PLANT TIPS BY THE HOUSEPLANT HOARDERS
OUR BASIC AROID MIX
For majority of our aroids we create a mix using:
- 2 parts coir
- 1 part medium pine bark
- 2 parts medium perlite
- 1 part premium potting mix (We like Searles)
For Anthuriums and other similarly rooted plants we omit the premium potting mix and double the amount of bark.
Anthuriums are prone to root rot so by adding extra bark the medium is less inclined to hold moisture and cause rot. A high bark mix also makes it very hard to overwater, which can result in root and foliage damage.
For Alocasias and Caladiums we omit the bark and add 1/2 part river sand, which is available at most landscaping supply stores.
ROOTING CUTTINGS USING SPHAGNUM MOSS
Although a little confronting at first rooting cuttings using sphagnum moss has fast become our favourite and most effective means of propagation.
What you will need:
- Sphagnum Moss
- Rooting Hormone (optional)
- A large ziplock bag
- A Clean Glass or Pot
- Bamboo stake/Plant Clips
TIP: When choosing your cuttings ensure you they have a healthy node or nodes attached to them. Without such nodes your cuttings will be unable to develop roots.
TIP 2: It is important to allow your cuttings to callus over before attempting to root them. Without doing so you put your plant at further risk of developing fungus/rot.
TIP 3: During the rooting process it is highly important to keep your cuttings warm. Attempting to root in the cooler months will usually result in rot, so it is best to wait until Spring/Summer. A heat mat however, will allow you to root cuttings all year round but will need to be left on constantly which can be costly.
GUIDE TO FERTILISING
Fertilisers contain a mixture of trace elements which aid in plant growth and flower production.
The main components to look for in a fertiliser include;
- Nitrogen which aids in leaf production
- Phosphates which stimulate root development and
- Potash (Water soluble potassium) which aids is flower development.
SIGNS OF TOO LITTLE FERTILISER:
- Slow growth
- Little resistance to pests
- Flowers absent, small or unable to open
- Stems and lower leaves dropping
- Leaves appear to be pale and anaemic looking or have yellow spots on them
- New leaves stalling and not completely
SIGNS OF TOO MUCH FERTLISER:
- New growth appears to be "lanky" or stunted
- Crisp brown patches on leaves (fertiliser burn)
- White build up on soil surface
WHEN TO FERTILISE?
The time to fertilise is during the growing and flowering season, which is generally late August to early March in Australia.
If you notice your plant is producing ample new growth or flowering it is usually time for a feed.
Feeding should be reduced or stopped during the cooler seasons or periods of dormancy.
In the growing season we like to fertilise every 3-6 weeks.