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Multiple Q's - decided to make just one post 8^D

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by NikiP on May 09, 2006 04:47 AM
1. I have a purple passion (Gynura aurantiaca) that I think needs fertilizing by now. Exactly what kind should I get for it? I think it's plant info said 8-8-8.
I'm a Lowe's employe & know we carry 8-8-8 in big bags outside, but i'm not sure if this is right or if I need a fertilzer from inside w/ the houseplants.

Really want to get it looking better so I can start snagging steams, would like a few more of these.

2. A fellow employee mentioned clay pots retaining moister & causing fungus/mold inside the pots. Is this true about clay pots? Made me a little nervous as my purple passion I repotted several weeks ago in a clay pot that I had laying around & I bought a clay orchid pot for my new orchid.

3. I've bought 2 african violets & a friend told me they'll need a hormone to bloom again. Is that true??? I used to have an african violet that kept blossoms on it all year round for years.

4. My boston fern doesn't need repotting till it starts looking bad, correct?
It took some searching to find one that wasn't very smushed on one side, but this one looks even all around & doesn't look to have any dead parts.

Thanks for any & all help!
by Frisha on May 09, 2006 08:52 AM
quote:
1. I have a purple passion (Gynura aurantiaca) that I think needs fertilizing by now. Exactly what kind should I get for it? I think it's plant info said 8-8-8. I'm a Lowe's employe & know we carry 8-8-8 in big bags outside, but i'm not sure if this is right or if I need a fertilzer from inside w/ the houseplants.

Really want to get it looking better so I can start snagging steams, would like a few more of these.
OK I would suggest if you feel you reallymust fertilize it use something like miricle grow and half strength. I have yet to fertilise mine and it's gtting big and have had to prune it back already a few times and it is less then a year old.

quote:
2. A fellow employee mentioned clay pots retaining moister & causing fungus/mold inside the pots. Is this true about clay pots? Made me a little nervous as my purple passion I repotted several weeks ago in a clay pot that I had laying around & I bought a clay orchid pot for my new orchid.
If you mean the unglazed terra-cotta pots then you have recieves some mis-information they dry out faster if they are unglazed then the glazed pottery ones. I personally like the unglazed pots for things like aloe vera or other plants that like to dry out between waterings. I have my purple passion in a glazed ceramic pot hanging outside as I type this. Only problem I have had is that it has an attached saucer that is a pain. And I have found that a glazed ceramic pot holds water less time then th plastic ones so seems personal preference between these too but maybe one of the others here can give you more information there.

quote:
3. I've bought 2 african violets & a friend told me they'll need a hormone to bloom again. Is that true??? I used to have an african violet that kept blossoms on it all year round for years.
Hormone for blooms on african violtes??? I jsut water them and put them in a nice spot and they bloom away. Don't know what that person is talking about. One thing I would suggest is don't fertilize them unless it is very very infrequently with a extreamly dilute solution. And get one of the self watering pots, my violets love them.

quote:
4. My boston fern doesn't need repotting till it starts looking bad, correct?
It took some searching to find one that wasn't very smushed on one side, but this one looks even all around & doesn't look to have any dead parts.
Cann't help you on this one I know virtiuly nothing about ferns

Hope some of this is helpful [Smile]
by PAR_Gardener on May 09, 2006 09:07 AM
I'll answer #2.
quote:
A fellow employee mentioned clay pots retaining moister & causing fungus/mold inside the pots. Is this true about clay pots?
Actually, the exact opposite is true. Clay or Terracotta post absorb moisture from the soil and wick it away, keeping the soil from getting to soggy. Watch the outside of the pot when you water. It will change to a darker color if there is "excess" moisture. If you use chemical fertilizers, the salts from the fertilizer will eventually collect on the inside and outside of the pot. It will appear as a hard white crust. I guess his could be mistaken for mold or fungus.

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Composting is more than good for your garden. It's a way of life.
by tkhooper on May 09, 2006 11:21 AM
If you plan on snagging stems to make the plant fuller you can also just take some of the leaves near the soil and that will create new branches on the plant. I only have two stems in my pot and it is very full because of pruning leaves.

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by joclyn on May 09, 2006 12:12 PM
soil in unglazed clay/ceramic pots tends to dry out pretty quickly. i only use these types of pots for cactus and succulents. as PAR said, salts from fertilizers (and/or very hard water) will leach through the unglazed material and form a coating on the pots. molds/fungus shouldn't be an issue with unglazed pots...i've never had a problem with the glazed type either.

does the orchid pot you purchased have the air holes in it?

the purple passion needs to be kept evenly moist and it needs a good amount of sunlight. it should grow fine under those conditions...if you really want to feed it with something - once a month and with a mild solution - should be fine.

i use peter's brand all-purpose stuff. i keep a container ready to go - i make it up at half strength and then, when i water i thin it down a bit more.

african violets do best when they are kept in a nice sunny spot. you also need to keep them consistantly and evenly moist. you don't have to use the av pots - i've found that they DO make a difference and, since i started keeping my av's in these pots made specifically for them, they bloom constantly. if you're going to feed av's, please use a product that is specifically for them...i've got some and i've never used it because i got it at the same time i got the av pots and they're doing so well in them, i've never used the food!

can't help with the boston fern
by NikiP on May 10, 2006 03:44 AM
Thanks for all the help so far!

Purple Passion - Currently it's on a glass shelf next to a window where it recieves filtered light a majority of the day.
So it really doesn't need fertilizing that often? It's tag said it needs fertilizing once a month & i've had it for a couple of months, so thats why I was thinking it's due.
The reason I want steams from it is to grow more. I want a few more pots of it, but we haven't gotten in any more since I bought mine. Want it to get a little more height before I start making it bush out.

African violets - The AV are in my room which is fairly sunny, I have a balcony w/ patio doors so that lets in a lot of light.
Right now I bought plastic pots to replant them in, but I may rethink that.
Thats great that they don't need hormones. I had never heard of that before & was wondering if my previous one was a freak of nature since we never even fertilized it, lol.
How much humidity do they need/can they stand? I want to set one next to one of my male betta tanks.

Orchid - Yes, the clay pot I bought for it has air holes. This plant is also going in my room & is going next to another betta tank.
by joclyn on May 10, 2006 02:42 PM
i generally feed once every 4 to 6 weeks. i tend to rotate it with keeping it at 4 weeks during growing season (summer). that's for all my plants - except the av's. i STILL haven't feed them - they're doing so well, i'm just going to hold on to the food and then use it when i finally get around to doing babies.

feeding the pp once a month or so should be fine - especially if you want to boost it's growth a bit so you have some stems that you can cut back to root.

i've got my av's in the kitchen...not particulary humid and they're doing fine. i don't think they have a humidity requirement - i could be wrong on that tho. the amount of light seems to be more the issue with them.

the orchid - depending on what type it is might do VERY well next to the betta tank. what kind is it? oh, i just use the sphangum moss for mine - it's a phalenopsis. some of the others do better in the bark stuff. those pots with the holes in them are the really good for them as they need the air circulation. the holes do make the potting medium dry out tho and they do like to be kept moist at all times.
by NikiP on May 10, 2006 04:44 PM
I bought a cattleya, can't think of the variety off the top of my head & I don't feel like going to look, lol

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