I hope you had a great weekend. The sun didn't shine much here!
I adore air plants too - they're some of my favourites and instantly inject a room with a little life and colour! Wow, that's amazing that you have a true passion for gardening. Very inspiring. 7 years old!
Orchids always seem to survive in my home environment. It might be because it's humid in my flat and they seem to love it. I don't have them in direct sunlight either and seem to keep them alive, it's awesome!
I love all succulents, I am not a professional in that area so I couldn't say specific names. I have a lot of light in my flat and it can become very warm. I would love to know your advice and guidance on this! Thanks, Karsten.
How do you water/feed your air plants?
Regarding succulents, most of them need stunning amounts of light. There's so many out there, I can't begin to say details...... If you want to be inspired....... try looking on Pinterest for "succulents" "unusual succulents", "beautiful succulents", etc, etc.....
If you can post photos or names, I can get into specifics!
Boy, it's been a bit of a year, I got badly conned by a van dealer this winter, (which lead to a lot more expense and time wasted), someone broke into my van last week ("only" broke a window, and stole £4. But it took 2 wasted days to get it sorted). And I just caught a stinker of a cold!
Onwards and upwards! (~8
Do either of you have any tips on growing Aloe Vera plants? We don't have many succulent plants and i want to see my Aloe grow from the windowsill plant it is now to a striking centerpiece in a garden.
What a lovely conversation to catch up with on a Monday
We enjoyed a small harvest this weekend of Cavelo Nero, two different types of Beetroot, Courgette, new potatoes and peas this weekend.
Hi @JamesC ............ (Maybe you missed the last bit of my reply! Nevermind!)
Anyway, continuing with pleasant things...... Can you post photos of your Aloe vera? including the pot? Then I can pronounce verdicts (~8 ..........
I'll be running them to my Greenhouse from your reply , is there a best type of soil i can give her?
I'll get my partner to take a picture and email me it and I'll post it this afternoon for you. Never been sure of watering either, is it a desert plant or a rainforest one?
Aloe vera is a semi-desert plant Very few plants grow in true desert. (The last I knew about it, anywhere with less than 10" of rain annually is a true desert)
They can put up with a lot, but it seems they will respond well to quite a rich soil, but it also has to be well drained and heavy enough to keep the plant upright when it is dry. That's a key to it, let it dry out thoroughly in between waterings. In a typical situation, you would also not water it in the winter, usually from end of September to about mid-March. But it depends where it is. If it's going to get a cold winter, you need to make sure the soil has dried right out and the plant is shrivelled BEFORE the weather gets cold.
I would probably give it 1 part organic matter, 1 part loam/topsoil, 1 part good sand, and 1 part grit.
I use a spray bottle @Karsty!
To avoid drowning the little things. However, the air plants still die. I am definitely going to search on Pinterest for inspiration! Great idea! & thanks so much!
Oh, I do hope things are on the UP! Let's hope so.
Getting the pot size right is also a key. It needs to be a bit bigger than the rootball, until the plant has reached the size you want, then you can pretty much leave it in that pot forever. Also, with the right care it could be necessary to repot them into bigger pots 2, or even 3 times in a year. And they need a good amount of sun.
Airplants (Tillandsias) - Yours are probably dying from lack of water. In the heat we had this summer they needed a good soak twice a week, either by spraying or dunking. Some growers even leave them underwater overnight for watering.
In normal conditions I give all mine a good soaking with a sprayer once per week.
And they benefit from being weakly fertilised in their water (a balanced fertiliser without ureic nitrogen, and with trace elements, is best)
A big consideration also is WHAT kind of water you use..........?
I've just got hold of Solufeed Rose Special fertiliser, and I'm going to use it on EVERYTHING - I have a necessity to simplify (~8
That's rather good to know, Especially about the trying out completely between watering. I have a picture attached.
It was repotted bout 3 month ago but i haven't seen the increase in size i'd expected, likely due to lacking sunlight which i hope will be resolved by a stay in the greenhouse.
They're really useful to us, we had to pull a couple of the leaves and extract the Gel for use when we'd ran out of after-sun, works a treat for sunburn!
To Chime in on your Question @Karsty about what water; in my allotment i maintain the use of rainwater as much as possible, my plot is littered with old plastic bottles cut open to collect rainwater, which i then tip into my two water-barrels. This year I've had no choice but to hosepipe up to the mains supply. I use a No Dig Philosophy, and don't add any artificial chemicals or fertilizers to my garden. I need to read up and look into what organic methods there are of improving my growth, I know i want that natural feel to my garden.
Hi @JamesC,....... I've got some news for you...... That isn't Aloe vera, it's Aloe aristata! And it's suffering from severe lack of light!
It is a clump-forming Aloe, it never develops a stem. And it is hardy! We've had one outside at my mum's for about 20 years! - https://photos.app.goo.gl/FfQz24zEjtkFHNLc8
If ti suddenly gets sun now it will probably scorch, but it will recover, it will grow new leaves and the scorched ones will get replaced.
