Top five tips for houseplants according to a Carbondale-based botany shop owner
Leslie Buettner, owner of Carbondale-based Botany Houseplant shop, has five tips to keep indoor plants alive and, hopefully, thrive.
Don’t water too frequently
“There is a huge tendency to overestimate how frequently plants need to be watered, and the amount of water given at a time,” she said. “It’s a mistake that many people make — they water too frequently, and too little.”
She recommends more infrequent watering, with a deeper soaking. “We sell a $12 moisture meter that has saved so many people from disposing of expensive indoor plants,” she said..
Buettner recommends that rather than selecting plants you are gravitated to for aesthetic reasons, choose plants based on their placement.
“How much light is it going to get, how far is it from the windows. Consider heat registers, wood stoves or a window you might crack open in the winter,” she said.
Acknowledging this information, according to Buettner, will guide customers to plants that will better thrive in the environment.
“What you think is cute and pretty might not work in the space. You may inadvertently choose more challenging plants than others,” she added.
There is a common pest attracted to soil rich in organic matter that stays too wet.
“Unfortunately, bagged soil products and sometimes plants themselves will carry these gnats,” said Buettner.
“You can start by getting the yellow sticky traps. This will determine which plants have the infestation, how bad the infestation is, and it kills egg-laying adults. But you also need to think about the eggs and larvae that are in the soil. Address the soil as well,” she said.
There are some useful products you can dissolve in water that can get rid of a large portion of the gnats. Buettner noted that if you really love the plant, her best suggestion is to replant the plant with fresh potting soil, getting rid of the contaminated parts.
Change of season, change of routine
“You are going to change your plant care in spring and summer versus fall and winter,” said Buettner. In spring and summer, plants start their active growth period. The longer days and more intense sun will dry out soil faster. So the plants will require more water in the summer.
“This is also a good time to repot and fertilize. In fall and winter, plants are slowing down, some will go dormant, they need less water and nutrients. Don’t fertilize in fall and winter and realize you will likely be watering less,” she said.
No suited for Colorado
“Many people are attracted to palms and ferns, but these require high humidity of at least 50 percent. Therefore, I find them unrealistic to grow in our dry, Colorado climate,” said Buettner.
Local 14 year old writes young adult novels
Nyala Honey has done more in her 14 years on this earth than many people accomplish in decades. The 14-year-old Basalt resident has published two young adult novels, which she’ll talk about and read from at Explore Booksellers at 2 p.m. on June 8.