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Author Topic: The Plant Thread  (Read 30633 times)

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Offline Beth3346

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #765 on: March 19, 2024, 02:05:17 PM »
BC, what do they recommend as an alternative? Miracle Grow is the most available where i live.
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Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #766 on: March 19, 2024, 03:38:12 PM »
Everyone says Fox Farm is the best. You can find it on Amazon. It's more expensive. Ocean Forest is the one for houseplants and there's a veggie blend and cactus/succulent blend. They also make fertilizer.
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Offline Beth3346

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #767 on: March 19, 2024, 05:29:28 PM »
ouch. it's almost 4 times more than the Miracle Grow at Home Depot.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #768 on: March 19, 2024, 05:47:41 PM »
You could try mixing the composts, I suppose...

It's difficult to advise about stuff like that from over here, but I've had some issues with miracle grow stuff as well. The soil we use most for plants is an organic mix from a garden centre online. I don't know if that's an option/if there may be a local garden centre that might have an option that's reasonable like that in your respective states. Not sure if that's a thing in the US.

I have five very healthy datura seedlings. Unfortunately my seed-pod-ectomy rescues haven't done so well. One has died, the other is struggling. It was a risk because the stems were starting to blacken when I took the pods off - but maybe I left them too long.

Still, the one that got a bent stem is now doing fine. Still has its supports, and is actually growing up them (lol) but is keeping pace with the unhurt ones.

I had a verbena seedling but it didn't make it either. I may have another coming through...not sure yet.

Seedlings are so delicate. And I always want to save them all...

@BC, I'm sorry about your polkadot plants. I know I've had those in the past, though it was a long time ago. They used to live on them windowsill, and they didn't need a lot of care iirc. I think the water measuring device is a great idea. I would try with the polkadots again, if you feel like you want to. You might just have been unlucky with the plants you had - possibly damaged in transit?

One other thing you can do to improve the drainage in a potted plant is add gravel or maybe sand...my Dad has actually used packing materials before like polystyrene pellets which also seems to work, or crockery (so if you have a broken cup or some other ceramic thing, putting some small broken pieces in the bottom of the pot, before putting the soil and plant in, can help prevent water pooling in the bottom and not draining properly. That might help with your plants that have too much water going on.

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Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #769 on: March 19, 2024, 08:01:52 PM »
Thanks, Taffeta. I knew that about the rocks, but I didn't use any.

Beth, you could definitely mix them. Like just get one bag of the Fox Farm and add it to the MG.
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Offline Beth3346

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #770 on: March 20, 2024, 05:04:41 AM »
yeah that's a good idea. i'm going to order some for my new potted plants and mix the potting soils together. i'm getting some new herbs and some fruit trees that i plan to put in pots. we're working on finishing the flower bed in the backyard. and also finishing the rock garden/potted plant areas. we had a more mild winter with only one hard freeze. no ice storms or snow this year. so the plants made it through the winter outside.

i'm also getting some additional boxwood shrubs to plant along the fence, some snap dragons, roses, and gardenias. and a couple of juniper trees for privacy. i'm also getting an eastern redbud to plant in the yard. i see a lot of them around. i really wanted a cherry tree because they're so beautiful but unfortunately they're very poisonous to dogs and i don't have room in the front yard for one. my husband is going to be in charge of watering.

eventually i want to get some raised beds for growing vegetables. but i'm not sure if i have the room. also, i need to get better at caring for plants before i take on more. maybe next year.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 05:38:01 AM by Beth3346 »
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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #771 on: March 20, 2024, 06:04:17 AM »
In sweden we can buy these little ceramic marbles to be put in the bottom of the pots for drainage. I also use crushed ceramics in the larger pots.


I replanted the chilli seeds a couple of days ago. No show yet. I'm starting to think I go a bad bag of seeds.

