Category Archives: Indoor Gardening

Indoor Gardening

Best 8 Fragrant House Plants!

Indoor plants serve more than one purpose! Beside complementing our home decor and enhancing home’s aesthetic value, they deliver fragrant aromas. These fragrant plants replace chemical-containing air fresheners by cleaning the indoor air naturally. With their lush green foliage and scented aroma, they enliven our homes which can thereby reduce stress levels we people are dealing with. If you are looking forward to grow some fragrant houseplants at your place, try including one from the list given below:

Best Fragrant House Plants!

  • Gardenia: Gardenia is one of the best indoor plants that are known for their fragrance. This lovely house plant has dark green glossy leaves and white flowers which produce a heavy aromatic scent. There are more than 150 species of this houseplant out of which some are easy to plant while some are tricky to grow. This is because most of them require bright light and high humidity. So, choose the specie that requires less care and maintenance. Some of the requirements of gardenia plant are nighttime temperature of 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit and acidic soil (to change acidity or alkalinity of your soil use Olivia’s pH adjusters), etc.
  • Jasmine: This is also one of the elegant house plants which are grown to impart aroma. With its thick green leaves and white flowers delivering sweet and delicate aroma, the plant is even compared to fresh linens. Jasmine flowers come in many varieties out of which Arabian and Star jasmine is commonly grown. Most of the plant species generally need full light, high humidity and warm temperatures to bloom. A windowsill is a perfect place to grow a jasmine plant.
  • Geranium: Scented geranium is also a well-known option when it comes to fragrant plants. Brushing its leaves or touching them delivers a burst of aromatic scent. This easy-to-grow plant is available in many forms – mint, rose, chocolate, lemon, orange, pineapple, lavender and more. Geranium plants need full sun, well-draining soil and night temperature ranging between 55-68 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Eucalyptus: Known to emit a refreshing odor, these dark green or purple colored houseplants are also worth growing at your place. Regular watering is the main hurdle that comes in the path of its propagation. This is because these plants absorb water very fast and thus need to be watered frequently. If you want to grow some air-purifying indoor plants, check our link – Improving Quality of Life with Indoor Plants.
  • Orchid: Orchids are other popular option when fragrant plants are talked about. There are innumerable varieties of this houseplant that can be grown to deliver a decent aroma to surroundings. These plants are region-specific so decide to plant the one that will be apt to grow in your location. Some of the varieties you can decide to plant are Oncidiums, Pansy orchids or the corsage types. Where the Pansy orchids and oncidiums are easy to grow, corsage types are the showiest. All these plants require plenty of sunlight in order to thrive and propagate successfully.
  • Mint: Mint is not just the best herbal tea plant but also the one that delivers fresh aroma when planted indoors. From many years, this houseplant has been used in perfumery industry to extract oils for perfumes and scent lamps due to its pleasant aroma. The mint plants are also very good for people suffering from lung diseases. Mint plant is very easy to grow and can be planted almost anywhere.
  • Paperwhites: One of the most popular members of daffodil family – paperwhites can be grown in any season. To plant these easy-to-grow species, you just need a shallow container and some stones or pebbles.
  • Lavender: Known for its sweet aroma and beautiful purple flowers, lavender plants are also a good option to consider. These plants like to be grown in hotspots and dry climatic conditions. Gardeners just need to water their Lavender plants once in a month. Lavender plants also require extreme lighting to propagate successfully; so decide to plant them in a location receiving adequate light such as windowsills.

Foliar Feeding in Hydroponic Systems!

What is Foliar Feeding?

Foliar feeding is a technique of feeding plants directly through leaves or foliage. Unlike that of root feeding, it is a fast way to provide nutrients, gases and moisture to plant canopy through leaves. The foliar feed can consist of one nutrient element or a combination of various elements which the crops are deficient in.

The technique was invented by Dr. S.H. Wittwer & H.B. Tukey in 1950. The development was carried in the department of agriculture at the Michigan State University.

Why go for Foliar Feeding?

Foliar feeding is undertaken in hydroponic systems to save your crops during water and nutrient deficiencies. If you mix the plant food in half of the nutrient solution, then you can avoid nutrient toxicity and leaf burn.

Foliar Feeding in Hyrdroponics

However, foliar feeding is used as a means to provide essential micro nutrients to the plants that they may not otherwise receive. It is an easy and fast way to give hydroponic plants an extra boost of necessary nutrients. Well, some of the important reasons why hydroponic gardeners choose this technique are:

