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Here’s to Houseplants (part 2)

In addition to containers and potting mix needed for healthy houseplants, there are other variables that need to be taken into consideration. All plants need the basic elements of soil, water and light to grow in your home garden.

Water and humidity

Dwarf Banana Fruit Tree from Gurney'sI like to use rainwater or distilled water because it is free of minerals and other chemicals. But if you use tap water, just let it sit for a few days to let the chlorine dissipate. Chemical fertilizers can also add minerals and salts to the soil. Instead, I use an all-natural fertilizer for all of my plants, but you should check the recommendations for the specific variety you are growing. If your plants already have white or crusty deposits on the soil surface or on the pot from mineral buildup, give it a good drenching soak and let the excess water drain completely in a sink or tub.

Overwatering can kill your houseplants as fast as anything. On watering day, I stick my finger into the dirt; if the soil is still moist, I don’t water. I also empty any standing water that collects in the saucers so that the plants don’t have “wet feet”.

Houseplants also like humidity. And in the winter, it can be too dry indoors with the furnace running. Some plants I keep on a tray of pebbles that are kept moist to provide some humidity. But for some of the larger plants and hanging baskets, I mist with a spray bottle.

6 comments to Here’s to Houseplants (part 2)

  • Rosalie Doss

    I have had a yellow tree peony replaced once with another this spring,and have planted it in a pot w/excellent garden soil,compost,peat,vermiculite,but now although it had 5 eyes and shot out brances with leaves,the leafs are beginning to curl and look wilted.I have planted other tree peonies this way,and 4 others that I planted at the same time in the same way are thriving.What can I do now to rescue this peony?It doesn’t make sense to have this replaced every year by Guerneys.Last year when I ordered the same tree peony from guerneys,I received the tree with mold on the stem and thought that if I planted it right away,it would recover however it slowly died and that is the reason for this replacement.I love the thought of having a beautiful yellow tree peony in my garden but am having a difficult time with this one.

  • Rosina Shack

    Good morning, I ordered two (2( sets of dwarf fruit trees in February. The check has been cashed but I have not heard anything from you. When will I receive my order?

  • I am sorely disappointed by Gurney’s. After a month they still have not sent me my book they had promised me with an order. Payment has been made and still not book. Another ripoff of the consumer by a corporation that has no intention of fulfulling its promise to its customers.

  • I always have an tendency to over-water my houseplants. I think I’m a little too eager to be involved with looking after them.

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