always use a houseplant fertilizer in spring or summer season as it is not required to be fertilized in winters. Furthermore, you can prune it according to your convenience.

Arrowhead Plant Propagation

This plant propagates from its roots, cuttings, and air layering. The root structure of this plant is quite extensive and also becomes invasive, even in a container environment. It is recommended that you should cut off the foliage and steps as they develop.

If you want it to re-pot; just divide the root, and you are good to go.

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Arrowhead Care Instructions

The overall care of this plant is quite easy. But lack of essential nutrients in light, soil, and the entire growing process may retard the growth of the plant. Its growth also slows down in the winter months, but with these care instructions, you can let the plant grow effectively.

  • Light:

    Arrowhead plants need a medium to low lighting. If your plant starts yellowing, it is a sign that it is receiving too much light.

  • Temperature:

    This plant is known to grow best in the temperatures between 16 degrees Celsius and 24 degrees Celsius. The temperatures below 10 degree Celsius kill the plant.

  • Pot Size:

    These plants grow their best when they are bound to their roots. Do not rush them to the next size container and ensure that there are drop holes at the bottom.

  • Soil:

    These plants prefer rich organic soil that drains well. However, an African violet mix serves as a good choice.

  • Pests:

    Keep an eye on spider mites and mealy bugs. If you see any of them, you can treat them by spraying isopropyl alcohol.

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Arrowhead Flowering Conditions

It is unusual for these plans to produce flowers. But when flowers appear, they are the green and white blooms.

What Do You Need To Remember?

Keep the growth tips and long runners pruned so that you can use them on the indoor tables. If you leave these plants untrimmed, they make beautiful indoor plants and enhance the overall aura of your space. Moreover, the leaves of this plant change its shape as it matures.  It begins with an arrowhead shape and then grows into the three to five finger sections.

These plants are highly poisonous so it should be kept away from pets and children.

What to know about Baby’s Tears: planting, growing and care tips

Baby’s Tears with its round tiny apple-green leaves cascading down to the slender, threadlike stems makes an appealing addition to any garden or pot.

Also famed as Soleirolia Soleiroli, Mind-Your-Own-Business and Irish Moss, this fast-growing evergreen plants spills beautifully over the sides of a pot or container.

Originated from the western Mediterranean islands, this ground-hugging plant makes a perfect mound of foliage, and with enough light, it can even bless you with tiny white flowers.

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However, this mosslike, creeping plant can dry out quickly without enough care and attention. Whether you want it to grow it as an indoor plant in a terrarium or container, or under benches in a greenhouse, a lot of care is required to keep it alive.

Here are some helpful tips to plant, grow and care for the plant to make it last for years.

Planting Tips

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Plant it in a well-aerated, quick draining soil

The well-aerated, quick-draining potting soil with a good amount of peat moss is ideal for planting these delicate-looking foliage plants.

Use moist soil

Although the tiny strands of baby tears look delicate, it roots readily in moist soil. Lure out individual stems with some of their roots attached.

Dig a hole that is 2 times larger than the root ball in the soil and deep enough to keep the plant at the same level as the soil level in the container. Then set the plant in the hole and dribble a little soil over it.

Water well

Once you plant the baby’s tear, gently press the soil down and pour enough water to prevent the drying of the plant.

Growing Tips

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Provide medium to high humidity

Medium to high humidity is ideal for growing the moisture loving plant. If you want to boost the moisture in the air, keep it in a more humid room like a kitchen or bathroom.

Or you can just place it on a saucer of pebbles and water with the pot resting atop the pebbles. You can even group it with other houseplants or keep a small humidifier near it increase the moisture content.

Keep it in Normal room temperature

Place the plant in normal household temperatures or a little cooler to promote its growth. Normally 60°-75° is good for the plant.  Even a light frost can dry the plant, but it soon rejuvenates upon the return of spring.

Fertilize in every 2 week

It is better to fertilize the Baby’s Tears plant in the spring and summer when it is growing. A houseplant fertilizer diluted to half of the recommended strength is ideal for growing the plant.

Let it have bright indirect light but no direct sun

Shade or part shade is best for the bay’s tear plant. While growing indoor, keep it in a bright window but make sure it does not receive direct sun.

The golden and variegated baby’s tears are more susceptible to browning and burning from the direct sun exposure. This creeping fig prefers a bright, indirect light so shade this plant from hot afternoon sun while planting it outdoor.

Provide ample horizontal room

As the plant tends to grow aggressively with its creeping stems if not outright invasive, make sure to offer ample horizontal space for the plant to grow.

Caring Tips

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Prune it occasionally

Snip off the faded blooms carefully or remove entire flower stalk once the blooming period is over. Removing old flower helps the plant utilize its energy on vigorous growth instead of seed production.

Trim the foliage through the season to eradicate damaged or discolored leaves, or to maintain its shape and fullness.

Don’t overdo the watering

The soil should be kept moist but make sure it is never soggy as if the soil stays too wet, it can rot the stems.

Daily watering for a couple of weeks is recommended for the new plants, but after that, it should be shifted to every two or three days depending on the weather and soil type.

Protection from pests

As these delicate looking plants are susceptible to whitefly, scale, and Aphids, so give attention and take proper care to prevent the damage.

There you go!

Just give a decent amount of light, high humidity, abundant water and occasional trimming and watch these stunning plants living happily for a long time.

 

Growing Orange trees: all things that you need to know

orange tree

Orange is a Citrus family plant and one of the most commonly cultivated fruits in the world. They thrive better in a warm climate. Like any other citrus fruit, growing orange trees is easy. The orange tree is a low maintenance plant and it is possible to grow them indoor, in small spaces or even inside a greenhouse.

If you are planning to grow your own orange trees for an endless supply of fresh orange juice, here are some essential things you should know about growing orange trees.

orange juice growing orange trees
Image by Pixabay

Where do orange trees grow?

Orange trees grow almost anywhere but they grow better in places with warm weather. They thrive in temperatures between 55 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and survive at 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter season.

If the weather is colder where you live, it is best to keep the tree indoor to protect it from frost. And take them outside when it’s warmer.

When is the best time to plant orange trees?

An orange tree can be planted all year round. However, it is advisable to plant them at the beginning of spring. This gives the tree enough time to acclimatize before winter.   

How long does it take for an orange tree to bear fruit?

orange tree
Image by Pixabay

The orange tree produces fruits depending on your planting process.  A tree grown from seeds might take up to 15 years to produce fruits. Buying tree from a local nursery and transferring the plant to your garden might take between 3-4 years. And grafting orange tree from rootstock might only take 3 years to start bearing fruits.

What type of soil is best for orange trees?

Citrus fruits survive better in the slightly acidic soil. For orange trees, a soil pH (level of acidity) of 6.0 to 7.5 is recommended.

What kind of fertilizer to use on orange trees?

Slightly nitrogen rich or balance NPK fertilizers are great for orange trees and other citrus trees.

How long does an orange tree live for?

An orange tree can live between 50-100 years when given proper care. Citrus trees, including orange, are known for long life span and it’s not uncommon to hear orange trees that live more than a hundred years.

How do you plant an orange tree?

There are 3 ways to plant an orange tree.

1. Grafting or budding orange tree

Grafting is a horticultural process wherein two plants are joined together to grow as one. Scion – which is the upper part of the plant – is attached to the lower portion of the plant known as rootstock. Horticulturists use this process when it is impossible to grow a plant through seeds.

Budding, on the other hand, is a form of grafting best suited for citrus trees like orange. You can do this if you already have orange trees in your backyard and you want to plant more trees. Or if you have a neighbor who is willing to give you scion and rootstock for budding. Some local nurseries might be able to help you graft materials as well.

  • Select a healthy orange tree that you wish to cultivate.
  • Prepare the scion and rootstock. Remove any leaves or torn on the branch.
  • Using a knife, make a one-inch vertical cut on the rootstock and at the bottom of the cut, make a horizontal cut. Try to avoid cutting the entire branch. This should create an inverted “T” on the rootstock.
  • Cut a one-inch bark from a budded twig or scion.
  • Insert the bark in the rootstock “T” cut.
  • Wrap the graft for 30 days.

To learn more about grafting orange tree, you can check this tutorial video.

2. Using seeds

bowl of oranges
Image by Wikimedia

Using the seed is the traditional way of planting orange trees. However, keep in mind that it takes years to see the tree grows if you choose to start from the beginning. Success rate of planting orange tree is also lower if you use seeds and especially if you are a beginner. It is more challenging to grow trees from seeds as it is more susceptible to diseases. Also, even if the seeds might come from a good orange fruit, it doesn’t guarantee that it will produce the same result.

