25 votes
Accepted

What is a 'Perched Water Table'?

Well, basically, the perched table is the saturation point, where the capillary action in the soil is canceled out by the force of gravity. Every type of growing media has a different perched table. ...
  • 51.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Why is dumping kitchen waste (like peels of a potato) in a potted plant a bad idea?

If you can't have a compost heap, you can direct compost by digging down at least six inches into open ground, burying the kitchen scraps (not cooked food or meat), then covering back up with the soil....
  • 130k
11 votes
Accepted

What is this black bug, how to control?

The black bugs are the larvae of ladybugs. They are there to eat the aphids. As larvae or adults ladybugs are efficient beneficial predators. There is no need to wash them away they are working for ...
  • 56.6k
11 votes
Accepted

Planting magnolia tree a little 'high'

There are a couple of problems with your description of how you're going to plant this tree. First, no plant should be planted less than a foot (as a minimum) away from a fence or wall, so if you ...
  • 130k
10 votes

Mushrooms instead of tomatoes

Too much water, most likely, for one thing, could be combined with poor drainage depending on the details of the pot and soil mix. Probably some other things [planting depth?] to not get any tomato ...
  • 19.3k
9 votes

How to save roses - commercially potted gift ones with few roots?

Yes, they have a good chance - as my Mum has proven multiple times. Because she was always very busy, she just put the entire root ball into the ground, no further fussing. Admittedly, she just couldn'...
  • 15.5k
9 votes

How can I grow tomatoes in a pot?

That's a small pot, and definitely not ideal. I recommend as much larger of a container as you can manage, even if you have to sacrifice drainage to make room. However, you can grow some kinds of ...
8 votes
Accepted

My mint is dying out?

Yes, transition shock to a degree, it should have been hardened off before being left out all the time, not only to acclimatize to colder, variable temperatures after being indoors for some time, but ...
  • 130k
8 votes

Why do people use peat pots?

In many cases, it is simply for convenience. However; there are some plants which do not tolerate transplanting. Therefore, to start seeds indoors to get a head start and/ or maximize their strong ...
  • 6,336
8 votes
Accepted

Is a 4x4x1ft raised bed too small for potatoes?

My potato bag is one square foot in diameter, and just under 2 foot high. You have 16 square feet in your bed so you could potentially plant one seed potato ( or part of one with at least 3 eyes ) ...
8 votes
Accepted

What's the best pot size for rose seeds germinated in the refrigerator?

All plants should have pots matching the plant size, otherwise you risk root-bound plants or trouble with watering. That's why we re-pot as needed and only go up a few pot sizes at a time. Roses like ...
  • 15.5k
8 votes

Bonsai pot broke due to accident

Your Bonsai will grow bigger if it roots deeper and that appears to be happening. The good news is the Bonsai survived the cat! Bonsai will need pruning of roots at some point, so transferring is not ...
8 votes

Bonsai pot broke due to accident

From what I understand, ficus is a pretty hardy tree. The way a bonsai works is that people either collect a bonsai from the wild, grow one, find a nursery plant that will work (either a random ...
  • 5,042
8 votes

Why is dumping kitchen waste (like peels of a potato) in a potted plant a bad idea?

In addition to Bamboo's answer. General kitchen waste also decomposes rapidly and resulting in considerable heat production which can damage the root. It can also induce the proliferation of ...
  • 789
8 votes
Accepted

Can drained water from potted plants be used again to water another house plant?

Well, the correct way to conserve water is to watch your water, and make sure you don't have excess drainage. This of course takes time and experience. Till then, use measuring cups, or watering jugs ...
8 votes

Can drained water from potted plants be used again to water another house plant?

I haven't found any good reference sources, so this is just my personal experience. It ended up being too long for a comment, so I hope it's appropriate as an answer. I do this frequently, with both ...
8 votes
Accepted

Do young plants prefer their pots be rotated?

Do they prefer it? No, not really. Plants have evolved to grow and orient themselves to get the most light in any given conditions. It could even be argued that turning them away from this orientation ...
7 votes

Is it okay to use left-over pasta water to water plants, including edibles?

I wouldn't recommend it long term but in the short term, it should be fine EXCEPT it's salted. Cook your pasta without salt while there's a drought and then use the water. It doesn't really need salt ...
  • 130k
7 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to use left-over pasta water to water plants, including edibles?

If you're having a drought, I'd say you'll be fine using it for a short period of time. You mentioned adding salt; this will build up in containers every day you use it, and eventually will harm the ...
  • 51.5k
7 votes
Accepted

How do I water a desk plant at my office without making a mess?

I assume that you yourself will be the only one watering the plant. Most people use a saucer under the pot (without gravel) and avoid too much water build up by watering the plant only as needed. If ...
  • 935
7 votes
Accepted

Is there a rule of thumb for what size of a pot you need to keep a plant in?

I think there is no easy rules beyond knowing the size of the adult plant. However, there are rules that can help you know when you have to change the pot with a larger one. If you can see many roots ...
  • 1,175
7 votes

Is a 4x4x1ft raised bed too small for potatoes?

Looking at the measurements of your garden bed, it sounds like square foot gardening. And yes, potatoes are included in that method, one seed per square, so sixteen for your bed. One issue with ...
  • 15.5k
7 votes

What sort of pots are used in the pot-in-pot method?

This technique is used by commercial growers for tree and shrub production the pots you use should be identical and readily available in bulk quantities sandy soil is probably not the best if you are ...
  • 56.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Can I grow asparagus in a small container?

Asparagus roots can extend down about 12 feet. The need to develop such an extensive root system is one of the reasons that you should leave it alone for the first 3 years before harvesting. So, it's ...
7 votes
Accepted

Would holes in the sides of plastic pots impove drainage and aeration?

No, don't bother, it absolutely is not necessary and not a good idea either. Just use the pots as they are - the fact that a little free water is sitting in the bottom of the empty pot in your image ...
  • 130k
7 votes

Is cow dung really bad for potted houseplants? (There are videos in the question.)

First, cow dung doesn't have a very high level of nitrogen, specially compared to other forms of manure - the problem with fresh cow dung is a very high ammonia level, but if its dried in heat or sun, ...
  • 130k
7 votes

What is this long-leafed indoor plant with one stem per leaf?

This plant is an Aspidastra elatior, a native of Taiwan, which has been in cultivation as an indoor plant for hundreds of years. Common names include the cast iron plant which describes how tough it ...
  • 56.6k
7 votes
Accepted

What makes potting soil good for pots?

Potting soil also gets compressed over time. The most important thing about potting soil is that it shouln't contain fungus spores, insect eggs and weeds. I say "it shouldn't" because I have bought ...
  • 5,366
7 votes

Self watering pot with no hole

Unglazed terracotta is a porous material so water can pass through it, albeit slowly. This can be a very effective way of delivering water without drowning the plant. For bonsai, overwatering is quite ...
7 votes
Accepted

How should I "free" these trapped sprouts?

Leave them be. They will either pop open by themselves, or die. If you try to help (well, when I used to try to help) the overall success of the operation tends to be less than just letting them be, ...
  • 19.3k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible