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House plants

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JR8
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Re: House plants

Postby JR8 » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 1:17 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:I have a bayleaf tree now growing on my roof terrace. Managed to grow some onions and potatoes last year and some garlic too last year. This year so far, not much energy or inertia I am guessing


The good thing with garlic is by nature no pests seem to want to go near it :) Almost the opposite of potatoes in a way, they seem to draw in every bug/disease known to men.

What containers were you using for the root veg? How often did you have to water... I'm thinking about how the plants coped when you were off on holiday etc.
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Re: House plants

Postby nakatago » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 1:24 pm

JR8 wrote:I'm thinking about how the plants coped when you were off on holiday etc.


You just need to upfront about them. Use direct but respectful language. This will prepare them emotionally and there will be no dramas as you've set some reasonable expectations with them.

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Re: House plants

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 1:38 pm

JR8 wrote:An impressive array you have there.
What if any pests/germs etc do you find they are prone to?
Are any of those plants edible? (just curious!)


So far the only trouble I have is with Powdery Mildew which looks this
Image
I use a powder mixed with water and spray on the affected plans once a week.

edible plants:
chillies
basil
neem
brahmi
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Re: House plants

Postby Primrose Hill » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 2:09 pm

JR8 wrote:
Primrose Hill wrote:I have a bayleaf tree now growing on my roof terrace. Managed to grow some onions and potatoes last year and some garlic too last year. This year so far, not much energy or inertia I am guessing


The good thing with garlic is by nature no pests seem to want to go near it :) Almost the opposite of potatoes in a way, they seem to draw in every bug/disease known to men.

What containers were you using for the root veg? How often did you have to water... I'm thinking about how the plants coped when you were off on holiday etc.


I used ordinary but really deep and wide rim planters for my root veg. I tend to water it in the evenings; about those 1litre bottles.
Holiday wise - I have used the little coloured gels as well as the pegs which can take bottles of 500ml water. Its good for a week to 10days.
My chili plant was not that successful, no matter how much I water it, the plant dried out, maybe because it was on the balcony with too much direct sunlight. Oooo and the ants that it attracted.

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Re: House plants

Postby JR8 » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 2:28 pm

nakatago wrote:
JR8 wrote:I'm thinking about how the plants coped when you were off on holiday etc.


You just need to upfront about them. Use direct but respectful language. This will prepare them emotionally and there will be no dramas as you've set some reasonable expectations with them.


TGIF! :)
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Re: House plants

Postby JR8 » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 3:00 pm

@PH.
Interesting thx. Last time I looked into it, when we were in a place that got full day sun, I never really got my head around the gel or peg things. There was no outdoor tap that could have provided some kind of daily timed dose of water (auto-irrigation). Instead we had a friend over twice a week to water them... not ideal!

I had a chili padi plant. Very pretty, and it did fruit! It succumbed to something, mildew IIRC. Same happened to my mini-lime (kalamansi). I'm surprised that ants like chili... maybe they're 'chili with everything' Asian ants :lol:

I suppose the weather here can be so extreme you have to pick what you grow very carefully. That includes prior research into what each plant needs and dislikes. Bougainvillea needs huge amounts of direct sun each day, or it grows but has few leaves, never mind flowering. On the flipside Yellow Palms do NOT like direct sunshine, as I've recently learned.

Ants are bad news IME. If you get mealy bugs on a plant, then ants move in to to feed off them. But then that's not enough, they will start accessing your home seeking water, food and shelter. And before you know it you can have an ants nest inside your home. This has happened to me twice now, once where the ants had travelled indoors quite a long way (10M?) and set up a nest in a bag of documents in our study. The second time more recently where they did similar but in the slots of a knife-block in the kitchen. Discovering both of those was gross in horror-film proportions, as when disturbed the nests immediately erupted! :shock:

For mealy bugs I've previously used chemical sprays. Hard core insecticide, really nasty stuff. You need rubber gloves and a face mask to use it. Even then in most conditions you get some on you, so then you have to go and have a thorough shower and soap off ASAP. The current alt trick is adding 5 drops of washing-up liquid to a 2L pump sprayer of water, and spraying all over, leaves, stems, soil surface twice a day for say five days. That eradicates the bugs. Then either repeat 1*/day after to keep them off, or else simply remain vigilant and be prepared for repeat episodes. But yes, in general terms, having ants keen on your plants seems like an indicator of current problems, and/or a bad omen of worse to come...

[Apologies if any of the above repeats stuff I've posted before. I've been having parallel chats with various people over the past few weeks, and it's hard for me to recall who I've told what].


p.s. I got a minor re-occurrence. I'm now using 10 drops/2L and it appears for the time being to be keeping them in abeyance. Vigilance is clearly required for outdoor house-plants here. Touch wood.
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 23 Feb 2015 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: House plants

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 06 Feb 2015 3:25 pm

@JR8 I put a Neem try in the mix because its a natural insect repellent. There is another plant which does the same thing i forgot its name.
Tulsi keeps away insects too.
I don't have too many insects in my garden though and yes you are absolutely right about the bougainvilleas requiring direct sunlight and that too lots of it and they have so few leaves as well, I was starting to wonder about that.
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Re: House plants

Postby Primrose Hill » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:47 am

I have a query on cut flowers. I love a bunch of fresh flowers. Nothing too expensive. I used to have a GBP10 per week budget. And I dont buy that every week, usually once a month. Here my flowers tend not to last even though I change the water daily and spray a light dusting of water on it.
Anyone has any tips?

