Whether you are growing house plants or food-producing garden plants, the goal is to grow healthy plants quickly and have an abundance of blooms or food. When the growing conditions are right then the growing goal can be met.
Knowing a few things to do for your indoor or outdoor plants to accelerate growth and increase yield will enable you to get the most from your plants. These plant-growing tips will help you be successful with one house plant or one hundred outdoor garden plants.
Basic Plant Needs
All growing plants have certain needs and if any of those needs go unmet the plant will suffer and not produce as it should.
Unless the plant is a native that is growing in the wild, it will need a little human intervention so it can grow quickly and produce abundantly.
The basic elements needed can be manipulated in a way to promote accelerated plant growth and increased yield for any plant variety and in any location.
Fertile Growing Medium
One of the basic needs for healthy plant development is a fertile growing medium. The type of medium can vary between plants (air plants don’t need any type of growing medium for their roots but still have other basic needs in common with other plants) and may be fertile soil or water.
Plants uptake the majority of their nutrients through their root system and whatever their roots are anchored in must be fertile. Most plants are grown using a soil-based growing medium, so we will discuss tips for making the soil fertile for accelerated plant growth and increased yield.
Compost is one of the best organic additives that can be used to increase soil fertility. Compost is decomposed plant matter and is ideal for use in containers or mixed into raised beds, or in-ground gardens.
Compost is rich in nutrients that will feed the soil so it can feed the plants growing in it. Compost also promotes the growth of a bio-diverse sub-culture in the soil to help increase yield and promote plant health. It also prevents soil compaction, promotes good drainage, helps soil retain moisture, promotes air circulation around plant roots and improves the soil structure.
Select a potting soil that contains compost when growing plants in containers or create a fertile growing medium by mixing potting soil and compost at a 50/50 ratio.
For raised bed gardens or in-ground gardens, add 4-6 inches of compost on top of soil and work it into the soil before planting. As the compost decomposes it will feed the soil throughout the growing season.
Plants need light to grow and most of them will need at least 6-hours of bright light every day for optimum growth and production. Some food-producing plants, like tomatoes, do better with even more hours of light each day and some plants, like hosta or ivy, can thrive on fewer hours of daily light. Regardless of how much light each plant requires, they will all need a certain amount of bright light to accelerate plant growth and increase yield.
An accessible location that receives sufficient light to promote healthy plant growth is not available to everyone. Those who live in an inner-city environment or apartment complex may only have access to outdoor space that is shaded by surrounding buildings. The sunlight that comes in through the windows is often filtered by neighboring structures of tree branches.
Sufficient natural light for growing healthy plants is not available in every location and using grow lights is not always a viable option. Fortunately, light can be manipulated and increased in these low-light areas to help promote rapid plant growth and increased yield.
Mirasand is an organic reflective component created from an aggregate and used on top of the soil surrounding plants. The reflective abilities of Mirasand take the available light and reflect it onto the plant so it receives almost double the amount of natural light. This is an all-natural soil additive and will not harm plants.
In addition to using Mirasand on top of the soil, paint the area behind the potted plants or garden location white so it will reflect the light as well. Don’t attempt to use mirrors near the plants to increase light for them. If natural sunlight is reflected onto plants by the mirrors there is a high risk of the reflected sunlight burning the plants.
Lots of Water
Unless the plant is in the cacti family (cactus, succulents) it will require plenty of water during its’ lifespan for optimum growth. Water will need to be applied to the soil, misted on the foliage, and/or placed in a drip saucer under the planter.
Water is an essential element and can be manipulated to deliver nutrients for accelerated plant growth and increased yield.
Some plant foods are water-soluble and make it easy to feed and water the plant at the same time. Mixing a commercial water-soluble plant food at one-half the recommended rate and feeding it to the plant once a week during the growing season will accelerate growth.
Compost tea is an ideal way to provide organic food to plants while they are being watered. compost tea is simple to make - just add 2-cups of compost to a 5-gallon bucket of water and allow to sit for 3-5 days. Use compost tea to water plants every week.
Animal manure can be used to create a nutrient-rich plant tea also. The compost or animal manure can be placed inside a cheesecloth or similar piece of fabric and tied to create a teabag if desired.
Use distilled water to mist plant foliage and only mist plants in the morning so the moisture will evaporate before dark.
Some plants must have high humidity and regular watering to thrive. Increase humidity for potted plants by placing them in a saucer or shallow pan of water. Humidity-loving plants, like Aloe Vera and orchids, are great for placing in the bathroom.
Indoor and outdoor plants need fresh air circulating around them to prevent diseases and promote increased yields. The airflow around plants is just as important as light, water, food.
When air circulation around and through a plant is impeded, the vegetable garden or house plants will remain damp, and dampness creates the perfect environment for the development of many fungal diseases. Moisture on plant foliage helps to transmit spores and other problems from one plant to another, so good airflow is essential to keep plants healthy.
Poor air circulation keeps the soil and mulch damp too, even if drainage is good. Damp soil and mulch are attractive for many insects, like slugs, snails, and fungus gnats. They will make a home for themselves in the damp environment while feeding on the plants.
To determine if your potted indoor plants or outdoor garden plants are receiving good air circulation, look at the leaves. If the plant leaves are not moving when the forced air inside a room is running or swaying with a light outdoor breeze, the plants are not getting good air circulation.
To promote good air circulation for potted plants place containers a few inches apart. Run a fan in the room after each plant watering to help ensure the foliage dries quickly. the fan does not need to blow directly on the plants, it just needs to move the air around the room. Running a fan for an hour or so after watering plants will prevent dampness, prevent cold and hot spots, prevent and condensation from forming on the plants.
Increase air circulation in an outdoor garden by proving plants with plenty of growing space and removing any nearby objects that might block the breeze.
Diligent organic pest control is needful to keep plants growing rapidly and producing an increased yield. Inspecting your indoor and outdoor plants daily for pests is essential for optimum growth.
Look for holes in leaves, wilted leaves, webs, deformed flower buds, or anything else out of the ordinary. All of these are signs of pest infestation and if left untreated the pests will destroy your plants.
Companion planting will help prevent certain types of pest infestation. Marigolds are ideal companion plants for all plant varieties and will deter several species of plant-devouring pests.
Nasturtiums, basil, and mint repel mosquitoes, flies, and other flying garden pests while attracting insects that are beneficial to increase yield of food-producing plants.
Attract birds to the garden area to eat bugs and help keep the garden naturally pest-free. Provide feeders, houses, and a birdbath and the insect-eating birds will set up residence in your landscape and feast on all the pests.
Hand-pick large pests from plants and dispose of them. Create a DIY organic insect spray by mixing 2-tablespoons of cooking oil and 1-tablespoon of liquid dish soap into a quart of water. Pour mix into a spray bottle and spray on plants in the morning to remove pests and prevent them from returning.
The oil smoothers the pests and dish soap and water clean pest-residue off plants to keep them healthy, growing at an accelerated rate, and producing an increased yield.