Feb 28, 2020

What does your House Plants need to survive and Grow - Beginners Garden

Did you know?
A study has confirmed that a regular dose of gardening is said to have long term health benefits.



  •  Reduces Cardio Vascular / Stroke disease by 30%, says research published online by  British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Increases your brain sharpness
  • Helps in relieving stress
  • Regular physical activity involved in gardening reduces the chances of obesity

In modern digital days where we don't get to see the green often. A small corner in your balcony or backyard gardening can lit up the whole space.
The research paper "The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and well-being states that looking into the green space is known to have soothing and calming effects on the person, reduces stress level and increases relaxation. Even your loved ones surrounding you would be benefited by gardening.

Things to consider before planting

  • Spaciousness
  • Lighting conditions
  • Watering Conditions
  • Durability
  • Repotting
  • Soil and Fertilizer

Spaciousness:

Space is one of the main issues hindering gardening. But really? Do you think space is the issue ?? Or is it your hesitation to start the process and the maintenance activity that you are frowning upon.
I have planted almost 25 varieties of plants in the apartment balcony.
There are many available options convert your little corner into a garden area like vertical gardening- means using the vertical space available in your garden. 
Hanging plants can be a good addition to utilize vertical space

Also, the indoor plants can be placed in the bedroom, living area, kitchen, and where not. You can start with one to two plants and multiply them.


Lighting conditions:

Situation of each home varies and you must locate the brightly lit, medium, and low spot in your home.

Plants lighting requirements differ from one another. If you can locate the lighting conditions of your home and find a plant suitable for your space. The chances you would kill the plant is very minimal.

Plants like Aloe vera, Areca palm thrive well in Bright sunlight whereas Snake plant, Money plant/Pothos can survive well in low to medium sunlight.
Check out the guide to Grow easy Indoor plants

Watering Conditions:

Water is an essential element in determining the growth of the plants. Both overwatering and under watering are not healthy for the plant. 
I believed that all plant needs to watered daily and the growth of the plant is directly proportional to the amount of watering.
I realized the importance of watering and the rule of thumb, only when  I was on the verge of killing a snake plant due to overwatering.
"Majority of the plants die not because of under watering but of Overwatering"

Durability:

Do not move the plant unless there is a dire need. The plants once accustomed to a new place don't like to be moved often. Shift them only when needed else they would be happy to stay at their place.

Re-potting: (The secret of re-potting)

If you are buying a plant from the local nursery/online ensure that you do not repot them as soon as they reach their new home.
Plants like us, need to get adapted to their new home. Changing the environment and re-potting them would stress the plants. It's better to allow the plant to adapt to its new environment.
You can re-pot them once you see the plants growing healthily.

The other situation where re-potting must be done is where the roots are outbound. In simple terms if the roots fill up the pot then its time to re-pot them into a larger container/pot.

Soil and Fertilizer

The soil would have sufficient nutrients to provide. As time passes by, the nutrients in the soil gets depleted. Hence arises the need to fertilize the plants.
Normally flowering and fruiting plants need fertilizer as they drain out their entire energy in the process of producing flowers and fruits.
Compost or liquid fertilizers can be used in the soil to suffice the exhausted nutrients.
                                

I hope you are ready to set your own green corner at your home. Happy Gardening!


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Why must you grow Indian Borage at your home?

Indian borage grow

A member of mint family Plectranthus amboinicus is known for its pungent aroma and has numerous medicinal qualities. There are found almost in all the houses in the south of India. Panikoorka also known as Karpooravalli, Mexican Mint, Patharchur, Indian Borage. The leaves of Indian Borage is light green in color and the leaves store in water. The leaves of the Panikoorka smells like mint and has been mistaken for mint. The leaves of Indian Borage is broader than the commonly available mint. They are also used in culinary purposes. 

The medicinal properties/ Garden Remedies are as below,
  • Wound healing and has antiseptic, antimicrobial properties
  • Effective against Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Oral, Skin, Digestive, Urinary diseases
  • Used to treat cold, asthma, headache, constipation, fever.
  • The leaves are mainly used as a folk medicine. Few of the benefits are yet to be medically proven.
We always have a pot planted with Indian borage at our house. We chew a leaf if there are any symptoms of sore throat and it has done wonders. This is seriously an underrated plant when compared to a few other plants grown extensively.