  • Buy healthy orange fruits in the supermarket. Make sure the orange fruits are not seedless.
  • Cut the orange carefully and avoid cutting the seeds. Select the undamaged seeds once you’re done.
  • Wash the seeds to remove any fungus or mold spores. Then soak the seeds in the water for 24 hours. Do not soak it longer than 24 hours.
  • Drain the water and transfer it to a prepared pot or containers.
  • Make sure the pot has good drainage holes and you put it in a place where it can get a constant supply of sunshine.
  • Water the seeds once to twice a week or once the soil starts to become dry.

3. Buying a tree from local nurseries

This is probably the easiest way to grow an orange tree. If you are not confident to do grafting or use seeds, then buying a tree from local nurseries is a good option. However, this doesn’t mean that the tree will just produce fruits on its own. An aftercare still remains important for your orange trees.

  • Citrus trees are not a fan of overwatering or underwatering. It is important to water the orange trees once or twice a week. Keep in mind that the goal is to preserve the soil from drying. So, adjust your watering schedule accordingly
  • The orange tree is sensitive to cold.  Try to place them where it can get sunlight for at least 8 hours. Keep them indoor if the temperature is colder.
  • Add fertilizers as needed.

 

Tips to grow healthy and enchanting African Violets at home

African Violets

If bringing beauty to your indoor space is your goal, then African Violets are just what you are looking for. Clusters of violet, blue, purple, white and a myriad of other splendid colors bloom beautifully over a neat rosette of dark-green fuzzy leaves.

The flower is recognized worldwide to be one of the prettiest houseplants that come with the perk of blooming almost constantly. All you need is a bright window, and you’ll find your African Violets brightening up your space all year round. However, African Violets have earned quite the reputation of being a fuzzy plant to grow and care for.

The African violet does come with a few quirks since they are really demanding of the growing conditions. African Violets are peculiar about the water, light, temperature and soil requirements. But fret not! We are here to help you learn all about growing and nurturing the dainty houseplant.

Conditions for Culture

Light

African Violet

Adequate light is one of the pre-requisites for an African violet to stay healthy and produce abundant flowers. Insufficient light makes the leaves turn dark green and thin, while the leaf stems also become very long and weak.

On the other hand, too much sunlight can turn the leaves pale yellow-green, and you may also notice some bleached out burned or dead areas. However, you can diffuse bright sunlight with the help of a sheer curtain.

It’s important to ensure the right intensity and duration of light. Placing the plant in bright and indirect light should give good results. Generally, 3 feet from a south, east or west windows offer good exposure to the light. Maintain proper light exposure for eight hours every day, and try to make up for the insufficient lighting with the help of artificial fluorescent lights.

A little testing will easily help you determine if the light conditions at your home are suitable for the growth of violets. Also, you must note that the duration and intensity of light will vary according to the climate and weather.

Water

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African Violets grow most beautifully when properly watered. You can water the violets either from the top or from the bottom.

African violets are at risk of developing leaf spotting when splashed with cold water on the leaves. Hence, tepid water is recommended in case your water from the top but do not let the plant sit in standing water to avoid root damage. Keep watering until the water runs out from the bottom and be sure to drain the excess if you are using a tray or saucer below the pot to prevent problems from waterlogging.

In order to water the plant from the bottom, simply fill the tray below the pot with tepid water and it will be automatically drawn up to the soil with capillary action. You can pour off the excess water from the tray after about an hour.

Temperature

Common indoor temperatures that range around 65 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70° to 90°F during the day are fine for violets.

Humidity

Humidity is essential for the growth and flowering of African violets. The flower tends to grow in high humidity ranges, so you’ll be required to set the pot in watertight trays filled with pebbles or water and gravel. Ensuring shallow water level is essential. Also, you must not let the plant sit in water for too long

Potting

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Containers and Pots

African Violets like to be snug and hence grow best in small pots. But at the same time, they do require some space to grow. So, shallow pots that give them enough space to spread their roots are best for these beauties. It’s imperative to see that the root ball of the plant fits comfortably in the pot. The pot must have drainage holes at the bottom in order allow excess water to drain out and let the water seep into the soil when watering from the bottom.

