Can I overdo the organics?


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Hi guys, I've always had a severe black thumb, so I'll de needing some serious help here. I've always wound up getting or finding and digging up a plant, putting it in dirt, and attempting to keep it watered for a few months only to have it die, or like with my azalea that I got two years ago, the blooms go away in a month and then it sort of just sits there sprouting a few leaves and shedding others.

Anyway, a month ago, I put it under a brighter light and started giving it a pump of this Bonnie herb and veggie plant food (3-1-1 formula, comes in a white moonshine jug with a yellow pump top) in a soup can of water, every week, and have noticed the leaves getting really green. I also repotted it in a 1.5 gallon container last spring, but not much difference as the root ball was about the size of a softball, even a month ago. I'm also thinking of adding tea leaves each time I make sweet tea (constantly.).

With this in mind, think I may be getting close to fixing some bad habbits or will I likely kill it again?
 
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Likely kill it.

Potted plants are in an artificial environment, so everything you have read about feed the soil and other soil or outside earth based situations has to be filtered out for the purposes of that specialized environment. One thing you will do with that compost effort with tea is smother the roots from breathing oxygen as the compost builds and other things either use the oxygen intended to get to the roots through the lighter than soil potting mix or the mix gets too wet or slimy to breathe or you get a root fungus.

The plant is the main focus in the sense of what does it need in terms of light levels and temperature. After that, container growers will use regular applications of weakened liquid fertilizers. Because the potting soil is not a regular outside mineral soil which would suffocate roots, the plant requires added micronutrients in the liquid fertilizer. The idea of growing in a potting soil medium has far more to do with the area of hydroponics than farm gardening.

One area that gets easily confusing between hydroponics and land growing is the density of nutrients in a fertilizer application. Because of Mass, the amount of fertilizer I might use to create a percentage volume of nutrients in my heavy garden soil will be far larger than the miniscule amounts used for a lightweight potting soil that has less mass. The lower mass of potting soil is aimed at increased root oxygen and good drainage in a container. Thus the idea of a weakened liquid fertilizer for potted plants.
 
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...so go easy on the tea leaves? ...or all of it?
All of it. The way tea leaves are normally used is they are composted first, outside a pot, and a potting mix is custom made with the compost making up a percentage of the mix, usually not more than one third. The mix is renewed upon the repotting and division of an overgrown potted plant.

There are organic liquid fertilizers aimed at potted plant growers.

Something else for you to consider in such a specialized grow is hormones. Try some Superthrive. It sold as vitamins but is a grow regulator called an Auxin. You can read about them here. www.powergrown.com
 
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I concur with the above fertilizer advice, but left unsaid was the fact that you wouldn't fertilize plants outside with anything in December, January, and other non-growing months. NOT just because the snow gets in the way, but because all the plant's growing conditions: photo-period, intensity of sunlight, warmth, etc., are not conducive to growth, AND, the plant is in the normal winter/off-season quiet period.

The normal yearly plant cycle is some variation of this: Quiet period, grow roots when conditions permit, swell buds when conditions permit, expand foliage and flowers, grow/ripen seed pods, second flush of foliage growth, mature foliage buds for next season and flower buds (if a spring bloomer), prepare for quiet period by acclimating to shorter photo-period, drier and cooler conditions, repeat cycle.

You can't fool a plant into growing like it's summer by substituting fertilizer and hope for the growing season which ended months earlier. Even plants at the eternal summer of the equator have a NORMAL quiet period following completion of seed maturation. They just sit there and vegetate! Give 'em a break... (or they might form a Union.)
 
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I concur with the above fertilizer advice, but left unsaid was the fact that you wouldn't fertilize plants outside with anything in December, January, and other non-growing months. NOT just because the snow gets in the way, but because all the plant's growing conditions: photo-period, intensity of sunlight, warmth, etc., are not conducive to growth, AND, the plant is in the normal winter/off-season quiet period.

The normal yearly plant cycle is some variation of this: Quiet period, grow roots when conditions permit, swell buds when conditions permit, expand foliage and flowers, grow/ripen seed pods, second flush of foliage growth, mature foliage buds for next season and flower buds (if a spring bloomer), prepare for quiet period by acclimating to shorter photo-period, drier and cooler conditions, repeat cycle.

You can't fool a plant into growing like it's summer by substituting fertilizer and hope for the growing season which ended months earlier. Even plants at the eternal summer of the equator have a NORMAL quiet period following completion of seed maturation. They just sit there and vegetate! Give 'em a break... (or they might form a Union.)
Well yes of course and no even more than that. So here is a pic, and it is Jan2.
IMG_20190102_130602.jpg


Nobody is fooling a plant. They actually grow better in winter in some cases. The hot season plants are dormant, like the brown burmada grass, but all the cool season plants are freaking out with buds. So its is absoluty imperative we fertilize now in January. I basically drop manure compost as much as possible, but here we have to stop fertilizing as we get to the heat of summer. Personally I would not fertilize after May except in a spot use or with micronutrients for a specific plant nutrition issue.

I would rephrase the idea of fertilizing into the idea of feeding a dinner guest. Are they hungry, if so for what?
 
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Well, OK, I didn't think of Alabama as that different of a season than my own. And I thought we were talking about a houseplant in a more temperate zone. Your yard has lots of room and shade for Hosta. Do you grow them?
 
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Well, OK, I didn't think of Alabama as that different of a season than my own. And I thought we were talking about a houseplant in a more temperate zone. Your yard has lots of room and shade for Hosta. Do you grow them?
Well... yes, but then the deer eat them. Which is really unfortunate. There are so many beautiful hosta but they must be the most munchable leaf around the house
 
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Well, OK, I didn't think of Alabama as that different of a season than my own. And I thought we were talking about a houseplant in a more temperate zone. Your yard has lots of room and shade for Hosta. Do you grow them?
I am talking about a house plant. ...but I also must ask what your boss would think if you took a break for two years or more? (Something's wrong. You're fired.)
 
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Roll Tide! Thanks for the compliment. It is nice for shade in the summer, but nothing like some of the formal beauty other members here have developed around their homes.
 
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I am talking about a house plant. ...but I also must ask what your boss would think if you took a break for two years or more? (Something's wrong. You're fired.)

A confusing query...?
 
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I am talking about a house plant. ...but I also must ask what your boss would think if you took a break for two years or more? (Something's wrong. You're fired.)

A confusing query...?

Yes. Do you think the world understands you or do you need our mushroom expert @zigs?
 

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