When you do finally get your new garden planter filled with plants of all kinds and sorts it’s time to begin the routine job of taking care of them. Here are a few sections on the subject of plant care.
When watering your plant you want to make sure that you thoroughly saturate the soil, don’t just get the surface wet, really soak it. Properly cut drainage holes will allow excess water to seep out of the bottom of the pots.
If you aren’t sure how often to water your plants a good rule of thumb is to water them whenever the soil is lighter in color and feels dry and crumbly to the touch.
Some indoor gardeners swear by the special shower and soak maneuver. Every six to eight weeks place all of your potted plants in the shower and run room-temperature shower water on them.
It’s just like they are out in the rain. After the plants are a thoroughly soaked turn off the shower and fill the tub from the faucet until the pots are submerged in water, but not the plants.
Leave them for an hour and then drain. Put the pots somewhere shady until the plants are dry. Many believe their plants thrive by this method.
Here are three basic guidelines to follow in using plant food.
- Mix in plant food with the soil when first installing your new potted plants.
- When your plants are mature you can continue to add plant food every six weeks or so mixed with the water or in a dry form.
- If you decide to give dry plant food you should water your plants immediately after placing them in the soil to prevent burning the roots of your plant with the chemicals in the plant food
These simple steps should greatly reduce your plant food concerns.
Plants collect just as much dust as everything else in your home but don’t have the advantage of the rain to clean them off.
Use a bulb syringe filled with room temp. water to spritz off leaves and keep the dust off. If you have smoother leaved plants such as the Rubber plant you should wipe off the upper sides of the leaves with a damp cloth when cleaning.
Use a mild detergent or skim milk if the leaves appear to be watermarked, but make sure to rinse them off with water.
If leaves or stems happen to break it may be possible to repair them by tying a small piece of thread around the broken end and anchoring the string around a healthier part of the plant.
Make sure the break matches up and try not to move the plant too much. The plant may be able to heal itself around the break.
Diseases and Insects
Regular cleaning should keep out insects but can give your garden planters regular pest control every month or so to make sure they aren’t a problem.
If you do notice your plants have insects or appear to be diseased remove them from their planter and other plants so the problem doesn’t spread.
Here are a few types of plant symptoms and possible causes;
- White, gray, yellow, or brown spots on leaves are most likely mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria or viruses, too much plant food, overwatering or poor light.
- General defoliation suggests gas or a sudden change in temperature, transplant shock, or a change from sunlight to a dark place.
- Dying foliage from the base upward may also be a lack of light, improper watering, or high temperature, in addition to gas injury.
- Brown leaf tips suggest improper watering, and exposure to drafts, cold air, or insects. May also be caused by too much salt in the potting soil.
- Plant rot at the roots is limp foliage that looks as if it needs water.
Selecting and Arranging Plants in an Exterior Planter
All types of plants do well outdoors, however foliage plants do slightly better than flowering plants. You can choose between annuals and perennials. Annuals grow and bloom at regular times, while perennials can be irregular.
They can be started separately by seed but when transplanting can be put very closely together in a planter since they only last during the growing season. Annuals also have shallow roots so they do well in shallow planters.
Perennials can be arranged to give blooms throughout the growing season. They are deep-rooted and can exhaust the nutrients in their pots in one season. Annuals also need to go up in pot size every one to three years or at this time split into two smaller pots.
Some good perennials are English Daisies, Bleeding heart, Geraniums, and Tulips
Pay attention to the exterior of your house when picking out the plants to use in your planters. For brick use a green, white, or pale yellow color scheme in your flowers
For a white house/background, you can use all color types. Though large concentrated color clusters will go farthest in catching the eye from a distance.
Placing Plants in that Exterior Planter
There are three main types of growth in a planter. Tall plants are between 8 and 18 inches. They make a good background for the smaller plants. Medium growth in a planter works as a central decoration while low-growing plants in front work as a filler.
They can be groundcover such as Ivy. You may also wish to use smaller shrubs and trees in the very large stationary planters. They provide year-round décor and can be handy for a little shade on the patio.
You can keep a constant bloom in your exterior planter by keeping plants in pots and exchanging the pots in the planter when the bloom dies.
When placing potted plants inside the exterior garden planter you can cover the pots with a layer of pebbles or a layer of moss or vermiculite. This also works to keep the soil moist around the plants.
If you place the plants in soil within the garden planter remember to water plants thoroughly after planting, When growing annuals you can place the seeds directly into the soil of the planter at their proper depth and width from each other.
A good porous soil is good to use for your plants in the planter.
Make sure to add plant food to the soil when you are placing the plants and keep about one inch of space between the top of the soil and the top of the planter.
This way you will be able to really water the plants without spillage over the edge of the planter
Caring for Plants in the Exterior Planter
Exterior plants can require even more watering than those interior plants and especially those plants in open soil that will need daily watering to keep the soil from drying out in the sunshine.
Outdoor plants are more likely to freeze so the plants in the outdoor planters need to be well protected with lots of mulch or straw, burlap, or plastic cover.
To help your plants flower more you can pinch back the tips of your flowering plants such as the marigold.
This helps the plants put out new blooms and keeps them nice and compact.
If you have plants that are a little taller or have trouble staying upright you can tie them to wooden stakes to keep them straight and keep that garden planter looking neat and pretty.