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How-to : Fertilizing Houseplants
Houseplants may be fertilized with: 1. water-soluble, quick release fertilizers; 2. temperature controlled slow-release fertilizers; 3. or organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion. Water soluble fertilizers are used every
two weeks or per label instructions. Controlled, slow-release fertilizers are carefully worked into the soil usually only once during the growing season or per label directions. For organic fertilizers, such as fish emulsion, follow label directions. Allow houseplants to 'rest' during the winter months; stop fertilizing in late October and resume feeding in late February.
Conditions : Bright Light for Houseplants
Houseplants requiring bright light should be placed within 2 feet of an eastern or western exposure window or within 2 to 5 feet of a southern exposure window.
Conditions : Normal Watering for Houseplants
Houseplants that require normal watering should be watered so that soil is completely saturated and excess water runs out the bottom of the pot. Never water just a little bit; this allows mineral salts to build up in the soil. The key to normal watering is to allow the top inch or two of potting soil to dry out between waterings. Check frequently as certain times of the year may dictate that you water more frequently. Also, some plants that require normal watering during the growing season, may require less during the winter months when they are dormant.
How-to : Repotting Orchids
Potting Terrestrial Orchids Good drainage is
important. Mix 3 parts fibrous peat, 3 parts coarse
grit, 1 part perlite, and 1 part charcoal. Select a pot
that will accommodate roots and about 2 years growth,
but no more. Make sure that it has a drainage hole.
Hold the orchid over the pot so that the crown is just below the
rim of the pot. With your other hand, fill pot with
moistened soil mix, tamping to firm. There really is no
need to add crockery to the bottom of the pot, but
you may want to add a small square of wire mesh or
other permiable fabric over hole in bottom of pot.
Potting Epiphytic Orchids Epiphytes prefer
conditions where roots can be exposed, therefore,
tight pots and close-contact soil mixes do not work
well and will induce rot. Mix 3 parts dust-free,
medium-grade bark, 1 part coarse grit or perlite, 1
part charcoal, and 1 part peat moss together, OR use
a commercial orchid mix. As with the terrestrial
orchid, select a pot that will accommodate roots and
about 2 years growth, but no more. Make sure that it
has a drainage hole. Even better, select an orchid pot,
which has vertical slits down sides. Hold orchid over
pot so that crown is just below the rim of the pot.
With other hand, fill pot with moistened bark mix,
tamping to firm. Some epiphytes do not need to be
potted and prefer to grow on a mound or slab of
bark. Until roots attach, tie orchid in place with
fishing line. Constant humidity is a must.
Support Orchids that have long flower stalks will
need staking. Staking is best done as stem grows and
before buds open. Many growers prefer to insert
stake when potting orchid, but it is up to you.