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Re: House plants

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 12:24 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:I have a query on cut flowers. I love a bunch of fresh flowers. Nothing too expensive. I used to have a GBP10 per week budget. And I dont buy that every week, usually once a month. Here my flowers tend not to last even though I change the water daily and spray a light dusting of water on it.
Anyone has any tips?


Add plant food. Don't change the water daily... all you are doing is poisoning the plants with chlorine.

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Re: House plants

Postby x9200 » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 1:00 pm

Just stick to the species that are more resistant to the temperature: orchids, cloves (any type), gerbers (I think, had them like twice only), chrysanthemum (all sorts)... they should survive at least one week without any aircon.

Bad idea: roses, tulips

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Re: House plants

Postby the lynx » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 1:04 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
Primrose Hill wrote:I have a query on cut flowers. I love a bunch of fresh flowers. Nothing too expensive. I used to have a GBP10 per week budget. And I dont buy that every week, usually once a month. Here my flowers tend not to last even though I change the water daily and spray a light dusting of water on it.
Anyone has any tips?


Add plant food. Don't change the water daily... all you are doing is poisoning the plants with chlorine.


I tried adding few drops of vodka into the vase each time I change the water. They last for a week. Without it, only a couple of days.

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Re: House plants

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 1:17 pm

the lynx wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
Primrose Hill wrote:I have a query on cut flowers. I love a bunch of fresh flowers. Nothing too expensive. I used to have a GBP10 per week budget. And I dont buy that every week, usually once a month. Here my flowers tend not to last even though I change the water daily and spray a light dusting of water on it.
Anyone has any tips?


Add plant food. Don't change the water daily... all you are doing is poisoning the plants with chlorine.


I tried adding few drops of vodka into the vase each time I change the water. They last for a week. Without it, only a couple of days.


need to do that with my waterbottle that i take to work everyday :lol:
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Re: House plants

Postby x9200 » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 1:58 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:
the lynx wrote:I tried adding few drops of vodka into the vase each time I change the water. They last for a week. Without it, only a couple of days.


need to do that with my waterbottle that i take to work everyday :lol:

You are likely to achieve a reverse effect with a shorter time span.

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Re: House plants

Postby JR8 » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 2:32 pm

A trick I learned some time ago was the following:

- Use water together with any plant food provided.
- In the absence of which you can still add another thing; add a drop of washing up liquid to the water they will sit in. This is re: preventing a 'slime plug' forming on the base of each stem. I.e. if such a plug forms, the flower can no longer draw up water. If plant food is provided, use that + the soap as above.
- With fresh flowers, if possible trim the stem diagonally. Take off maybe 1cm. This is to maximise the exposed ('xylum?') surface that can draw up water.
- You do not want any leaves to be below the water-line, trim any such off.
- If possible do this trimming with scissors, whilst the stem base is underwater in the vase. Not always possible I know. If you can't then trim them one by one, and get them in the water ASAP, i.e. immediately, one second of less. The faster the better.
- If the flowers start to look a bit sad, then you can repeat the above, taking another 1cm off, plus clean vase, fresh water, food/soap.

It sounds a bit of a fiddle, but is simple once you've got the hang of it. By these means we've had cut flowers last for weeks! Each time you change the water++, you might also discard any stems that detract from the whole, i.e. that are on their last legs. So over time you will often find yourself going from a large bunch, to a progressively smaller one. But the longevity of some stems seems quite remarkable.
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Re: House plants

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 10 Feb 2015 2:40 pm

JR8 wrote:A trick I learned some time ago was the following:

- Use water together with any plant food provided.
- In the absence of which you can still add another thing; add a drop of washing up liquid to the water they will sit in. This is re: preventing a 'slime plug' forming on the base of each stem. I.e. if such a plug forms, the flower can no longer draw up water. If plant food is provided, use that + the soap as above.
- With fresh flowers, if possible trim the stem diagonally. Take off maybe 1cm. This is to maximise the exposed ('xylum?') surface that can draw up water.
- You do not want any leaves to be below the water-line, trim any such off.
- If possible do this trimming with scissors, whilst the stem base is underwater in the vase. Not always possible I know. If you can't then trim them one by one, and get them in the water ASAP, i.e. immediately, one second of less. The faster the better.
- If the flowers start to look a bit sad, then you can repeat the above, taking another 1cm off, plus clean vase, fresh water, food/soap.

It sounds a bit of a fiddle, but is simple once you've got the hang of it. By these means we've had cut flowers last for weeks! Each time you change the water++, you might also discard any stems that detract from the whole, i.e. that are on their last legs. So over time you will often find yourself going from a large bunch, to a progressively smaller one. But the longevity of some stems seems quite remarkable.

In Ph I see them adding a paracetamol tablet to keep plants on water last longer


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