How to Grow

Growing the Indian Borage is an effortless activity as the plant is hardy and resistant.
The easiest way of propagation is through cuttings. In case of time constraint or unavailability of the plant cuttings, a local/Online store-bought plants would do the job as well. Invest in one plant and you can propagate them into thousands of Indian Borage.

How to propagate via cuttings

Take a stem about 6 to 9 inches and remove the bottom-most leaves. Ensure there are at least 2 to 3 nodes because from these nodes the root develops. Place these cuttings in the soil and water thoroughly. The bottom-most leaves are removed to reduce stressing the plant.

Also, do check out the post if you are interested in growing an unlimited supply of mint at your home.

Panikoorka uses.panikoorka propagation,karpooravalli,indian borage


Where to grow


They can be grown in the pot. They would be happy to get along in the balcony or apartment. If the Indian Borage plant seems to grow leggy make sure to prune the tips. Continuous pruning would make the Indian borage or Mexican mint bushy.

Lighting conditions

Bright to medium sunlight would work. Semi shade areas would be perfect for these plants. As the leaves store in a huge amount of water, it is better to place the plants in partial or semi-shade areas. Direct sunlight would scorch the leaves and cause burns.

Watering Conditions

Water them when the topsoil beings to dry. Thumb rule of watering can be used. I am not sure on who proposed this concept, but this term is extensively used in Gardening, and links can be found in some books.

Rule of Thumb

Check if is the ideal time to water your plants. Dip an index finger into the soil about 1 inch deep and check for the moisture content. If the soil is dry water your plants and if moist you can skip watering and check again. 

You might also be interested in reading "How to grow lemongrass indoors"

Happy Gardening!

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Disclaimer
Only a medical expert can diagnose, treat cure disease, or any medical condition. We do not prescribe any form of remedies in our blog.

Feb 24, 2020

Decorate your Betta Fish tank with house plants.

Plants create an alluring beauty to the fish tank and helps in maintaining the water pH level. The plants in the fish tank also help in reducing the algae level and reducing the ammonia content in the water. This makes the water condition much suitable for the fishes to survive. The plants in the fishbowl or fish tank create a better environment for your fishes. The live plants create a close to natural environment for the fishes.

It is always a better option to keep the natural plants than the artificial ones. Though maintain plants in the fish tank require more attention. Instead of keeping water live plants inside the fish tank you could use a few of the house plants to create the same effect as the live water plants.



Aquatic plants would do well in the tank, but a lot of extra maintenance is required. Also the aquatic plants are costlier than the artificial ones. This technique would be a great alternative to make your fish tank stupendous.
The entire system works on the biological explanation - Aquaponics. In short, Aquaponics means aquaculture's like fish, snail growing the plants cultivated in water. The term was first introduced by Dr.Mark McMurthy at the North Carolina State University.

How it works

  • Fish excretes are rich in Ammonia. These fish droppings if exceeds a limit are toxic to the fish.
  • The bacteria which lives in the fish tank breaks down the ammonia into Nitrites and Nitrates
  • Plants consume the Nitrates as their source of nutrients.
  • The water toxic level is reduced and the cycle continues.

Plants that do well in a fish tank/bowl

I have personally tried growing Pothos/Money plant and Different varieties of philodendron or Syngonium. The roots developed from this process were much thicker and healthier compared to the ones grown in normal water.
Sources say that almost all plants that can be propagated through water would work.

Happy Gardening!


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Feb 23, 2020

Easy plants to grow in small Apartments with a free guide template

Gardening has become a new trend in our current lifestyles. Adding a little green space can light up the whole environment. Studies have revealed that gardening can relieve stress and create an positive impact.

