Anjiparampil farm and garden All outdoor plants require at least 5-6 hrs of direct sunlight a day to stay healthy, retain their colour, fruit and flower for you. According to what plant it is, place plant in appropriate position where plenty of sun is available. While watering keep a few tips in mind · Check soil for moisture, if moist watering is not required. If you do expect a hot day ahead then you could give it a bit of a sprinkle. · Make sure soil is never soggy for long periods and it dries in-between watering frequencies, or else the plant roots cannot breath and they can rot. · Plants like cactus need to be watered once in a week and placed in full sun. · Best time to water is in the morning before the harsh sun gets out, as the plant can to ready to photosynthesis · If plants have plastic trays beneath them make sure there is no standing water in the tray. · Once watered make sure the tray is emptied of standing water and placed back. Standing water can cause mosquitoes to breed and results in over watering of the plants. · Make sure to throughly clean plants twice a week to keep them dust free. Dust interferes with the breathing of the plants and if not cleaned plants look dull and tend to wilt. Re-pottingAll potted plants need to be re-potted at least once a year but thats not a thumb rule. Some slow growing plants may take longer; hence pay a little attention to your plant. Some signs to look out for · Roots are visibly sticking out from the bottom of the pot as well as the surface. · Soil surface looks depleted of soil. · There is no space for you to apply any additional fertilizer. · The plant may look wilted and sickly In that case you must remove plant from pot and trim roots. Be careful while doing this as some plant can take shock and not recover. Ideally you must place the plant in a larger pot (approx 2-4 inches larger) or the ground. If you are unable to do this then do a less drastic prune and re-pot the plant back in same pot, making sure you have added a good amount of fertilizer. After re-potting, water the plants thoroughly and keep in the shade for two days till it settles and then introduce it back in its desired location. Fertilizing · All plants need to be fertilized once a month as a rule · Make sure you give them a balanced diet of NPK-Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium · Any well-decomposed organic fertilizer is recommended · Create a ring around the plant. Dig about 2-3 inches in and sprinkle some fertilizer. Cover in back with soil and then water. · For leaf shine and brightness a spray of any organic liquid or soluble fertilizer will be good once a week. Trimming and Pruning Pruning is advised according to plant growth habit. While pruning keep the following points in mind · Is it flowering time of the plant in question. If it is then wait until it finishes flowering and then continue to prune. How much to prune will depend on how much you expect it to grow within a certain period. For example if you decide to drastically prune your bougainvillea, it will be another 6 -10 months before you see in a lush bushy flowering state. Pruning must be done systematically. Trimming the young wild out of shape branches before you tackle the older more established ones. In this way you give the plants a better from as it grows to increase its overall aesthetic appeal. Make sure you cutters have sharp blades or else they could damage the plant and because of its open wound get susceptible for fungal and rust diseases. PREPARATION REQUIRED FOR INDOOR PLANTS: All indoor or semi-shade plants as I'd like to call them , require a minimum of 2-3 hours of light early morning or late evening sunlight or at lease a good amount of reflected light, from a near by window. Depending on placement water semi-shade plant every alternate day, again this is not a thumb rule you must check plants and come up with your own schedule. Many factors like wind intensity, amount of light, day time temperature have a considerable effect on the plant. Orchids need to be watered a minimum of twice a day three times on really hot days as with many Fern varieties. They also like to be place with other plants rather than being isolated. Points to be noted: · Never allow water to stand in the tray below. · Clean leaves with spray thoroughly three times a week. · Fertilizer in solid form can be added once a month and in liquid form once a week for leaf shines. · It is important to rotate plants so that there is even growth as the leaves tend to move towards whatever little light there is. Upward turned leaves are a good indication of this especially for the Fittonia plant. · Try and study the growth habit of your plant. For example how they re-produce like ferns produce spores on the underside of the leaves. Little brown dots are found, most people tend to think its some sort of pest infestation which is not true and spray the plant unnecessarily · Re-potting rules are the same as indoor plants. Semi-shade plants are more hardy, so can be handled a little less delicately. · Most semi-shade plants tend to have a creeping habit and need to be supported. Coconut husk sticks are a great durable and environmentally friendly option available at Green Grower. · Semi-shade plants that have hairy leaves like the African Violet can be watered from the plate below itself so that you don't end up wetting the leaves all the time as they can rot. But make sure you constantly keep dust off the leaves washing or dusting them at least two time a week. · Regularly keep cleaning any dead or yellowing leaves from the plant to keep up appearances. · Common pest infestation are mealy bugs, any systemic spray will do. Dosage is same as for outdoor plants.