Propagation

Violets are easy to propagate from the leaf cuttings of a well-developed and mature plant. The leaf must be removed from the main stalk with a clean break. Place the leaf into a glass of water and make sure that it isn’t completely covered with water. Gradually, roots will start forming near the base.
You may also take a leaf with plenty of stems and place the stem into a pot containing sterile potting soil. Keep the soil moist and it will eventually grow into a new plant.

Soil Mix

An ideal potting mix is the one that offers proper nutrition, moisture, aeration, and physical support to the plant so that it grows to its utmost capabilities. When it comes to African Violets, they grow best in soil that is loose and porous in structure, in addition to being well-draining and well-aerated. You can prepare a potting mix or opt to grow your plant in a soilless mix to meet your cultural requirements.

Caring

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Fertilizer

African violets can benefit from small amount of fertilizers, especially if you notice they haven’t bloomed or aren’t growing for several months. Use fertilizers that are specially made for African Violets and make sure to use the same in moderation. Mix the fertilizer at a one-quarter strength and use while watering the plant. Excessive or too little fertilizer may impact the growth of violets.

Repotting

African violets thrive in small pots as they like to be root bound. Eventually, a mature plant tends to produce an offspring that can be grown into a new plant. As soon as you witness the formation of new crowns in the pot, gently remove the plant from the pot and separate the new growth. Repot the plants in separate containers to keep up with their growth.

Garden with clean hands

African violet is vulnerable to attack from diseases, organisms, and insects and may develop mildew, blight or stem rot if not taken care of. Make sure you always wash your hands and use gloves while handling any organic matter. Also, clean your gardening tools before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases from one houseplant to another.

Remove dead blooms

African violet is a plant that grows close to the soil. As such, dead leaves or flowers may start causing excessive moisture near the stem, ultimately leading it to rot. Therefore, in order to keep the plant healthy, you must remove any dead or dying leaf immediately from the pot.

Enjoy gardening!

How to grow lemon trees in a pot

lemon tree

Lemon is a popular fruit that people use for a variety of reasons. We use it for cooking, drinks, as a cleaning agent and as part of our beauty regimen. Lemons are also a good source of vitamins and nutrients. Its benefits are endless that it becomes an essential part of our grocery shopping list.

If you use lemon a lot, then growing lemon trees at home is a practical way to save money. Growing this citrus fruit is also not that hard. You can also plant the lemon tree in a pot or container. And if space is a problem, then growing lemons indoor is also possible.

Here is a complete guide on how to grow lemon trees in a pot.

lemon drink
Pixabay

Which variety of lemon trees is best to grow in a pot?

Meyer and variegated pink Eureka are varieties of the lemon family that are both suitable for containers and indoor. These lemon varieties don’t grow too high. They also both produce fruits all year round, especially when grown in a warm climate.

Meyer lemon is also sweeter than the regular lemon and is known as the easiest lemon tree to grow indoor. Eureka lemon, on the other hand, is more acidic than Meyer lemon. But like the rest of citrus family, both are sensitive to cold weather that it can’t survive below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for temperature.

What do you need?

  • A two-to three-year-old lemon tree that you can buy from a local nursery. You can also start with the seeds but it takes longer to see the tree grows. Lemon trees start producing fruits between 3 to 5 years old. So if you want to cut down the waiting time, selecting a plant that produces fruits in a shorter time is a better choice.
  • A medium-sized pot with drainage holes. Depending on how fast it grows, you might have to change the pots every couple of years. Just make sure that it is always bigger than the root ball of the tree.
  • A supply of slow-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizers to make sure the lemon tree gets constant nutrients.
  • Slightly acidic potting mix.
  • A constant supply of water and sunshine.

How to transfer the lemon tree to a new pot

lemon tree in a pot
Pixabay

1. When you remove the lemon tree from its nursery pot, make sure to avoid breaking the roots. Take out the roots from the soil carefully. Massaging the roots before you transfer it to the new pot, also helps absorb nutrients faster.

2. Fill the pot halfway with soil mix. Then, position the tree upright and fill the pot with the rest of the soil mix. Make sure that no roots are exposed outside the soil. Also, avoid putting soil on the branches as it can cause fungal infections to the tree.

3. Water the lemon tree immediately after transferring it. The soil must be damp enough but not waterlogged. This way, the soil is habitable enough for the new tree to adapt.

Tips on how to grow the lemon trees properly

lemon tree
Image by Hans | Pixabay

Aftercare is an important part of growing a healthy lemon tree. To ensure that your tree will produce fruits, it is a must that you follow the tips below.

