Trees, shrubs and vines are essential elements in your landscape. They add structure, texture and color as well as establish focal points in your garden or yard. Fortunately, taking care of plants can be easy. But it does require knowing the basics, and learning insider tips which will help you carry out the practices efficiently.
By their very nature, trees, shrubs and vines need occasional tweaking to stay healthy and inbounds. Routine watering, fertilizing and mulching can keep them growing well and producing beautiful leaves, flowers or fruits. Another practice like pruning prevents them from choking themselves – or overrunning nearby plants.
Caring for plants, both indoors and outdoors, is important in maintaining their health and appearance. Whether you want to keep your flowers in bloom longer or just want to save a sickly looking plant in Kenya, don’t worry!
If you are considering hiring a landscaping service to help you maintain and take care of your plants in Kenya, contact Appeala Landscaping Kenya today to speak with one of our experts.
1. Supply Your Plants with Enough Water
Water can be the primary reason for a plants’ death – when they either get too much of it, or not enough. Make sure that your plants are getting plenty of moisture, depending on their type. For the most part, you want to make sure that the soil in your plants’ container is moist at all times, but not soaking.
You can kill your flowers with kindness by overwatering them. This is the most common mistake beginning gardeners make. Check with Kenya’s landscaping professionals to determine the water needs of your plants when you buy them
Check the soil between watering with a stick, or even your finger, pushing below the top layer of soil to determine how moist the soil is. A watering can is an excellent choice for watering indoor or young plants. Water well around the bases and do it thoroughly. Water should drain from the hole in the bottom of the pot. Use lukewarm or warm water, since cold water can shock the roots.
Outdoors tend to be a bit harder than indoors, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need plenty of water. Set up an automatic sprinkler system if you can, or else water them on a daily basis if it doesn’t rain.
Some ornamentals, like succulents and cacti, require very infrequent watering every few weeks. In the winter months when the air is dryer, mist them with a spray bottle. You can also use a humidifier to provide them with extra moisture without bogging down their roots in watery soil. In addition, you can group plants together on trays of wet pebbles to increase humidity.
2. Ensure Your Plants are Getting Enough Sunlight
Light is a plant’s most basic need. It processes food through photosynthesis, which occurs in sunlight. Different plants have different light needs. Check with Kenya’s landscaping professionals to learn which type of light your particular plant needs. The type of light need falls into one of three groups: direct sunlight (sunlight hits the plant directly, without any barrier), indirect sunlight (light shines in a room but not directly on a plant) and diffused light (light is filtered through a screen or sheer curtain before reaching the plant).
The most important thing for healthy plants is the perfect amount of sunlight. Some outdoors are sun-lovers, while others prefer more of the shade. If your plants are potted, move them to the right location depending on their species. If you are planting your them in a garden, make sure they’re in a good spot.
You can look up the sun requirements for each plant by visiting a local nursery, checking online or consulting a landscaping expert. When in doubt, move a plant to a location that gets equal amounts of shade and sunlight over the course of the day.
3. Apply Fertilizer or Other Nutrient Material
Plants have individual nutrition needs, and beginning gardeners should be careful not to overfeed their plants. Plant food comes in three forms: water-soluble, spikes and granular.
If your plants are looking a bit drab, they may not be getting the necessary nutrients from the soil. Visit a local nursery or landscaping firm and see what plant food or fertilizer would be put to best use in your yard. You may add chicken manure or compost into the soil as a natural way to provide nutrients for your plants.
Some plants require frequent fertilizing to ensure healthy growth. Fertilize monthly between April and November using fertilizer that is specifically formulated for them. Be careful not to overfertilize them. Too much fertilizer can lead to salt accumulation, which can damage the trees, shrubs or vines. Do not do much fertilizing in the fall, which can stimulate growth. This tender, new growth will quickly die when exposed to cold winter temperatures.
Annuals need fertilizer application at planting time and again a little later in the season to keep them actively growing. Regardless of what kind of fertilizer you use do not overdo it or risk pushing the trees, shrubs or vines too fast. Anyone who has ever overfed tomatoes knows what “all leaves & branches, no fruit” means. Too much fertilizer can result in overgrown, rank plants, as well as root damage and burned leaves
4. Keep Your Garden Free from Weeds
Weeding is a task few enjoy, but it is necessary in order to properly care for you plants and keep them looking healthy. Pull out all weeds from the roots, and check back on a regular basis to make sure they continue to stay away. It is important to weed regularly, as these unwanted plants can steal valuable nutrients and soil space that your plants need to be healthy.
