An Often Overlooked Problem Can Damage Your Houseplants
Sometimes even when you're careful not to overwater your houseplants, you start seeing brown tips on the ends of the leaves. Maybe whole stalks are dying. How could this be? You feed regularly, yet the plants fail to thrive. The problem? It's probably salts.
Who Put Salt in the Plants?
Besides the white stuff on your dinner table, there are all kinds of salts in your water, soil, and even potting mixes. Some salts occur in plant food, too, since they play an important role in plant health. But salts can build up in soil, and get absorbed by plants. Salts eventually accumulate in leaf tips and too much salt kills plant tissue, making plants look like they're dying.
How to Tell if the Problem Is Salt
Besides dead leaf tips, salt leaves other clues. If you see a white crust along the sides of your pots or over the surface of the potting mix, you have too much.
How to Get Rid of Salt
You'll need to flush your plant's potting mix. But first, wipe off the insides of the pot, without letting anything fall into the soil. Then put your plant in a bath, sink, or patio, and water it until you see seepage coming out of the drainage holes. Let the pot drain and then do it again. Don't worry about overwatering - as long as the pot drains, the plant should be fine. If the plant still doesn't recover, repot in fresh potting mix and a new container. Soak and scrub the old pot before you use it again.
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligène® and Substral®. In 2015, the Company ranked on Forbes 100 Most Reputable Companies in America. For additional information, visit us at http://www.scottsmiraclegro.com.
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By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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