1. Water the lemon tree once to twice a week. Avoid overwatering or under watering the plant as it will affect the fruit production. The drainage holes in the pot help avoid overwatering. But keep in mind that it is important to keep the soil from drying. Check the soil every few days. Stick your finger on the soil to check if it’s dry. If you notice that the soil is a bit dry, then it is time to water the tree again.

2. Potted lemon trees produce better when it’s fertilized properly. Using slow-release fertilizer helps the plant gets constant nutrients. It is also more practical as part of the maintenance process as you only need to apply it once a year. However, if you want to control more the number of fertilizers, then applying nitrogen-rich fertilizers every few months will work too.

3. Lemon trees are sensitive to cold weather and strong wind. So avoid placing them in windy areas and put them where it can get at least 8 hours of sunshine every day. If you are going to place the tree indoor, make sure it is located near a window to get proper sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aralia: uses for home interiors and maintenance tips

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Aralias make unique houseplants. They find varied uses in homes and gardens. Available in varied heights, the plants can fit into most interior spaces and sit in different positions indoors. The different plants under the genus mean there’s a specific plant form for every homeowner. The plant can also be used in various forms in the home setting.

Unlike most houseplants, Aralias are aesthetically beautiful and can create a focal point indoors in natural-themed interior spaces. The plants are increasingly being used indoors due to their successful application in high-end in home interiors. What’s more, they thrive in conditions unsuitable for most houseplants.

What are Aralia Plants?

Also known as Spikenard, Aralias belong to the Araliaceae family. It comprises about 70 plant species. They come in the form of evergreen and deciduous plants, trees and even shrubs. Some varieties are also herbaceous perennials with rhizomatous rooting systems.

The plants are native to the Americas, Asia, and regions with mountain woodlands. Varied in sizes, some Aralia cultivars grow up to 20 meters high while others barely hit half a meter in height.

Aralia Plants for Home Interiors

Most Aralia species are superior houseplants with great capability to adapt to conditions indoors. They have unmatched ‘staying power’ in home interiors even when grown in hot, dark places. The plants have been on and off gardeners’ list of favorite plants over the last many years.

International botanicals have grown Aralias for years to come up with the best cultivars for home interiors. They diversified the forms and sizes of the plants. The plants come in varied colors and leaf forms. Ming aralia feature elegant, lacy leaves while the chicken gizzard has spherical leaflets.

‘Dinner plate’ aralia feature large, aptly leaves while ‘spinach leaf’ aralia have dark, tightly-crinkled leaves. Aralia leaves, petioles and general foliage range in color from cream and gold to solid green and white. Others come in dark-green, almost black to burgundy hues.

Aralias sweeping, curving branches; massively woody trunks; and shaggy, heavily-dense foliage make them stand out in home interiors as houseplants. They find use indoors as large or small plants. The plants can be grown as ‘bonsai’ plants in 6-inch or 8-inch pots. Use them to accentuate reception counters in offices or table tops in homes with their attractive colors and shapes.

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Certain varieties that grow up to 4 feet tall can fit in 10-inch pots. Stump or bush plants that grow up to 3 to 6 feet in height can comfortably fit in 14-inch pots for indoor use. However, varieties that range in height from 7 to 12 feet fit 17-inch to 21-inch pots. The large Aralia plants are suitable for placement in entryways and other places indoors with lots of open spaces.

Aralia Growth Conditions and Maintenance Tips

The kind of care Aralia plants receive in nurseries determines their successful growth indoors. Aralias thrive in light, well-drained soils with proper drainage. The plants require sufficient watering for optimal growth. The amount of light the plants can access indoors determines the level and frequency of watering and applying fertilizers.

Although it’s recommended for soils to be kept moist, some gardeners report that the plants thrive in dry soils. If the amount of light available is low, water the plants at least once every three weeks. Avoid overwatering to prevent the development of plant diseases such as root rot. Opt for sub-irrigation or a controlled watering device for efficient Aralia watering.

With proper care and growth conditions, the plants can successfully grow indoors for a minimum of a decade. Unlike most houseplants, Aralias can be pruned to foster new foliage growth and maintain their lush look. Granular fertilizer rich in nitrogen is recommended.

Some Aralias can be costly during initial planting stages and growth. However, it rewards gardeners and homeowners with a long lifespan as long as they’re accorded proper care and placed in locations with all the growth requirements.

