Growing Potted Plants

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Having potted plants around the home provides lovely decoration and a healthy atmosphere. Not only do many indoor plants help ‘scrub’ the air, but the sight of healthy growing things provides a nice mental lift as well.

But there are a number of challenges presented by potted plants.

Selecting the proper sized pot for an indoor plant requires substantial research. Keeping the soil at the right level of moisture and needed nutrients is tricky. And, providing enough sunlight without burning the leaves or overheating the soil takes knowledge of your species and experimentation. Add to those necessary plant-care activities a needed flair for design and you have a task that can befuddle many indoor gardening enthusiast.

Those challenges can be lessened by picking different species, which also increases the beauty that comes from variety.

Select a few that need no fertilizer and not much watering. That satisfies your goal of having several plants around, but keeps down the amount of needed effort to have an indoor garden. Mix a few cacti in. Add a Spider Plant that needs practically no attention. Then you’ll have room in your schedule for those other beautiful species that need a little more care.

The pot you select has to be right for good growth, but you want it to be right for your home as well. Color, shape, size and material all count. The plant you select can vary in size, leaf design, color and other attributes. With all that, the choice becomes an exercise in interior decorating.

For those bright, open corners a larger plant is often the best choice. A medium pot on a tall stand filled with a Sansevieria is a good choice. Or, you can go with a palm that will provide shade both for the home and for other, smaller plants arrayed underneath.

Re-potting will be needed every couple of years for most potted plants. Some bonsai, properly pruned and wired, can stay in the same pot for years. But most houseplants will outgrow a pot. If you have several plants around the home, a substantial task can lay ahead if they all require re-potting at around the same time.

Stage out your work by growing some from seeds or cuttings, buying others at different levels of development, and varying the species in terms of growth rate. That will even out the number that have to be dealt with in any given year. By careful selection of the type of plant, you can re-pot some just before Spring, while others can wait until Fall.

Varying the species has another advantage. If you carefully select different types of flowering plants, for example, you can stage out the blooming period so you have flowers for a longer portion of the year.

Very few flowering plants bloom all year. Some will flower in the early Spring, others in mid-summer, and some even wait until a little later in the year. By varying the species, you will provide color and scent that varies. You can have a profusion of lovely flowers that brighten up the home for six to eight months in most climates.

Mix it up and you’ll find the effort needed to maintain an indoor garden is very mild.

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