When it comes to maintaining a thriving jungle of plants or a home decorated with a couple of favorites, some people are born with green thumbs, but many people are not. Consequently, getting plants to thrive throughout the year no matter the environment is a challenge. That said, there are many so-called green tricks you can adopt, and they are as easy as keeping in mind three easy-to-remember factors: soil, saturation level, and sunlight.
The soil serves many purposes, but one includes supporting the root ball. In terms of the plant’s root ball or a tree’s root system, the soil should ideally remain moist. Especially in Australia where the soil can become hard and cracked, you should attempt to keep the soil watered enough that cracking does not occur. As a key point, the soil should never pull away from a pot.
One unique thing in Australia is that some soil does not absorb water. When this occurs, the water will bead and gather in pools. If this happens to you, using a water-softening agent will break the surface tension of the water and allow the water to penetrate deeper into the pot.
2. Saturation level
Of course, people understand that you must keep plants watered, but the water is not as important as properly saturated soil. For instance, if you find keeping plants alive a challenge, you probably do not discern between too much water and too little. Too much water will drown many plants. Conversely, too little will leave them withered and brown. If leaves are flimsy and drooping, you probably need to water your plant.
Additionally, if you have a difficult time with watering, you should forget about water levels and focus on the soil. For instance, if after watering a plant the surface of the soil remains submerged, the soil is likely too saturated. This is especially important to remember when you are watering potted plants, but it remains important for the Travellers Palm.
Although these trees are generally outdoor plants, many people like to grow them indoor as they can fill a large space. However, the Travellers Palm requires that the soil be not soupy. The grains of the soil, for instance, should be moist following a watering session, but they should not remain floating. A good trick is to remember the appearance of the cake. In terms of saturation level, the soil should be cake-like and moist.
For most indoor plants, you should also attempt to keep the water from spilling out into the overflow pan. The overflow pan is designed to catch excess water, but even if excess water spills out into the overflow pan, enough water remains in the soil to erode the soil from around the roots and potentially drown the plant. This danger increases if you repeatedly water until it overflows. Finally, too much water can lead to mold or mildew.
The amount of sunlight your plant requires will vary, so you need to consult the plant’s care-guide and understand the regions in which it will thrive. For instance, Travellers Palm needs a lot of sunlight. Additionally, you should place it in a room with east- and west-facing windows as its flat leaves should face the sun.
For Australia, gardeners should remember that there are three primary zones: three, four, and five. There are, of course, seven total zones, but the other four zones are much less geographically prevalent. Generally speaking, numerically higher zones occur farther north and can support plants in warmer temperatures. Numerically lower zones occur farther south. Plants in these zones generally thrive in lower temperatures.
4. Other things to consider
Some other things to consider include the types of the surrounding flora. For instance, you should not allow taller plants to shadow smaller ones. Doing so will cause the leaves of taller plants to block the sun from the smaller ones, leaving the smaller ones stunted and starving. Other points to remember include the following:
- keep taller trees and plants trimmed
- place pots 24 inches apart on a shelf to allow plenty of sunlight for each pot
- insert nutrient stakes at the edges of the pot to help keep the soil rich
- prune dead leaves
- avoid placing plants near heaters or air conditioners