It is easy enough to find tips for buying a plant, there are articles on this topic in all books and sites about indoor plants. However, the question is what to do with the plant at home when it has already been bought or donated. But it depends on how right you do it, how it will continue to grow and develop.
Therefore, let's start with the fact that you have already bought a plant, or they gave it to you and here it is at your home. You brought it and admire it for the first time. So, having enjoyed the beauty, change your look to a more practical one, and check the plant for pests. It is better to use a magnifying glass for this.
A healthy plant should not have:
- plaques and spots on leaves and stems;
- black dots;
- cobwebs on leaves or internodes of stems.
Even if nothing suspicious is found, it is still better to isolate the new plant from others for the first three weeks. During these three weeks, you can decide on the place where the pot with the plant will constantly stand, because sometimes having bought a large beautiful plant, for example, a large yucca, it becomes an integral part and decoration of the interior. During this time, you need to learn as much as possible about the new plant.
Unfortunately, many books on houseplants are too expensive for the average person, so not everyone can afford them. Then you can go for a little trick - go to the nearest store that sells literature on houseplants and leaf through it with an innocent look. Flip through not one, but several books, read what you can about your new plant. And you don't have to buy a book. If you don't tear the pages, no one will be offended by you. Do not consider my advice for the lack of any decency, but sometimes you really can't afford to buy good literature about plants, and you really want your pet to receive the right conditions. Compare the literature to the same plant on houseplant sites.
So, you know what conditions your plant needs. Now try to recreate them as much as possible. I have often come across the fact that, having read about the different modes of maintenance, plant owners take them too literally. For example, the book says that the plant is shade-tolerant and is placed in the middle of a room or in a dark corner. And this is wrong.
- First, a lot depends on the orientation of the windows to the side of the world or on whether there is no shading by trees from the street. If the window is south and is not shaded by either neighboring buildings or trees, then the lighting in the middle of the room will be sufficient for plants that love partial shade. On windows of any other orientation, especially if there is a high-rise building nearby or there are trees, any plants will be dark in the center of the room.
- Secondly, many people forget, and in the literature they do not always write about this, that in winter plants will need additional artificial lighting or rearrangement closer to the window. If you purchased a plant from mid-autumn or winter, then even a shade-tolerant specimen will not need shading from direct sunlight. This is because the winter sun is almost incapable of causing burns, there is always so little of it that in the period from October to February, many plants simply go bald before our eyes. Plants brought from a flower base or shop in a special risk group. I would say that the lack of light is the main reason for the ill health of plants purchased in the fall or winter.
Another question that arises with the acquisition of a new plant is whether it needs to be transplanted, especially if it was bought in autumn or winter. I always give an answer - it is necessary if this plant is brought from abroad (mainly from Holland, Thailand and other countries), if it is not flowering or if it is not a cactus. But you just need not replant, but do the transshipment - i.e. transplanting into a slightly larger pot while preserving the earthen coma, the transfer is less painful and does not stimulate plant growth in winter. This should be done both in autumn and winter. Let me explain why. The fact is that imported plants in most stores are sold in so-called transport pots - black or brown, at the bottom of which there are a lot of large holes. As a rule, the roots in them fill the entire space. During transshipment, you need to pay attention to the roots.
- First, you can immediately see if they are damaged and how developed.
- Secondly, it is sometimes necessary to determine the species, for example, to distinguish cordilina from dracaena.
In addition, almost all imported plants are planted in the same soil mixture, based on peat, to which sand is added, sometimes to loosen foam crumbs. And this is, to put it mildly, wrong. Now you can buy ready-made potting mix for almost any plant.
It is better not to ask to transplant the plant right in the store - it is not a fact that you will be transplanted carefully, transplant it at home yourself, when it will stand for three weeks and has time to acclimatize. Remember that no shop or plant center gives guarantees for the continued well-being of the plants. If something is wrong with the health of the purchased plant, it is unlikely that it will be taken back from you and the money will not be returned. A plant that is transplanted in a store will experience stress in the future, which will not have a beneficial effect on its health. Since the transshipment of a new plant is carried out after a certain time - from two to four weeks after purchase, then by the state of the root system you can determine whether you watered it correctly all this time. Transfer to a new pot before the next watering of the plant,then you will see if the soil has time to dry out from the previous irrigation. Maybe it is already too dry - then you need to water more often, maybe it is too damp - then less often.
Most stores keep plants in cooler, wetter conditions than at home. Therefore, do not place the plants close to the heating system, and spray regularly (if permissible for this type of plant), since even plants that tolerate dry air endure some stress, getting from a humid climate into a dry and warmer room. It is necessary to accustom any plant to a new habitat gradually. Let the purchased plant stand for a couple of weeks on a pallet of water, in a bright place, protected from direct sunlight.
If you have the slightest suspicion of the presence of pests or diseases on the plant, then use preventive measures. Nowadays, many different preparations are produced that increase the natural immunity of plants to diseases and pests, increase metabolism and allow plants to more easily endure the effects of adverse factors (for example, a decrease in temperature, etc.). You can recommend such drugs as "Epin", "Sodium humate", "Potassium humate", "Narcissus", "Immunocytofit", "Immunotocyte" and others. These preparations can be purchased fairly easily at both flower shops and hardware stores or horticultural centers.