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Help For Your Plants in Winter

January 10, 2018

 

Hi fellow gardeners!!  

Here are some suggestions on how to care  of your plants  during the winter months.  Winter temperatures indoors can often be very high, especially in apartment buildings where customers tell me the high temperatures are “killing” them as well as their plants.   My suggestions are based on how I have cared for my plants when I lived in an apartment with the stifling heat and now in a house. where I can now adjust the temps and believe it or not, plants, do much better in cold temperatures and less likely to get bugs which are air born.  PLANTS DEPISE HIGH INDOOR TEMPERATURES AND LITTLE TO NO HUMIDITY.  What can you do to improve conditions?  In an apartment where you cannot regulate the heat, open the TOP of your windows where you feel comfortable or either put your plants on a tray of pebbles and add HOT WATER to the pebble tray as often as possible.  This will give your plants more humidity or you can put them in a clear plastic bag with the top slightly open.  Try both methods and decide which one is best for you and your plants.  Please REMEMBER that plants naturally grow outdoors, and when we bring them in for the winter or any time of the year, we are putting them in a “hostile” environment as my husband, Peter always said. I told Peter that hostile is a very negative word  If you really think about it, plants want the humidity they normally get outside  in the growing season, and even though summer temps  can get very high, that’s ok because this heat is NOT DRY HEAT, and they also get the humidity and wind and cool temps at night. Therefore, we have to do everything we can to keep our plants during the winter months, and the same for them the whole year thru.  So, what is best for our plants during the winter.  Since we do not get much sun with the short daylight hours, try using fluorescent plant lights.  Electricity used is much less than a 60 watt regular bulb.  Also, look on our Facebook or Instagram site and you’ll see pictures of my plants all with captions.  Remember not to water your plants when the TOP OF THE SOIL IS DRY.  That soil is exposed to the air and dries out quickly, but that doesn’t mean the plants need water.  The roots are the most important part of the plant, and if they are still wet, the plants do NOT want water.  So, how do you know when the roots need water?  This is the advice we explain to our customers.  If the bottom leaves feel firm and if the leaves have a shine, NO water.  For small plants, you can put your index finger all the way to the bottom, and if it’s barely damp, then WATER thoroughly with fertilizer EVERY time you water.  If it’s a larger plant, feel the holes on the bottom, if possible, and again water only when soil is barely damp with fertilizer.  If you can’t do that, try putting a bamboo stake to the bottom, and if the stake has soil on it when you take it out, that means the plant DOES NOT NEED WATER.  IF NO SOIL is on the stake, that usually means the plant wants water.  I always say, “If in doubt, wait an extra day or two.”  You can always bring the plant to us if you’re unsure if your plant needs water,  and we will definitely be able to help you and advise you, and you’ll be able to tell when a plant needs water.  Generally speaking what plants want and deserve are the proper lighting, aerated soil (we’ve been our own soils for over 40 years as almost every commercial soil is either mostly peat moss or the soil is very heavy or it has fungus gnats in it.) Last, but not least, please remember to fertilize your plants every time you water all year round.  In addition, if you want to become a “professional” like we are, try our cocktail of 3 parts…20-20-20 fertilizer, additive Verde and hormone Superthrive for foliage plants and 10-30-20, Ginormous and Superthrive for flowering plants.  YOU WILL DEFINITELY SEE  A DIFFERENCE IN GROWTH AND LUSHNESS.  ALWAYS FEEL FREE TO COME IN FOR ADVICE AND , OF COURSE, NEVER  A  CHARGE.

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