Common Garden Questions

Question 1: How do I know when to water my plants?
Common Garden Questions

The best tool you have for gauging plants’ need for water is your own observations. Most plants will droop slightly when they are thirsty. A finger inserted an inch or so into the soil will also tell you whether a plant needs water. Ideally, you should give water at the very first indication that a plant needs it. Succulents will not droop, but the leaves may become less glossy, dull, or wrinkled, and worst they can turn yellow and begin to fall off. Any yellowing of leaves is an indication that there is a water problem: yellow leaf tips indicate overwatering, overall yellowing is often a sign of under-watering. Generally, before watering you should wait until soil has mostly dried out, but it should never be allowed to dry out completely. If you can, water using rainwater whenever possible, because it has the perfect PH for plants.

Question 2: Where should I put a houseplant for the most natural light?

A good guide to light levels is the orientation of your windows.

Common Garden Questions
Question 3: When and how often do I need to fertilize plants?

There are very specific rules for fertilizing houseplants, beginning with when is the best time to do it. Never fertilize a sick plant, a new arrival, or a plant that has recently been re-potted. Furthermore, refrain from fertilizing a plant anytime it is not actively growing, namely in the cooler months. At the first sign of spring growth, you can start supporting plants with some appropriate fertilizer. Follow the instructions for liquid and granular fertilizers, and never add more than is recommended. Some people fertilize every few weeks, others do so every week during the growing season. Find a frequency that works for you and your plants.

Common Garden Questions
Question 4: How should I design my garden?

Look at lots of other people’s gardens — go on garden tours, check out books, explore online galleries — to gain an understanding of the style of garden that you like. Then, create a design that uses the same principles. Don’t just plant things at random, use a design that repeats colors, textures, and shapes, and create visual patterns.

Common Garden Questions
Question 5: Is it really necessary to have holes in my planting containers?
Common Garden Questions

Yes, even though it is a hassle, containers without holes will collect water in the bottom, eventually causing root rot and premature plant death. Filling the bottom of a pot with rocks will not perform the same function as holes that allow water to drain out, either. Salts also build up from minerals in the water as well as fertilizer residues. Drain holes help excess water move through the soil to effectively “flush out” these buildups that can eventually harm plants if allowed to remain.