3 Popular Aralia Species for Home Interiors

  1. Aralia Fabian

Just like Feng Shui, a plant popular for its energy, love and calmness flow, Aralia Fabian offers similar benefits. Also known as Plum Aralia, it’s a shrub tree with maroon leaves that tend to be purplish on the undersides. The shiny leaves range in size from large to medium. The round leaves are deeply veined. Although the plant’s flower in the wild, cultivated cultivars rarely bloom.

Aralias grow upright as columnar plants in containers, making them ideal houseplants. Potted Aralia Fabians make perfect housewarming gifts.

  1. Celeryleaf Aralia

Also known as Aralia ‘Chicken Gizzard’, the plant has leaves similar in shape to chicken gizzards. It features branches with spherical leaflets with at least two lobes. Just like Aralia Fabian, it grows a columnar plant. Its leaves are uniquely-shaped, which, together with the plant’s distinct growth stature, are bound to improve an existing interior décor.

Unlike other houseplants, they’re more costly due to the time and care they require to grow. They’re worth each cent spent on them.

  1. Aralia Balfour

Aralia Balfouriana is a beautiful, potted floor plant. Some species boast large, shiny, dark-green leaves while others feature crinkled leaves with deep veins. The leaves are waxy on the surface and lobed. The container plant grows upright and less wide than the pot housing it.

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5 Common Aralia Problems

  1. Wilting from overwatering – leaves drop if the plant is excessively wet. Extremely hot or cold temperatures also result in dropping of leaves.
  2. Aralia Leaf Drop – Low humidity indoors or dry air conditions causes leaves to drop.
  3. Weak / Over-grown Limbs – Aralias require lots of light to grow. Insufficient lighting conditions lead to weak, stretched plant growth. Prune in spring to foster plant growth and fill spots without foliage.
  4. Leaves with Brown Edges – Excess fertilization and low humidity levels result in browning of leaf edges. Exposure to air dries the leaves, leading to the browning of their edges.
  5. Insect Pests – Aralias are prone to spider mites, aphids, and scale. Use natural pest control solutions such as neem oil to eliminate Aralia pests.

Aralia Cultivars

Other popular Aralia species for home interiors include the following:

  • Aralia spinosa
  • Aralia stipulata
  • Aralia Tibetan
  • Aralia racemosa
  • Aralia malabarica
  • Aralia nudicaulis
  • Aralia hispida

Conclusion

Aralia plants can be grown indoors or outdoors. With proper care and maintenance, the plants can grow successfully for many years. They require proper watering, fertilization, soil, and lighting conditions to grow optimally.

Do you want to grow Aralia in your home or office? Contact us to find out more on how to grow Aralia plants in pots or grow bags.

How to grow and maintain Aloe Vera at home

Aloe Vera is not just for making cosmetic products, but it also adds some tropical flair to your garden.  Aloe Vera is an attractive a tremendous indoor succulent as well as an outdoor companion. The plant is used for many cosmetic purposes as it is a great healer for skin problems.

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However, it needs regular care and maintenance to grow and flourish properly. This post shares some best tips on how to grow and care for Aloe Vera plant at your home.

Soil for Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a succulent, and just like other succulents, it grows well in the dry conditions. It needs the cactus-like soil mix to grow and flourish. You can use the regular potting soil and mix it with some perlite or building sand. It is also necessary to create multiple drainage holes in the pot as Aloe Vera dies in the standing water.

Plant the Aloe Vera plant in the terra cotta pots with multiple drain holes. As the terra cotta dries faster than plastic or clay pots, it prevents the soil from getting overly drenched. You may need to re-pot the Aloe Vera plant in a bigger pot, as it grows and causes tipping. However, repotting is not essential as it can grow well in the snug conditions.

Plant them in the light

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Aloe Vera plants need proper light to grow them. They can tolerate the dry conditions but not the low light conditions. If you plant them outdoor, they get the required light, but if you want to plant them indoor in the containers, you need to place them near the windows. Setting them near the windows allows them to receive the required light.

You can place Aloe Vera plants in direct sun in the winter season to allow them to receive the natural sunlight. However, in the summer season, you should not place them under the direct sun as the overexposure can harm them.

