General Plant Care
All our plants are listed with the latin/botanical name, which makes it easier to find information regarding that plant online. When first purchasing a plant, it is important to think of the location that you want to fill, be it in your home, office, or a friend’s house. Take some time to examine the space, the lighting and select a plant to fit the location.
When your plant arrives, keep in mind that it is shocked and stressed. Plants do not like to move, and your plant might show its displeasure through its foliage, usually by browning or dropping leaves. The stress can be minimized with proper light, humidity, and watering. Generally, unless the plant is “bone dry” wait anywhere from a couple of days to a week before watering.
When checking soil moisture, although there are devices to aid in the detection of soil moisture, use your fingers. By using your fingers, you will gain a better understanding of the moisture needs if your plants. Insert your finger a couple of inches below the soil surface to feel the moisture level. If there is no moisture or you are unable to insert your finger because it is too dry, then it is time to water your plant. Some plants like cacti or succulents will prefer to dry out completely between watering. Get into a routine with your plant care, begin by setting aside one day per week to check the moisture levels and water the plants that need it. If they don’t require watering, then hold off until its your plant care day again. This will let you get used to the water requirements of your plants and allow you to monitor changes in your plant’s health.
Light levels: We try to provide accurate advice on the recommended light levels for plants. This, however, is a difficult task as there are many guides with conflicting advice. Generally, most will say bright indirect light, which could mean anything from the brightest part of a north facing room to the darkest corner of a south facing room. Not very helpful is it? Which is why we give a little more advice when we can, usually based on how plants we own have dealt with certain light levels at home in the Ottawa area. Many plants will live with improper light levels and eventually acclimatize to that level of light, However, if your plants are not getting enough light consider adding additional lighting or moving the plant to a brighter location.
Soil: Selecting the proper soil mix for your plant is important. Not every plant is grown in its preferred medium. For example, when potting up or repotting a cactus it is recommended to use cactus soil mix as it has been made to drain properly and retain the right amount of nutrients for the proper development of the plant. Epiphytes like bromeliads and some orchid species will want a more bark heavy soil mixture. Terrestrial plants will prefer an average potting mix, such as Promix potting soil, but make sure that you are not overfeeding your plants as too much fertilizer can negatively affect your plant. When preparing your soil for use ensure that it has been properly hydrated. Average potting mix should be moist enough that when you squeeze a handful, no water should drip out, the soil should hold its shape when you open your hand and crumble when touched lightly.
Up-potting: up potting should be done when the roots are close to filling the pot or when it is pot-bound or root-bound. Typically, you pot-up into the next size up, most commonly 2” increments. For example: a 6” plant will be up-potted to an 8” pot, an 8” to 10” and so on. Gently loosen/free the roots from the outer layer of soil. Place a shallow layer of fresh soil into the new pot and place the roots into the new pot and fill with fresh soil. Gently compact the top of the soil with your fingers and water thoroughly.