Plants, with all of their air-purifying, stress-reducing beauty, deserve a place in everyone’s life. Whether you are human or animal, there is a benefit to having plants around us.
Plants add color, texture, and warmth to your life and even improve air quality. Many plants are easy to grow, but they must be given appropriate care in order to thrive.
And, with a few tricks, you can convince your green friends that they are living in their ideal environment.
Potting soil should be kept moist, but not wet. Of course, there are always exceptions such as with succulents, cactus, and other thick-leafed plants that do best when the soil dries out completely between watering.
If the soil is kept too dry or too damp the plant’s roots will begin to die, which can lead to inadequate growth or even death of the plant.
There are several methods to determine when a plant needs water. If the potting soil becomes lighter in color or cracked, it’s probably time to water. Pick up your plant and gauge the weight after watering.
After a few practice lifts, you’ll be able to tell if the plant needs water just by picking it up.
Of course, you can always stick a finger in the soil to determine how moist it is below the surface.
Do NOT let plants get to the point where they are wilting or the soil is pulling away from the edge of the container. These symptoms indicate dehydration and at this point, the plant is already seriously stressed and the roots may be damaged.
Signs of underwatering include:
- Slow leaf growth
- Translucent leaves
- The premature dropping of flowers or leaves
- Brown, yellow or curled leaf edges
Pesticides are the only toxic substances we intentionally release into our environment in order to kill living things.
The chemicals don’t just harm their intended targets though – pesticides have been linked to an increasing number of human health conditions, ranging from headaches and nausea to cancer, endocrine disruption and neurological problems.
The Perfect Solution…
The recipe for The Perfect Solution requires only four ingredients: Dawn dish soap, cigar or teabags, Epson Salt, and water. You will need a small pumpup sprayer.
Steep cigar butts or teabag in boiling water until it becomes the color of weak tea. Cool, strain, and, pour into a spray bottle.
Mix 1 tablespoons of the Dawn dish soap and 2 tablespoons of Epson Salt with 1 gallon of warm water. We use Dawn dish soap in the recipe because it does not contain bleach, which could harm the plants.
Dawn dish detergent is a grease-fighting dish soap that has kept tableware and cutlery sparkling clean since 1973.
It is also one of the soaps of choice for homemade insecticides, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension website.
Homemade insecticidal soaps containing Dawn detergent help control garden pests that attack indoor and outdoor plants without posing a health risk to your family.
Insides of a cigaris a plant-derived pesticide, nicotine in the perfect solution is more toxic to people and pets than such chemicals as carbaryl, malathion, and methoxychlor.
And / Or
Teabag some teas contain adequate acid levels. Black tea, white tea, green tea, and oolong tea contains tea tannic acid.
This phenolic flavor compounds or tannins give some drinking teas an astringent and slightly bitter taste.
You can also bury the teabags around the flower bed to invigorate some plant growth.
Hint: Wet, used tea bags are great for cleaning the leaves of household plants. Since the plants absorb the tea through the leaves, they get a real treat as well.
Epson Salt helps improve flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green color.
It can even help plants grow bushier.
Epsom salt is made up of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur), which is important to healthy plant growth.
Pump up sprayers allow you to treat large areas without getting a cramped trigger finger from using a spray bottle. The sprayers available to homeowners today have numerous simple labor-saving features built into them.
A one-gallon pump sprayer is just right for many out in the yard spray jobs. Having a fan or adjustable cone along with an extension wand help to apply sprays over and underleaf.
Furthermore, hard water contains minerals, which interfere with the insecticidal soap, reducing its effectiveness.
If you’re worried about one of the above products, a small concentration of peppermint soap mixed into the spray mix (1-5%) will help kill bacteria or fungi away and deter mealy bugs.
Go One Step Further!Not only make plants healthier but kill stuff too!
Follow the above recipe but add one-half vinegar to the pump up sprayer to create your own ant spray!! It works on lots of bugs too!
Take it Even Further!
Follow the above recipe but add one ounce of dawn instead of a teaspoon to the vinegar water to create your own weed killer!
DO NOT MIX your sprayers once you add vinegar. We suggest marking the sprayers so you know which is life and which is death.