There are a number of ways in which you can control weeds. You can do uprooting if you don’t have a large area to weed. You can also use garden tools to remove weeds from your garden. In addition, you can use herbicides to keep your garden free from weeds.
5. Prevent and Control Pest and Diseases in Your Plants
Over time, your plants can become sickly and poor-looking as the result of dust buildup and insect pest infections. You can prevent health issues with your plants by cleaning them with a soft rag and organic insecticide soap every few months. If you notice that they seem ill looking, take extra care and clean them a bit more often.
Don’t use a duster to clean them, as these can transfer bacterial pests from place to place and infect them all at once. If insecticide isn’t your thing, you can gently wash your plants off with lukewarm water.
Bugs and slugs can really destroy a garden. Find an organic insecticide to use on your plants, or use predatory insects that eat the plant-eating bugs for an all-natural alternative.
For example, nematodes can be used to eat spider mites and ladybugs can be used to eat aphids. To keep slugs and snails out of your garden, you can sprinkle crushed egg-shells around the perimeter. If you would rather kill them, a bowl of beer will do the trick.
Most diseases that attack plants are fungal and bacterial. Avoid unnecessary moist conditions in your garden to prevent fungal diseases. To prevent bacterial diseases, avoid injuring your plants! When your plants get infected by diseases, use appropriate fungicides and bactericides to control the harmful microorganisms.
6. Prune and Trim Your Plants
Pruning trees, shrubs or vines isn’t difficult, but it requires having a reason. Removing wayward stems can be done any time of the year. However, the perennial ones can have a few old flowering stems cut off every year to force strong new growth to replace that which is removed. Simply thin out a few cluttered stems, leaving others to continue blooming. Be careful to not prune spring-blooming vines too hard in winter, or you’ll lose that season’s flowers.
Fruit plants, especially grapes, must be pruned carefully to remove excess growth and to promote strong fruit production. This is usually done in midwinter, and every stem is cut back to within a few inches of where it started growing the year before.
Potted and indoor plants can grow to a large size and become ill at times. Use a small pair of gardening shears to trim off excess growth and to cut away sick parts of the plant. This will not only keep your plant looking healthier, but also prevent them from turning into huge overgrown messes.
Although you may not want to cut back them, it is important to cut off dead flowers and branches as well as sickly looking parts. Typically done after a growing season has finished, use a pair of garden shears to dead-head. If you feel your plants are getting too big, you can cut them back at this time as well. Prune the bush after flowering has ceased to remove spent blooms and untidy branches and to keep the plants in a good condition.
7. Choose the Right Locations for the Indoors
Although you may have the perfect location for your houseplants, you may need to rearrange things a bit depending on each plant’s individual needs. Find a location with good light, away from a heat vent/air conditioner, above a radiator or television, and in front of curtains.
For lots of sunlight, put your plants in an east/west facing window. For mild sunlight, a south facing window is good. And for little sunlight, place your plants in a north facing window. Avoid placing your plants in a location where it might be easily knocked over by children or pets as well.
8. Repot Your Indoors or Young Plants
When a plant becomes top-heavy or its roots grow out of the drainage hole, it’s time to repot. Always choose a container that has a drainage hole. Place a small piece of net over the drainage hole to keep dirt from leaking out of the pot during watering.
Always use potting soil for your plants rather than dirt from the yard. Dampen the potting soil before placing it around your plant. Add a little soil to the bottom of the pot and tamp it down. Remove the plant from its old container carefully, shaking soil loose from around the roots so they will spread out easily in the new soil. Place the plant in the container and fill to the top with potting soil, tamping down firmly around the edges; water thoroughly.
If you see brown leaves at the bottom of the plant after transplanting, just pinch them off. After repotting, check the care instructions of each plant for proper placement to fulfill its light requirements.
If you are looking for a good landscaping company in Kenya to help you maintain and take care of your plants, look no further than Appeala Landscaping Kenya. Contact us today. We can also supply and install flower plants, landscaping plants, fruit plants, vegetable crops, cut flowers and lawn grass, among other plants.