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #772 on: March 20, 2024, 06:07:36 AM »
From the beach, we use shells. Cheap, easy, and we always have way more than we need.
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Offline Beth3346

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #773 on: March 20, 2024, 06:26:43 AM »
is it ok if the ceramics have some glazing? i have a pot that's falling apart but it's glazed.
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Offline Ponyfan

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #774 on: March 20, 2024, 03:51:32 PM »
I haven't tried it myself, but I've heard that you can cut up foam pool noodles from the Dollar Tree and use them for drainage.  I might get one or two when Dollar Tree puts out their Summer toys again.

Miracle Grow is everywhere where I am too.  I've heard it works better for outside plants. 

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My poor Ficus.  I tried to see if I could gently take it out of the pot to check the roots, but I didn't have any luck.  The soil under the moss was completely dry though. I sprayed under the moss hoping that will help. 


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Please overlook my fingers.  I was trying to show of the tiny strawberry.

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You can't see if in the picture, but there is new growth that is growing sideways.


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« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 07:25:23 PM by Ponyfan »
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #775 on: March 20, 2024, 04:42:27 PM »
@Beth, the glazing shouldn't matter. Whatever you use for drainage, the point is to create some space between the soil and the base of the pot for the water to run through. Also making sure the pots have decent drainage holes in the bottom (or inner pots if you have it in a pot within a pot, if that makes sense) helps, sometimes pots only have one hole in the middle vs several...

Foam pellets can definitely be used as drainage. Although my dragon tree did not like that kind of drainage, I had to repot it and some of the roots had grown through it and rotted, so it's entirely on old crock pot bits now. It's doing much better since then.

In small pots, though, packing material and stuff like that is probably fine. There are plenty of things you can use without having to buy expensive gravel or whatever.

This is a really bad picture as it's dark outside here (artificial light ftw) but here's my plant-messy windowsill as it currently is...
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The spider plant in the middle is Maggie, the one that self-rooted itself a couple of summers ago. As you can see she is both huge and exploring everyone else around her. She's the one that likes to make friends.

There's another behind the curtain and one the far end. The one the far end I think is the oldest. It's definitely more than twenty.

I need to cut the runners on the spider plants, but I like when they flower, so I'm waiting for that to finish first.

Between Maggie and that plant are the seedlings, in yogurt pots in the wasabi trays *lol* you can just about see the little green leaves.

On the other side of Maggie is the Streptocarpus, Bethan (actual type name is Bethan, that's what her label says), with the purple flowers.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 04:49:01 PM by Taffeta »
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Offline Beth3346

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #776 on: March 20, 2024, 07:38:05 PM »
cool. i'll try adding the ceramic pieces when i pot my new plants. i was bummed that pot started to fall apart so i'm happy to give it a second life :)

your plants look really nice Taffeta :) i love the way you talk about them.
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Offline Taffeta

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #777 on: March 21, 2024, 04:36:56 AM »
Thank you!

Just to note that adding ceramic or stone or whatever for drainage can be done for any potted plant, internal or external. Though with bigger, heavier plants, it's worth checking if there's a particular thing that suits them best.

I will try and get a photo of my dragon tree sometime. He is looking a lot more like a tree now.

In the summer, a lot of the plants go outside, including the spider plants, and the ones downstairs that overwinter with Nik (the dragon tree) in the dining room. During the winter, Nik always does a lot of growing - I think he's competing with my fuchsia for who can be the tallest. In the summer, when they all go out, he tends to struggle. I know the direct hot sunlight doesn't suit him, but I haven't found a perfect solution to that yet. Still trying to work out what to do with him this year when the others go out, as he doesn't.

...Apparently I'm banned from buying him a friend ;) I do think he is happier when there are other plants around, though.

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Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #778 on: March 21, 2024, 11:56:11 AM »
Your plants are lovely, Taffeta! I'm glad to finally see them :)

My spider plant was doing poorly when he was alone, but when I moved him to the group by the window he really perked up.
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Offline Beldarna

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Re: The Plant Thread
« Reply #779 on: March 22, 2024, 09:15:52 AM »
I'm not sure Ponyfan but it lookes like the top of the twigs of the ficus are green? Thats a good sign. What happens if you bend the twigs a little? If they're alive they should bend easily, if it's dead and the twigs dry they should snap.


I love the windowsill Taffeta! It looks so yummy! Lovley!

 

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