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This is my day to water my house plants , a task I enjoy because no matter what the weather outside I have something growing and blooming on my window sills. I don’t have any of the fancy ones that require special care because no matter how careful I am they do not thrive for me.
So I’m going to talk about the common garden variety plants that respond to casual care.
One rule I try to follow for my plants is to fertilize them from January through September and then let them rest for a bit. The brand name for the fertilizer I use is Osmocote. It is a smart-release plant food, meaning you sprinkle a little on the soil and each time you water a small amount of the growing medium is released into the soil. Reapply it every three to four months during the season.
A friend gave me an orchid, it is the first one I’ve ever tried to grow. It is doing okay and has two small bloom shoots starting, but is no where near what I’ve seen in the grocery. These are her instructions for orchid care.
In their natural habitat orchids grow on the bark of trees not in soil. I used the very find grounds of ordinary hardwood mulch for the potting soil. Place it in an area with plenty of natural light—feel for dryness. Double pot — lift out the inside pot, fill the outside pot (or a pan) with water. Place the pot in the water and leave for 10 minutes, watering from the bottom. Lift out, drain, and use leftover water for other plants. Do this about once a week on the average.
My mother-in-law had an entire window with glass shelves filled with African violets of all colors. It was the most cheerful spot in the house. African violets need a balance light to grow in a fine rosette. Each time you water one give it a quarter turn toward the light source, this will keep it rounded. If you take special care you can water from the top, but I’ve found double-potting and placing the inner pot in a pan of water once a week is safer, be careful that they do not become waterlogged–this is a disaster.
Too insure good blooms the plant must be root bound. Flowering originates on each row of leaves only one time. Every once in-a-while remove the outer leaves to give the plant room to grow.
After many tries I had a Christmas cactus to bloom this past season. It was loaded. Nothing special as far as to care but remember after it has bloomed it needs to rest, so ease up on the amount of water for six weeks before resuming normal procedures. I don’t mean dead dry, a little dab will do during rest time. I’ve noticed that the sections of the leaves of my plant have turned red during their semi-dry spell. Don’t know if this is the nature of the plant will see what happens when I resume watering.
With care, good light, fertilizer, even talking to them these three plants will sever you well during the winter season when your garden is bare.