Opinion

Helpful hints for getting your houseplants to grow

Spring is a good time to not only get your yard into shape but to care for your houseplants as well.

When was the last time you re-potted your plant? Just the other day I noticed my aloe plant looked sickly. The poor thing was pretty root bound.

After putting it in a new pot with some fresh soil it was alive again. Houseplants often get ignored and get the least amount of care.

There are so many plants available, and finding the right one is the hardest part. Like outdoor gardening, indoor gardening has different microclimates to work with as well. Do some research in what you want before you buy. Like their outdoor cousins, they too can get attacked by bugs and get hit with different diseases.

If you get a gift of a nice plant keep the tag or look it up and read up on its needs. If you don’t have a plant, you have to get one. Plants give off oxygen and what better way to get some than from a nice beautiful plant. I like to re-pot to a size up and with fresh organic potting mix. I wouldn’t use outdoor compost.

They make special mixes for different plants. Like African violet mix for African violets. Cactus mix for cacti. There is a general mix for all others. And when you get done re-potting, water. Be careful watering the foliage of some plants like African Violets. It would be a good idea to fertilize your houseplants with a good organic houseplant food. Read the label.  I like to use a diluted dose.

Did you start some seeds indoors? Did the little ones come up? It is about time to acclimate them to the outdoors. To do this put them outside in the morning in a protected area. Bring it in at night. Do that for about a week or so. Then it should be safe to leave them outdoors. To be safe on some plants have a floating row cover handy. Just in case a frost is in the forecast.

Reader question:

Q. Do you have to have a license to apply chemicals organically?

A. Yes, state law requires anyone who applies chemicals to another person’s yard to carry a state pesticide license. It is the law, and if you get caught without, it can carry a fine up to $7,500.00 dollars.

For all people working out there please get licensed, for consumers please check to see anyone you hire not only have a pesticide license but also be a licensed contractor.

Go to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries to see if the person is registered with the state and is licensed, bonded, and insured.

Happy Gardening!

 

 

You can reach Gardener Joe at besthands@aol.com.

 

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