Plants add a natural beauty to their surroundings. Some plants can also produce stunning and fragrant blossoms or sweet tasting fruits and berries, and many plants improve air quality as well. Growing plants requires proper care and maintenance to ensure the plants thrive for many seasons to come.
Plants require light to develop, but not all plants need the same amount. Understand the needs of the specific type of plant you want to grow, whether you are growing it indoors or outside. Place your plants near a window inside, and turn the pots frequently to maintain an even distribution of light. Read the markers on any plants you purchase, and always supply the amount of light suggested. Locate sun-loving plants in sunny locations and shade-loving ones in shady spots.
Remember to supply the proper amounts of water for your plants at all times. The amount each of your plants needs will also vary, depending on several factors. Plants grown in small pots, dark containers, certain materials (clay) and in dry environments will require more frequent watering than those in the opposite settings. A good rule-of-thumb concerning watering is to supply an inch of water weekly to all outdoor plants, and check the soil to a depth of one inch for all potted plants, and then add water until it drains from the bottom.
Plants need nutrients to grow. Adding fertilizers to your growing plants will ensure the plants get these vital nutrients. Use a basic fertilizer for all your plants or purchase special types for specific plants, such as palms, roses and so on. Always read and follow the directions on the packaging and remember that more is not better in the case of fertilizers. If you over fertilizer your plants, you can burn them and even kill them. Outdoor plants may survive with a little over fertilization since the plant’s soil is not so confined, but it is always better to give less.
The growing media for your plants needs to provide proper drainage and allow root growth and should be able to hold nutrients and water. Supply all of your plants with the best quality of soil (or soilless mixes) that you can. Mix your own growing medium for any potted plants using peat moss, sand, vermiculite or perlite, if you prefer. Prior to planting, add organic matter, such as compost and aged manure, to the planting areas of any plants growing outside in permanent locations to enrich the soil.
Repot any plants using top-quality soil every season or when the plants outgrow their containers. Use a container one size bigger or at least two inches larger than the previous one. Prune away any damaged, frail or weak branches, leaves and stems from your growing plants. Pinch off flowers or trim stems to encourage growth or to shape the plants. Check all over the plants on a regular basis for signs of any pests or disease and treat the problem immediately to prevent spreading.