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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Don't Make the BIG Houseplant Mistake

I was grateful to receive a pineapple, courtesy of Esbee recently. The plant arrived very healthy, and I hope to keep it that way although I know next to nothing about pineapple culture other than it likes bright light. But I do know this: the cute containers many florists provide -you know those handy baskets or faux pots with that bladder like lining- will ensure almost certain plant death. Why? Because the same material which prevents water from damaging your furniture will trap water and drown your houseplants in short order.

The first thing I did was to remove the plant from the death bladder. It will be re-potted at some point in a glazed pot with a drain hole placed on a tray and NEVER let to stand in water. Also NEVER put stones in the bottom of the pot or use anything other than a good quality potting soil. Don't use yard dirt. It will not drain properly and will increase the chance of a soil borne disease. Standing in water for an extended period will kill most plants by either rotting the roots or drowning whichever comes first. Far more plants are killed by over watering than by under watering.

By providing the correct lighting requirements, letting the soil almost dry completely between watering to keep the soil barely moist to the touch, feeding it with a balanced slow release fertilizer only during the active growing season, you should be good to go. Since most houseplants are tropical it's a good idea to move houseplants outdoors in summer to let them have something close to normal (humid) growing conditions with more frequent watering.
- Yarddawg
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