GROWING plants is a very fulfilling hobby and there are many of us who have turned to it these days. Nurturing plants and seeing them thrive and flourish bring a kind of satisfaction and that special feeling of accomplishment.
Pointers on watering house plants
*Before watering house plants, stick your finger one-inch into the top soil and if it feels moist, delay watering.
*When watering house plants, use water at room temperature because a plant can be injured by cold water.
*The water you boil eggs in is filled with minerals and is a good “drink” for plants, or you can drop egg shells into a jar of water and cover it. Let set a day before watering. Do not store egg shells for any length of time because they will spoil and cause the worst odor.
*Old aquarium water and water in which fish has been frozen are good fertilizers.
*Leftover soft drinks has just the right chemicals to add vigor and color to your plants.
*Bulb plants should always be watered from the bottom. Fill a saucer or kitchen sink with water and let the plant sit on it.
*Watering ferns with weak tea will perk them up.
*To keep indoor plants growing straight, rotate the pots a quarter of a turn frequently so they absorb the sunlight evenly. Plants always lean toward the strongest light.
*For good drainage use broken clay pot, fruit pits, charcoal, marbles or stones at the bottom of the pots.
Solutions to plant problems
*Aphids & Spiders: Wash the plant with mild detergent and water.
*Black flies: Water the soil with ½ tablespoon of plain ammonia in one quart of water.
*White flies: Spray on the leaves two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in one gallon of water.
*Scales: For instant removal of slugs, place plant in a pot of water.
*Pests of all kinds: Plant a garlic clove along with your plant. As it grows, simply keep cutting it down so it will not disturb the appearance of the plant. Garlic will not harm the plant, but the bugs hate it.
Cleaning plant leaves
*Wipe the leaves with soft cloth or dust with a feather duster.
*To get gloss on the leaves of your plants, put a few drops of glycerine on a cloth and swab the leaves with it.
*A half and half mixture of milk and water also makes a fine solution for glossing leaves.
Flowers mean love, happiness, peace and beauty... so goes a line. Yes, we all love flowers because they bring color to our lives, brighten our day, uplift our spirits, and most of all make us see and appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. It’s just too bad that flowers wilt in time and then lose their magic. However, for cut flowers, there are some ways of making them last longer...
*Flower stems are best cut under water so no air bubbles can form to stop the free flow of water into the stem. In this regard, be sure to cut at an angle with a very sharp knife or scissors.
*The ends of thick stems should be split before putting them in a vase because split ends give stems a better chance to absorb moisture.
*Leaves below the waterline must be removed as decaying vegetable matter poisons the water.
*To lengthen the life of fresh cut flowers, aspirin tablets and ice cubes are used, but the best preservative is two tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of cane sugar in a quart of water. The vinegar prevents the growth of organisms while the sugar serves as food.
*Flowers will last longer if not crowded in the vase.
*To revive wilted flowers, cut end stems and place in hot water. Let them rest in a dark place until water cools. Then transfer into cold water.
*To add length to short stemmed flowers, slip stems into drinking straws before placing in the vase.
*To keep water from clouding in a clear vase, add one tablespoon of liquid bleach to one quart of water.
*Hold long-stemmed flowers erect in a tall wide-mouthed vase by crisscrossing transparent tape across the top.