Here are the easy plants that can be easily at home and require less of your attention

    Pothos/Money Plant/Devil's Ivy

    Pothos how to grow
      • Pothos or Money plants are the easiest to grow. They are sturdy and tolerant and can withstand climatic conditions. Pothos does not require your entire attention and they belong to the category " Plant and forget me, I would Grow well". Pothos/Money plants are also good air purifiers. They help in reducing the chemicals found indoors . A research study says that it can reduce benzene and Trichloroethylene present in the atmosphere. Pothos is also considered to bring luck and prosperity to the home.
      • Money plant can be grown in soil or water. If Pothos are grown in water - absolutely no maintenance is needed. Refill the water once in 10 to 15 days. That’s it! Absolutely a low caring plant for beginners.
    If you are interested in converting an old plastic or coke bottle into a DIY planter. Do check out the post on "Recycled and stylish DIY Planter"
      • Lighting conditions - Survives in the low sun to partial shade.
      • Watering conditions - Water them once in two to three days when you start to feel the soil is dry. They grow well when you allow them to dry out in between watering.
    Check out the complete guide to Grow bushier pothos

    Syngonium

      • Many varieties of Syngonium are available and can be effortlessly grown even by inexperienced plant owners. Syngonium is hard to kill plant. Syngonium is an excellent plant for low light indoor they look full and bushy. Syngonium can be grown indoors as well as outdoors. They are also called as Arrowheads. Syngonium are also available in a variety of colors ranging from light green to pink. Propagation of Syngonium is a piece of cake. Just cut a stalk and insert into a bowl of water and they would soon start growing roots.
      • Lighting conditions - They prefer bright indirect sunlight. They would be happy to grow by the window side table. The direct sunlight would burn or scorch the leaves. If you see the plant leaning towards sunlight then ensure to turn the pot so that all the side of the plant receives sufficient sunlight.
      • Watering conditions - Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out in between watering. Water once in two to three days. Mist them in between to remove the dust accumulated in the leaves. You can also wipe the leaves with a wet clean cloth once in a while so that the plants would be able to able to breathe.

    Snake plant/Mother-in-laws tongue/Sansevieria 

      • About 60+ species of snake plants are available in local plant stores and online gardening stores. Especially the dwarf varieties are suitable for indoors. There are very hardy plants and the least you could do to keep them healthy is not to care for them. As simple as that. These plants also help in reducing the air pollution indoors by removing toxins. These plants like to live in small pots so avoid repotting them often.
      • Lighting conditions: These plants can thrive in full sunlight and low lit spaces as well.    
    Snake plant grow

      • Watering conditions: Water them once in 4 to 5 days, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering. They don't like their soil to be moist. Overwatering will rot the root system and kill the plant. Sansevieria do not complain even if you forgot to water them a week, they would stay healthy. These are perfect for your home to add a lush of green. The variegated varieties of the snake plant are certified by NASA to improve the quality of the air.

    You might also be interested  in 
    "Growing Tangled hearts hanging plant at your home"


    Happy Gardening!!

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    Feb 22, 2020

    DIY Hanging Planters made out of Plastic Bottles with Step by Step Instructions



    Handmade products always add charm and warmth to your home.
    These planters are such a great way to d├ęcor your balcony with hanging plants and it is totally inexpensive. It is such fun to make and requires no professional knowledge. Vertical gardens with plastic bottles can be created in the same way and you can utilize the vertical space in your apartment or balcony. 

    Most of the plants can be grown in plastic containers. Plants like succulents (Jade plant), purpleheart,Wandering heart or wandering jews, money plant.
    Also, you can try experimenting with different plants.

    Tools Required:
    •          Plastic bottles
    •          Knife 
    •          Scissors
    •          Stainless Skewers

    HOW TO:
    • Poke a hole after heating a sharp object like Stainless Skewers. Heating makes the process a lot easier.
    • Punch four holes at the top (to hang with the twine) and few holes at the bottom (to drain the excess water.)



    Paint the bottles with enamel paint or spray paints. You can also use a primer to give a base coat. Acrylics don't stay on the plastic bottles for a long time. For the acrylic designs to be waterproof it is necessary to give a base coat.
    Varnish can be applied to the bottles as a precaution.

