[indoor-gardening] INDOOR GARDENING : GARDENING: Kinzler: A Beginner’s Guide to Houseplant Care

 

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INDOOR GARDENING :

GARDENING:

Kinzler: A Beginner’s Guide to Houseplant Care

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Kinzler: A Beginner’s Guide to Houseplant Care

By Don Kinzler

Grand Forks Herald

http://www.grandforksherald.com/columns/ 4157342-kinzler-beginners-guide-houseplant-care

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j88xp5q

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Choosing plants: Begin with easy-to-care-for types that are adaptable and reliable. Try peace lily, pothos, spider plant, aloe, sansevieria snake plant, Chinese evergreen, peperomia, cast iron plant, dieffenbachia, philodendron, English ivy and Swedish ivy.

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Understanding light: Some plants require more light to flourish than others. Observe your windows at different times of day. Is the light full-bore sunshine, or more indirect light? What direction do windows face? Will plants be located directly in front of a window, or inside the room? Are high-light or low-light plant types required?

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Light changes with each season. Plants that appreciate winter’s weaker sunshine might resent intense summer sunshine streaming through a window.

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Pots and containers: Choose pots with drainage holes so excess water will drain away. Clear plastic drainage dishes are handy and widely sold. If pots are enclosed inside decorative covers, it’s difficult to see excess drainage that requires disposal. Beginners might find that simple flower pots are easier to manage than elaborate containers. Terra cotta clay pots that can breathe are more forgiving of watering mistakes than plastic or glazed ceramic containers.

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Pot size: Pots are usually measured across the top diameter, rather than depth. If a pot is too large, houseplants can wallow in too much soil. If plants are purchased in small pots, or if a plant has outgrown its pot, increase the pot size gradually. Step up to a pot that gives an extra inch of space on each side of the current soil. For example, an overgrown plant in a 4-inch pot could be upgraded to a 6-inch pot, a 6-inch pot to an 8-inch, etc.

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Potting mix: The greatest outdoor garden soil performs poorly in pots when used straight. The old rule of thumb suggests combining equal parts loamy soil, peat moss and aggregate such as perlite (looks like white beads) or vermiculite (golden flake-like material).

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Packaged potting mixes are convenient and often yield greater houseplant success than homemade mixes. Avoid heavy, cheap potting “soils” in favor of high-quality types like Miracle Gro Potting Mix or one recommended by locally owned garden centers. Potting mix can make or break houseplant success. Moisten dry mixes the day before using by adding water to the bag and stirring. Overly dry mixes can be difficult to wet after planting.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[indoor-gardening] INDOOR GARDENING : GARDENING: Kinzler: A Beginner’s Guide to Houseplant Care

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