The Great Outdoors


We have always said that the only way to water your houseplants was to remove the foil-then water, as the foil tends to trap excess runoff. Well this is still true but you could try a different method; try pouring in the water while the foil is still on, then simply carry the plant to the sink and slowly turn the plant on its side allowing the water to run out from its confined area.

African violets usually get watered from the bottom while sitting in a saucer but I never cared for that method because people forget to empty the saucer and the violets begin to rot. Rather, try holding the violet in one hand while pouring hot tap water through the soil. Simply pour plenty of water until it spills over and if it was real dry, do it 2 times. Fertilizer is always applied from the top. But beware; fertilizers are not used much during the winter months.

With Christmas over and holiday decorations packed away, many people will want to brighten up their homes by replacing their poinsettia with a colorful blooming plant. Azalea, cyclamen, kalanchoe or, even an orchid plant, are great choices during the winter months-all of which have different watering needs. With the azalea watering is required almost every 5 days (not once a week) and a very good soaking is in order. Remove the foil and place in the sink with the tap water running slowly right down through the middle of the plant. Use warm water and allow it to run for at least one minute. The cyclamen needs to be sneaked up on by pouring water down the side and never right down the middle; water weekly. Kalanchoe is a type of succulent that requires water about every other week and does not mind being very dry between waterings. Your orchid plant can be watered by adding 2 ice cubes on top of the soil every 5 to 7 days; yes, just like the commercials on TV say to do. Hint: try melting 2 ice cubes in a glass just to see how much water that is and use that amount when watering an orchid, if ice cubes are not always available.

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Doug Hackbarth

Doug's is the former owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer