Tips for keeping your flowers and plants from dying
Late Spring and early Summer are great times to roll up your sleeves, get in the dirt, and start growing some beautiful plants and flowers around your home. Here are a few tips as to how to keep your flowers as beautiful as the day you picked them up from the nursery! Follow the below and you should have great looking plants from May through September.
Water, water, everywhere
It's no big surprise that plants need water to survive, but we often take for granted just how frequently we should be watering our plants. On the hottest days, most plants will need to be watered more than once per day to make sure they don't wilt or lose their flowers. On the other hand, it's just as bad to over water a plant as it can cause "root rot," a condition where plants can grow fungus and disease and lose their healthy looks.
Here's a couple of tips to ensure that your plants are getting the right amount of water:
- Water everything at least once a day when there has been no rain. No matter what the plant, a little drink each day helps ensure that a plant is getting enough water. You will want to provide some additional watering TLC to plants that are in the sun all day and plants that tend to need lots of water, such as sun patiens. Make sure you give a little extra care to your flowers if you live in a drier climate.
- Plants in containers need more water than plants in the ground. Plants in pots, planters, flower boxes, and hanging structures cannot hold the amount of water at one time that root systems firmly in the ground can. As such, you may want to water these plants slightly more frequently than those that you would water in the ground.
- Plants in containers also need the ability to drain out. In order to prevent over watering your plant, and to avoid "root rot," make sure that plants placed in pots or containers have a way to drain out (such as holes in the bottom of the pot). If you happen to give your plant too much water at one time, this will allow the plant to spill out the excess water so that it takes in just the right amount of moisture.
- Check the weight. If a plant feels heavy an hour after watering, it's likely retained a lot of the moisture that you've provided previously. If the plant feels light, it's drying up - time to give it a douse!
Plants get hungry too!
It's common knowledge that need water to survive, but many people forget that they need to eat, too! Plants that aren't fed may yellow due to a lack of nutrients. Before you begin to picture a "Little Shop of Horrors" moment, here are a few tips to make sure that your plant gets what it needs:
- Feed your plant a fertilizer, such as Miracle Gro, once every two-three weeks. Miracle Gro is easy to find at any home or garden store. Follow the directions on the box (make sure to mix accordingly) and provide a "serving" of the mixture to your plants every few weeks to ensure they remain healthy. Be sure not to "overfeed" your plants (via too many doses or too potent a dose) as it can "burn" plants (turn the leaves brown).
- Feed your plants in the late afternoon or evening. On the days you do feed your plants, place fertilizer in the plant in the late afternoon or evening. This will keep the water in the mixture from evaporating, and will allow the plant to drink the mixture with out the risk of overfeeding.
- Put fertilizer in the soil versus on the plant. Plant food is absorbed through the roots of a flower, not the leaves. Try to make sure that food is placed correctly to maximize uptake.
With these tips, you should be able to keep your plants thriving well into early fall. Of course, it's important to ensure that the plants you are choosing not only are well maintained, but also are placed in the right growing conditions. For more information, please see: Selecting the best Flowers for any Climate or Enviornment.