    •  Add a twine to the plastic pot and hang it. Hurrah your planter is all ready to be filled with a mix of coco peat and soil (50:50)



    • Keep it simple or decorate it according to your liking. And your DIY planter is ready.
    bottle planter, diy decor

    If you interested in growing tangled check out the ultimate guide to Grow and care for Tangled heart Hanging plant


    Tangled heart Hanging plant,DIY Planter


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    How to Grow Lemon Grass in Soil - With Updates


    Lemongrass how to grow

    Grow lemongrass at your kitchen garden or window sill with these easy ideas.
    You will never have to go to the market again to get a few stalks of Lemongrass.
    I grow lemongrass at my garden for three main reasons,
    • To have an energetic cup of fresh Lemongrass tree
    • To prevent the entry of mosquitoes.
    • To enhance the pleasant lemongrass smell all over my balcony.

      Nativity

      Lemon Grass also known as Cymbopogon Citratus, Cochin grass, Malabar grass is native to India, Sri Lanka, and other tropical regions. Lemongrass is cultivated in many countries because of its medicinal properties and culinary uses. The essential oil extracted from lemongrass is used in aromatherapy. 

      Medicinal Uses

      • Lemongrass is known to relieve stress. And in some parts of the world, it is also used in relieving pain. 
      • Due to its strong aroma, it is also known to treat oral infections and cavities help in dental hygiene.
      • Hot water extract of dried root is also used in a few places in Thailand to treat Diabetes.
      • In the USA, hot water extract of the entire plant is used in healing wounds and bone fractures. 
      • In India, lemongrass is normally used for treating cholera, Gastric issues, headaches, fever, and sedative for the Central Nervous system. 
      • Lemongrass leaves are also used in tea, soups and curry preparation

      Other Uses of Lemon Grass

      Apart from other medicinal and culinary uses, they have several other benefits. 
      • The scent of crushed leaves smells like citric and used in perfume preparation. 
      • Growing entire free lemongrass is well known to repel snakes, it is believed that snakes do not like the scent of lemongrass and hence stay away from the arena. 
      • The Citronella oil which is being extracted from the lemongrass is the main component used in commercial mosquito repellents. The citrus-like smell of the lemongrass keeps away mosquitoes. 
      Lemongrass can be easily grown from stalks - via water propagation or propagating cuttings in soil.

      Grow with me

      Buy Fresh lemongrass from your local market store or online grocery store. It would hardly cost within 10 to 15 Rs and plant them with these tips. You would have an unlimited supply of lemongrass throughout. The leaves can be stored in the refrigerator and used for cooking recipes.

      You might also like "Growing Pudina or Mint from Cuttings Indoors"

      Soil Propagation


            I was excited to plant Lemongrass for the first time. I considered growing it directly in the soil. Unfortunately, I did not find any sources saying lemongrass can be directly propagated through Soil. I thought of giving it a shot.I split the lemongrass into two parts. Propagated few stalks through water and few stalks through the soilThis was my backup plan. To my surprise, new leaves started emerging the next day when planted in soil. Mission success!

            1.   Cut the stalks (2 to 3 inches) and remove the dried/tough outer leaf from the base bulb.
            2.   Plant them directly into the soil. 
            3.   Water regularly and they can thrive in full sun.
            4.   New leaves are likely to appear within 2 to 5 days. 
      Lemon grass propagation through Soil

      Water Propagation


           1.   Cut the stalks (2 to 3 inches) and remove the dried/tough outer leaf from the base bulb.
           2.   Place all the stalks in a container of water
           3.   Change the water regularly (at least once in two days)
           4.   Once visible roots are observed, transfer them into the pot.
          
      Healthy roots would grow in a span of 5 to 15 days.
      Lemon grass propagation in water

      Water Needs

      Lemongrass prefers regular watering. They are very forgiving plants and do not mind if you forget for a day or two.
      Tip: Watering them regularly can help in growing your plant bushy and healthy.

      Sunlight Needs

      They can tolerate bright to direct sunlight. I keep my Lemongrass in the balcony where it receives three to five hours of direct sunlight.

      Updated image:
      Grow lemon grass easy

      We would love to hear about your experience growing Lemongrass.

      Happy Gardening...

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