  • Sometimes, the plant suffers from root diseases like root rot which prevents it from taking the nutrients. As a result, it will produce smaller yields. In such cases, foliar feed applied on a regular basis can bring those diseases under control.
  • Generally, in a hydroponic system, pH levels are either too high or low and the balance of nutrients that are fed to the plants isn’t that much optimized. Due to this, the crops inhibit certain nutrient deficiencies. These deficiencies can also be a result of poor rooting medium that doesn’t hold moisture well enough. In such cases, a foliar feed consisting of specific nutrient elements can help in overcoming those deficiencies after its application. To maintain an optimal pH level of your nutrient solution, you can consider adding Olivia’s pH Adjusters ‘Up or Olivia’s pH Adjusters ‘Down’.
  • Climatic conditions sometimes prevent the uptake of essential nutrients by the plant which can cause several nutrient deficiencies. This situation calls for the usage of foliar feeding.
  • Foliar fertilizing is also accomplished to give the plants some extra nutrients they require to thrive at their best. This is simply done to increase the yield in the most cost-effective way. All it takes is a spray bottle full of an efficient foliar spray!
  • To amplify the quality of hydroponic crops, many growers use seaweed extracts as a foliar fertilizer. Those additives consist of wide variety of nutrient elements in traces that can enhance the growth of plants.
  • Many plants go under stress when they are under watered or over watered. Even, if they recover from damage, they are less likely to receive all the essential nutrients because of the lost root mass. It is where foliar feed helps plants in getting sufficient nutrients.
  • Foliar feeding is also helpful in feeding the plants with the nutrients that don’t translocate i.e. move from one part (of the plant) to another. For example – iron and phosphorous are two examples of such nutrients that need to be fed through foliar spray.

How to Apply Foliar Feed?

The application of foliar fertilizer depends on the size of your hydroponic garden. Foliar feeding is generally done through a hand sprayer or a leaf blower backpack containing the solution. While foliar feeding, make sure that the solution is applied to both sides of the leaves. Moreover, try to apply the fertilizer when the climate is cool because at that time, pores of your plants are widely open and they will receive the solution more effectively.

Things to Consider Before Foliar Feeding:

There are certain factors one need to consider before treating hydroponic plants with foliar feed. They are:

  • First foremost thing you need to consider is the pH of the foliar spray. For optimum absorption, its pH should be around 5.8 as too acidity or alkalinity will not allow the leaves to absorb those nutrients effectively.
  • Another thing you have to keep in mind is that the grow room should not be too warm as this will make the foliar spray less effective. This is because those fine mist will tend to evaporate much quickly if the temperature of the grow room is too high.
  • It is also required to achieve an optimal value of pH of your nutrient solution. The reason here is that a foliar feed does not replaces a nutrient solution even if one is using a good quality spray. So, it is crucial to check the pH balance of your nutrient solution too.

Even your hydroponic plants receive adequate amount of nutrients, they can still be benefited from foliar feeding. Just experiment on a part of your crop before treating the whole plant with foliar fertilizer.

Factors Influencing Plant Cloning Success Rate!

Plant cloning may appear as a daunting task for many novice growers. But the truth is that anyone can indulge in this plant propagation method to grow clones successfully. It is not all at difficult if you utilize the right conditions to make it happening. Well, there are surely certain factors that can influence cloning success rate to greater extent. Here are some of them:

Factors Influencing Plant Cloning Success Rate!

  • Parent Plant: Cloning success rate is highly influenced by the condition of parent stock. Before taking your cutting from it, you need to make sure that it is disease-free because even if it genetically suitable but is infected, it is useless. Never select a mother plant that has dead spots, wilted or discolored leaves as it will produce bad clones with poor health. Instead, choose the parent stock that shows the best resistance to pest and diseases, has greenest and firmest stems and offcourse a good yield. Also be sure to take your cuttings from a new plant every year as cuttings taken from new plants root faster. If you want to take cuttings from your favorite plant that is bit older, just take the cuttings from its base.
  • Rooting Hormone: The quality of rooting gel you use greatly affects the propagation of cuttings. Best is to use Olivia’s Cloning Gel for fast and rapid root development. It is also known to eliminate transplant shock from cuttings that you grow indoors or outdoors.
  • Presence of Leaves/Buds: Presence of leaves and buds on parent plant are crucial for root formation in the clones. Many researches have claimed that parent plants that do not have any buds or leaves cease the process of root development in cuttings. This is because absence of foliage will not let photosynthesis happen and the absence of the process will not produce necessary carbohydrates essential for cloning. So, you should pick a young stem that has sufficient green leaves and buds.
  • Rooting Medium: A good rooting medium is the one that has the capability of retaining moisture or air well enough. Besides this, it must provide a firm support to the cuttings. It should also supply essential nutrients to cuttings for their successful propagation. If you are cloning plants in hydroponic system, choose more advanced media like Rockwool.
  • Light: Giving correct lighting to cuttings is another factor that influences success of cloning. Generally, when the cuttings are new and no root development has taken place, they require soft light which can be given through fluorescent lights or compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Humidity: Adequate range of humidity, about 70 to 80% is also crucial for successful cloning. This is because when you take cuttings, you cut the supply of water for them. And to supply them adequate moisture, you have to elevate the levels of humidity in grow room. For this, use humidifiers or humidity domes. If you can’t afford to buy those humidifiers, routinely spray your cuttings with a mist.
  • Temperature: You should maintain an optimum temperature range of 72°F – 80°F for your cuttings. And also, the root zone temperature should vary between 76°F and 80°F. This warmer zone makes cuttings take root faster. If you are cloning during winters, place your cloning system on a heating mat with its temperature set to 80°F. As far as water temperature is concerned, keep it to 83°F in summers. For winters, make sure water in the pipes reach room temperature before it is given to your cuttings.