Watering the Aloe Vera plant

Allow the soil of the plant to dry completely before watering the Aloe Vera plant. While watering the plant, keep the soil entirely drenched with water. However, you should allow the water to drain freely from the container. These plants survive well in the low water conditions, but they tend to rot and wilt in access water.

Using the fertilizers

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Usually, the Aloe Vera plants don’t need fertilizers, but you can add fertilizer to the regular plant care routine. Add fertilizer to the soil once a year in the spring. It is best to use a water-based phosphorus heavy fertilizer at half strength.

Replanting the Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plants also produce the new little plants that you can use for propagation. You can replant the new smaller plants in separate containers, or you can offer them to your friends. You can cut a few leaves of the plant by trimming them about 3 inches from the tips and put the cut ends in the potting mix in a container.

Not every new plant, but some of them will grow the small new leaves at their base. You need to wait for a few weeks until the new leaves grow a few inches, before repotting the plants or offering them to a friend.

Harvesting the Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera gel is used in many cosmetic products and home remedies. According to the Mayo Clinic, if the gel is applied on skin burns, it can shorten the time of healing of first and second-degree burns. You can cut an Aloe Vera leaf with a knife or blade close to the stem and take the gel from the cut end to apply on the sunburn or sore spot on the skin.

You can remove the skin of the cut leaf and use the gel to make a paste for using it on hair or skin. Aloe Vera gel is the ingredient used by many companies in their skin care products.

Final Words

Aloe Vera plant increases the visual appeal of your garden and indoors. Some people use it for medicinal purposes, but it should be used only under medical supervision. The tips mentioned in this post can help any individual to plant the Aloe Vera correctly and reap its benefits.

 

Things you need to know about Areca palms

Areca palms are one of the most popular plants used in home interiors across the world. They are native to Madagascar and naturally found in the islands. The best thing about the Areca palms is that they get acclimatized to the environment. This makes them perfect for growing the tropical regions with humid environments.

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These plants have beautiful lush green leaves, with long feathery fronds, which contain about 40 to 50 leaflets on it.  Areca palms are perfect to use for interior decoration in homes and offices.

How to grow Areca palm in your home

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are two ways to plant the Areca palm plants. Planting with seeds and growing from tiny plants. You can put multiple seeds in a pot, but growing the Areca palms from seeds is difficult, as seeds take at least six weeks to germinate. You can easily get the plants from a nursery and plant them in your pots in the yard or indoors.

Light and Watering

Areca palms need bright light for proper growth as they last longer when placed in direct sunlight. They also need adequate water, but they cannot tolerate the waterlogging or drenched over-drenched soil. You should let the soil completely dry between the watering sessions.

Soil mix and fertilizer

Areca palms need a peat based soil mix and adequate water drainage. Palms prefer good drainage to avoid the water logging of roots. You can use a weak liquid fertilizer once or twice in the growing season, but not in the winter season.

Propagation of Areca palms

It is difficult to find the seeds of Areca palms, but if you find them, you can germinate them at your home by planting them in a seed starting soil. The new green colored seeds have a slow germination rate than the mature orange seeds.

The germination of seeds requires high humidity and takes six weeks to germinate. That is why it is better to plant the grown-up plants than waiting for the seeds to germinate.  The best way to propagate the Areca palms is to divide the clumps and plant them in new containers.

Re-potting the Areca Palms

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Areca plants are often planted in clumps, and they grow very fast as compared to other plants. With the time they also form their own clusters which require you to re-pot them in the new containers. Whether you plant the indoor or outdoor, Areca palms need repotting every year. You need to be careful while re-potting, as a slight mistake can damage the root ball.

Maintenance and Care

The fastest way to kill an Areca palm is overwatering or inadequate drainage. You should provide them with proper drainage holes to prevent the over-drenched soil and water them less frequently in winters. Also, they need adequate light if planted indoors. You need to place them outdoors for a few hours every week in the winter season.

Potential Problems

The biggest problem that occurs with these plants is the root rotting. However, you can prevent the rotting of roots by offering adequate watering and drainage. Brown leaf tips can appear if the air is too dry which makes them susceptible to spider mites and bugs. In case of an infestation, wash the plant with insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests and move the plant to a more humid environment.

Final Words

Areca Palms not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of your home but also filters the air from the toxins. It removes the harmful chemicals from the environment which makes it a must-have plant in your home. Whether you plant Areca palm in your house or yard, taking adequate care can make them grow and accompany you for years.