What is wrong with my plant?

IMG_20160428_101316I 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:

  1. The chemical fertilizers have killed all the microbes present in the soil. The soil is now devoid of any nutrients.
  2. To this plant you have not added any fertilizer/compost.
  3. With no nutrients available, the plant first stops flowering. Then slowly it develops a weak immunity to resist pests and other diseases.
  4. The plant either gets infected or it just dries up.

SOLUTION:

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.

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UNDERSTANDING STRESS

cropped-dsc00532.jpgLike any being on this planet, plants too have three major requirements:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Nutrients

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:

  1. Clay soil
  2. Sandy soil
  3. Loam soil

This is a simplified classification. The rest of the soil types are nothing but different proportions of clay, sand and silt!!

Going 100% Organic

By Organic, I mean 0% use of any chemicals. Making our garden chemical-free. Chemicals are mainly used in fertilizers and pesticides.

I believe in going 100% natural i.e. organic. I will be explaining in detail about organic compost and composting techniques in my upcoming articles.

We will now understand what happens when we use chemical fertilizers:

Chemical fertilizers once mixed with the soil do give the desired output. However they destroy the microbial ecosystem (microbes and other organic life like insects and fungi) that live within the soil. With destruction of the organic life, the soil slowly turns impotent and becomes dependent on these chemical fertilizers forever.

From the plants’ perspective, growing in such chemically treated soil, the plants develop a very weak immune system and are not in a position to resist pests! They get affected immediately by the pests and diseases!! To protect such weak plants from pests they are further sprayed with hazardous chemical pesticides and insecticides. These pesticides along with killing the pests also kill the honeybees and other useful insects that help in pollination.

Going 100% organic is the first step towards sustainable living. With growing awareness, there are lot of organic manure and pesticide available in the market. We can easily use these instead of the chemical ones. In my upcoming articles, I’ll be discussing in detail about composting and fighting pests in an organic way!!

How to begin

If you have any space in and around your house which receives sunlight for at least 3 hours in a day, is an ideal place to start.

A balcony/ open terrace/ window grill are ideal places to start!

 

If you do not have a space constraint, I would suggest you start with one or two Rose plants. Rose plants require a pot size of minimum 6 inches and a maximum of 10 inches. It is best to choose a Rose plant with strong stem formation. Rose is a sturdy perennial plant.  It flowers throughout all seasons.

If you have a space constraint where in you cannot fit in big plants like Rose, I would suggest you to go for small flowering plants like Chrysanthemum and Marigold (dwarf variety) in a pot size of 3-4inches.

Flowering plants are the best ones to start with as they require very low maintenance as well as they give us lot of scope to learn.

The plants need to be watered regularly (daily). Different plants have different water requirements. Excessive watering creates equal stress on a plant as inadequate watering. I will be discussing about different plant stresses in detail in my upcoming articles.