A lot of people are confused by the vague way most plant tags talk about lighting. Heather can help assess your home or business's natural lighting situation and be able to help provide options to increase light if necessary.
Based on the lighting and space available, Heather will recommend the kinds of plants she thinks would be a great fit for you whether it be small, large, draught resistant, pet or child friendly, or even a specific color scheme!
Even if you consider yourself to have a black thumb, Heather can teach you everything you need to know to turn that thumb green whether it be in good old fashioned dirt or in semi-hydroponics! Most people don't know a lot about keeping plants in anything other than soil so when mentioning semi-hydroponics they are a bit lost. This system of keeping plants turns the care for a variety of different plants into basically the same process and helps you turn your space into a jungle without much effort on your part!
The mixture of the soil is very important when dealing with plants and not every bag of soil you get from the store is comparable! Creating the perfect soil conditions for your plant is vital for it to thrive. Doing research on a plants natural environment is key to creating a mixture that is perfect for the plants health, whether it needs a mixture that retains water yet has optimum airflow, or if it needs to drain quickly and release moisture. Heather can help get your plants into their ideal potting mixture so you can continue to watch them flourish!
LECA or "lightweight expanded clay aggregate" is absolutely amazing for those who wish to be rid of soil borne pests, or who can't seem to get the watering cycles down for their plant friends and end up over or under watering them. LECA allows for optimum airflow around the roots of your plant and by wicking the water up, your plant can drink as much as it wants and if it needs more it will grow roots down into the water reservoir. Some plants can make the transition from soil to LECA very easily while others need to be placed in water for about two weeks to form water roots before being placed in LECA.
What most people know about plants and watering is that it's easy to "over water" which can easily kill most plants. What people don't realize is that it's not actually the amount of water that is the issue, only that the medium gets so wet that it doesn't allow airflow to the roots and essentially suffocates the plant. Because LECA wicks the water up through the porous texture of the clay balls, it allows for the plant to access as much water as it needs while providing oxygen to the roots as well. This reduces the chance that the plant will suffocate as well as reduce the owners urges to water the plant too frequently. That's because when using semi-hydroponics, you only fill the container up with water to about an inch below the root system so the water level never actually touches the roots initially. Some plants will grow roots down into the water reservoir, if this happens it's okay to allow those roots to continue to be submerged in the reservoir.
Some pests won't be able to infest your semi-hydro plants because they live in soil. Your plant will still be able to get thrips, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale even in semi-hydroponics so be sure to still check the leaves regularly.
There's a number of reasons why your plants leaves could be turning yellow.
*And remember, under watering is ALWAYS better than over watering.*
1. Check the soil, if the soil is wet or soggy for a long period of time that means that the roots are suffocating in the medium due to too much moisture that isn't allowing airflow. If this is the case, you should take the plant out of it's container and check the roots to make sure there isn't any rot (healthy roots are usually white/creamy color and more firm, rotting roots with be squishy and brown with a nasty smell), then repot the plant into fresh soil.
2. Check the soil, if it's dry more than 2 inches down into the pot (use your finger, if there is no soil that clings to your finger then it's dry) then most likely the plant needs a good watering. In this case, the leaves will also have a withered look to them, they may be limp or have crispy brown edges to the leaves.
3. Check the soil as well as the tops and undersides of the leaves, if you see any bugs, gnats, or other insects it's time for a repot as your plant has pests! There are a number of different pests that can affect the leaves in such a way so knowing the signs for the individual pests can be very helpful.
4. Your plant needs food! If you are on top of your watering schedule and pest checks yet your plant is still looking unhealthy, it's time to add some nutrients to the soil that your plant will absorb. Liquidirt is universal and can be used for any type of plant, it's all natural micro organisms and natural nutrients that won't harm your plant and you can use it every time you water to help get a huge burst of growth out of your green babies.
5. If you use tap water or other harsh fertilizer for your plants and aren't careful about dosage, your plant could develop chemical root burn which will cause the leaves to turn yellow then quickly brown without getting crispy. If this happens, you need to flush out the soil with purified water and then let the soil dry almost completely before watering again.
6. Your plant has outgrown its home and needs to stretch out its roots! Find a slightly larger pot and some fresh soil to give your plant room to grow.
7. The water level in your semi-hydroponic reservoir is too high or has dried out. In this case it is very easy to tell which it is, either remove some of the excess water or fill her up!
- Juice sucking insects that quickly multiply and can go unnoticed easily: Mealybugs, Thrips. Aphids, Whitefly, Scale, Spider Mites.
- Nuisance Bugs are more annoying for people: Fungus Gnats, Ants, Fruit Fly, Springtails.
- Plant Eaters are not usually an issue for indoor plants but if you are bringing a plant in from outside it may have a hitch hiker: Caterpillar, Slug, Black Vine Weevils.
Check your plants regularly for signs of pests by examining underneath the leaves and soil for any bugs. Ensure the environment is optimum for the plant by maintaining proper humidity levels, air circulation, and lighting conditions. Misting plants regularly can help to keep some pests at bay, but regular Neem Oil treatments are even better.
There are so many different types of specialty fertilizers out there, it's easy to get lost in products if you don't know what you're looking for. The problem with most of these types of fertilizer is that they can be toxic to people and pets, and if administered improperly can also damage your plant. That's why Liquidirt or products similar to it are a much better option. You can use it for essentially any plant you own, it's full of natural goodness and micro organisms that help to create the perfect food for any green friend and it can be used every time you water.
Water Treatment additives for aquariums is the perfect quick fix for tap water. You can purchase it at any pet store then just add it to the tap water before you tend to your plants and it will dissolve and dissipate the chemicals within the tap water that can harm some plants. (Dracaena are very sensitive to Fluoride found in most tap water)
That answer is completely based on personal preference! Some people prefer soil purely because of the different planters they can buy. Others prefer soil because of the scent,