It has been a huge concern for all the people staying in apartments/ flats/buildings – The water dripping from the pots! For those that are not worried about dripping .. it is about their Balcony and Terrace floor getting wet. I understand. But before I tell you some quick fix solutions, I want you to understand that the water that drains out, is excess water, which means you have been watering the plants in excess and you have to reduce the quantity of water.
Option 1: Use Trays – Very obvious I know but still many don’t use it.
Option 2: Use self-watering Pots – With Self watering Pots, you just need to water the plants once in a week. (Between 4-10 days). Excess water is stored and does not leak/drip.
Option 3: Use Bottles – I know I have spoken about it in my previous post but you can use this trick here as well. This one here is slightly different than yesterdays.
Option 4: Water them in intervals – Assume your plant needs 200 ml of water daily. So instead of watering it with 200 ml all at once, you can water 100 ml twice in a day or 70 ml thrice in a day. If this sounds very tedious, you can make use of drip irrigation as well.
Understanding the Water Requirements: Water requirements of plants depends on its size and the season. More water is required in Summer and very less in Monsoon. Also more the flowers and fruits, more the water requirement. Water holding capacity of the soil also makes a difference. Loam can hold more water than sandy soil. So all I want to tell you is observe the plants and soil while watering them. In a week or ten days, you’ll get a hang of it.
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I have a very different approach when it comes to fighting pests. I believe, if your plants are healthy, they have a strong resistance towards pests. However if you have NOT been regular with adding your compost, the plants turn weak due to reduced supply of nutrients; thereby having a lower immunity which makes them vulnerable to attacks by Pests.
So the Golden rule is to keep your plant healthy with regular supply of compost. I believe in curing the infected plant by giving plants additional dose of Compost.
Rule No.2 says don’t have same plants besides each other. Different plants attract different pests. So if the same plants are not positioned next to each other, there is a very rare chance of spreading the pests. So only one of the plant gets infected.
Rule No 3: Wait patiently for the plant to fight the pest on its own. Human intervention is not always required.
Rule No 4: Take special care during change of season. Plants are mostly attacked by pests when there is a change of season. So in the last month of a particular season, add generous quantity of compost than you usually do. This enables plants to fight the stress caused by the changing season and the pests.
Rule No 5: In case you want to use any pesticide, use an organic one! Cow urine, Neem Extract and Sour Buttermilk are great pesticides!!
I have been asked by many of my readers as to what is wrong with their plant because the
- The plant does not have flowers or the flowers wither before blooming
- The plant got infected or there are white spots visible on the plant
- The plant looks unhealthy and is drying up very quickly
To solve the above problems we will have to first identify their causes:
Whenever you buy plants from any plant nursery/ seller, please understand that those plants have been supplemented with lots of chemical fertilizers. It is because of these chemical fertilizers that you see those wonderful flowers blooming and many a buds on the plant. The effect of these chemical fertilizers stays for about 1-3 months. Now what happens once you have bought these plants:
- The chemical fertilizers have killed all the microbes present in the soil. The soil is now devoid of any nutrients.
- To this plant you have not added any fertilizer/compost.
- With no nutrients available, the plant first stops flowering. Then slowly it develops a weak immunity to resist pests and other diseases.
- The plant either gets infected or it just dries up.
Once you have bought the plant, immediately while potting it, add Organic Compost to it. For initial 6 months keep adding compost, every month, to the soil. Once you have added organic compost for 6 months the soil has abundant supply of nutrients. You will see the plant flowering as well as being healthy. It will now have a very strong immune system and it will fight any pest on its own. You will not need any pesticide or insecticide. After 6 months you can add compost once in 2 months and then gradually after a year, once in 3 months. I sincerely request you, please do not use any chemical fertilizers for your plant!
I hope this answers your questions. If not, please do contact me here.
Like any being on this planet, plants too have three major requirements:
All of the above should be available to the plant in the soil. I repeat, the SOIL should contain adequate amount of air, water and nutrients for the roots to absorb and grow.
Inadequacy of any of these leads to STRESS thereby resulting in a not-so-healthy plant. Hence it is a gardener’s prime duty to ensure that the plants receive all of these. This can be ensured only when one understands and studies the types of soil thoroughly.
Don’t worry!! I had assured you that I’ll not be using any technical terms nor will I get too deep into the technicalities! The following is a simplified version of soil study!
Soil is majorly classified into three categories:
- Clay soil
- Sandy soil
- Loam soil
This is a simplified classification. The rest of the soil types are nothing but different proportions of clay, sand and silt!!