If you want to avoid scorching altogether then increase the light gradually, over about a coupla weeks.
Oh my! I'm rather shocked. I had always thought it was the aloe veras way of reproducing - I know plenty about vegetable growing but nothing about these so thank you for enlightening me.
I'll give it shifts of the light sunlight we get at home, before moving it to the allotment as it's permanent home. If i pick the clumps and replant them, will they root and go just as if I'd taken cuttings off another plant?
The one spot of our small garden that gets full sunlight is reserved for the Aloe Vera plant i want as the centerpiece.
It of-course means I'm going to have to go and buy an Aloe Vera so i can have the big, striking dino plant to go in the yard >.<
I'll have to add that to the Perennial Kale plant I've been wanting to buy too, none of the centres within 50 miles of my address seem to stock them and i don't enjoy buying things online, least of all plants. My local garden centers know me by name as i want to know the history of every plant i buy, they're so friendly and enjoy our conversations; thankfully! ^_^
Also, thank you @Karsty for your expertise. This means a lot! I am hoping I can have more plants in my flat as soon as I get to grips with it all. Would you say plants are essential for living spaces and work environments? I believe they help purify the air!
I hope this isn't bad, I use filtered tap water for watering my indoor plants... Nothing special!
Thanks so much, @Karsty!
@JamesC, (A. vera is also sometimes named A. barbadensis.)
Yes, each rosette of A. aristata will easily produce a new separate plant. Just make sure it is dry for a couple of weeks after separating it, whether you leave it to callous over, or pot it straight up.
Why limit yourself to Aloe vera? Sometimes they sucker like mad and you don't get that amazing big single stem. There are other big growers - A. ferox (doesn't branch, but grow quite quickly. I had one but had to get rid of it because it got too big). A. dichotoma - does branch (recently renamed Aloidendron dichotomum)
Or just google Aloes and see what forms they come in? A. arborescens might be of interest. Apparently there's one similar looking which is hardy - can't remember the name though.
I suppose your tapwater is hard? Ours is in Watford. Not good for air plants, they would get caked in scale! If yours are obviously not getting scaled up then you're probably ok with your filtered water, but those filters have a lifespan and it's not usually easy to monitor them.
However, you could get a TDS meter (Total Dissolved Solids) as cheap as chips from eBay, and if the reading is below 10 you should be ok to use that water.
I use rainwater where possible for most of my plants, but if that runs out I've got a reverse osmosis (RO) unit. But for small quantities you could buy deionised water, as sold for topping up car batteries. (Fisheries also usually sell RO water quite cheaply).
Absolutely, many studies show that plants remove toxins from the air.... I just need them to keep good mental health!
@Karsty i am utterly fixated by the Aloe Ferox - I love the flowers on it - I think that might be a winner. Naturally, me not doing any research on the Aloe plants has left me with a lot to learn. I also quite like the Aloe Khamiesensis, the dual leaves on either side of the stem are fascinating and remind me of something, not sure what, but something.
I'll have to turn off google until i get home! Productivity is dropping... I'm sure i'll be discussing this in detail tonight...
The main thing for me is productivity in my plants, so with the Aloe Genus plants, i'd want one that grows good and strong, which i can still harvest the Gel from. I won't grow something unless it has a functional use to me. My rose bush has a use in that i grow them to give to my partner, A red rose has significance to our relationship in ways we never thought we'd see. Many of the flowers i'm growing i've picked specifically to entice pollinators, in order to improve my vegetable gardens productivity.
Thank you all today, it's been a real enjoyment joining in with these conversations, and no doubt i'll catch up again next time i log in ^_^
I don't know if all Aloes have the same useful gel as A. vera, you'd have to check it out.
Don't forget, sometimes what the plants produce for you is simply something amazing or beautiful to look at!
Yes, we have very hard water here too, in the South!
I use a great water filter that I change regularly. Costs a fortune but is worth the money!
Thank you for your great tips and your awesome engagement. I am going to work my magic with plants and see how far I get. I shall keep you updated on this journey! I can't wait.
Remember, if you need to ask anything, please do! We are here to back those who don't back down.
@Jess W, ok, that sounds like a bit of a pain!
First thing, Don't use water straight from the fridge for the plants! Only use room-temperature water.
Second thing, probably a reverse osmosis unit is a bit of overkill for you, but have you considered something like this - https://www.uk-water-filters.co.uk/undersink-home-water-filters.html
@Jess W, I hope you're not watering your plants with water straight out of the fridge!
Have you ever considered this type of thing - https://www.uk-water-filters.co.uk/undersink-home-water-filters.html
And this is a TDS meter, it's only £3 on eBay. Really useful for measuring dissolved minerals - https://www.osmotics.co.uk/products/TDS%252d3-Handheld-Meter-With-Carrying-Case.html