Gardening : 1 to 30+

Updated: May 24, 2020

Welcome back!!!

As I said in the earlier post, it started with a Tulsi sapling. I was looking for nurseries in my locality on Google when I came across

I went through their website and found few packs of 4/5 plants. But the question was which of these were well suited for Bangalore climate. This lead to the start of my research which I think was the starting point. As usual, there was a lot of confusion as to which plants to buy.

After a lot of thinking, in couple of days, I had made few purchases. So now I had 14 different plants - Tulsi, Red Rose, Maroon Rose, Brahma Kamal (The Night Queen), Curry leaves (Kadi patta), Mexican mint (Ajwain leaves), Bryophyllum (Paanfutti), Mogra, Peace lily, Aloe Vera, Lemon grass (a must for tea lovers like me 😜), Gladioli bulb, 2 Rajnigandha bulbs and 3 rain lily bulbs. The bulbs were pre-treated and ready for sowing. It took 2 weeks for the all the bulbs to germinate.

Tip 1: Before buying any plant online, do check about it in local nurseries. You might get the same plant at lower price and in better condition. Or you might get some information about whether it can survive in the conditions that you have in your garden.

By this time, I had learned that not all plants can grow in same potting mix or their other requirements related to sunlight, water, pot size, pruning, propagation, etc. Also, with the bulbs pack, I had received coir pots. These pots are made of coconut coir and can hold moisture for longer time. As you must be aware that the pots should have drainage holes to avoid soil become soggy and cause root rot. These pots hold little more of the water that gets drained as the coir absorbs the excess water till it is saturated. Hence, instead of the soil being soggy, now the coir becomes moist. As and when soil is dry and needs water, the moisture from coir is pulled by the soil, hence reducing the watering frequency. Also, the coir provides proper aeration to the soil and hence, roots grow more stronger and healthy. It also reduces number of times you would need to loosen the upper layer of soil to promote aeration.

Being an engineer, you can't understand any concept without experimenting and here I was going to do one. I was going to be out of station for a week & had to find some way to water the plants after 3 days (as twice a week works for my balcony). For the plants with regular plastic pots, adding some water to the drain plates could be done. For the coir ones in which bulbs were sown, yet to be germinated, I purposely did not add extra water to the plates. Instead, kept the pot on the grill such that the bottom of the pot is not covered completely and placed in a corner where pot gets adequate sunlight. When I returned after 7 days, the pot was dry but the soil was little moist - just as it should be. And to my surprise, all the bulbs had germinated and its shoots had emerged out of the soil and enjoying sun bath.

The other factor that need to be taken care was the amount of sunlight and watering frequency. Not all plants can survive in full sun or full shade. When you are growing plant from seeds or have bought very young sapling, it might not be good idea to keep it in full sunlight. From my personal experience, matured plants are strong enough to handle full sun except for the ones which need full shade. So to categorize:

1. If seeds/bulbs are sown or for young saplings - Keep it in a place which receives morning sun, which will keep the soil warm and not completely dry out the soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water only when upper layer seems dry as the soil below will still be moist. If you are in regions where temperatures rises in afternoon, place the pot such that it recieves morning sun and later part of the day in shade. On contrary, if you are in regions where nights are cold, keep the pot either indoor near the window where it receives sunlight throughout the day or if in balcony or terrace, under the roof so that night dews/mist doesn't collect on the soil for longer time. You can also try keeping the pot outdoor during day and indoor during night.

2. Once the plant shows good growth - Keep it as per its requirement. My advise will be that whenever you buy a plant, research about it. We live in Internet era, where not all, but some caring tips might be available on Internet. For me, Google baba ki jai!!! Always works. In case of buying from nursery, literate yourself about the plant from the gardener as he will be knowing more about the local conditions. Eg. Most of the succulents can grow in partial or no sun while Rose plant will need good amount of sunlight to stay healthy and longer bloom.

There can be some exceptions to these caring tips as well.

Tip 2: Be patient. Like humans & animals, plants too have life cycle. Growing plants doesn't work as magic. Some might grow in 1 week while some might take 1 year too.

Remember, though plants don't speak, but believe me, they too have feelings. If you don't show care, it won't be growing as expected. Every thing in this world needs love and care. Treat them like your kids and they will answer to your care with healthy fruits or flowers. Don't just use them for decorating a corner of your house, make them part of your life. And trust me, you will surely notice change within you. I found myself more happy and patient.😃

To be continued in the next post. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!!!

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