In The Garden: Hints From A Mrs. Gardener House Plants & Fertilisers

Submitted by Joan Regan

With the deep freeze that we are all enduring it is so difficult to think of gardening, so thought I might just talk about some “Indoor Gardening”. One of the latest emails I have received was from Lynda commenting on her $.99 Christmas Cactus that she got a last year. It has been flourishing in an east window, blooming continually since putting it there. Thank you to Lynda for the picture all of the kind words. Much appreciated.
Another email was from Susan asking about house plant fertilisers, so the following is some info from my House Plant Bible.

1. Nitrogen: Nitrogen is so important for support of the stems and foliage especially come Spring when all our house plants really take a growth spurt.

2 Phosphorus: Phosphorus is so important for all plants especially flowering house plants. African Violets for instance will reward you greatly, especially if the fertiliser has a much larger number than the first one. I have a Birds Nest Philodendron and a burgundy Shamrock that I give the African Violet food to as well as my Spiders, a shot of it come May to get them going before putting them outside for the summer (in the shade). It probably wouldn’t hurt to give all our house plants a shot of African Violet food come May.

3. Potassium: Potassium supports the roots and it is the roots that supply the rest of the plant with their nutrients. Some will say to only feed our house plants from Spring to Fall, but others say that most house plants are “Tropicals” and will thrive with a 1/2 strength fertiliser from October to April and I have found a substantial difference in my house plants since using this method. Also a small pinch of Epsom salts in water if no fertiliser is handy (1/2 tsp. salts to 2 qtrs. water).

So #1 is for Foliage, #2 is for Flowering, and #3 is for roots and to encourage new growth. Easy Peasy.
I am still getting messages re Amaryllis so it seems that whatever works for you “DO IT”. Might do my two in different ways and see what happens.
Soon all this snow and freezing cold will just be a memory and we will be sitting in our beautiful gardens listening to the birds and swatting at mosquitoes.

In the mean time Happy Indoor Gardening,
Joni 519-596-2389