Each type of growing medium has a different capacity of storing nutrient, water, and air. Similarly, each plant type needs a different life requirement. Here are nine practical tips in choosing planting media.
- Know the type and nature. There are many types of growing media that can be purchased. Each type has its own shape, size, and nature. Flake -shaped planting medium is capable of storing water for longer and in large quantities, e.g. bamboo humus. In contrast, the cylindrical and spherical planting medium such as coco fiber is easy to remove water. While the spherical growing media includes the sand and soil. Grain size also determines the object’s ability to store water. The smaller the diameter, the greater the ability to store water.
- Adjust the type of plant. Each type of plants needs different types of growing medium. Plants of dry areas such as cactus, Adenium, Euphorbia, and Pachipodium should be planted using a porous planting medium which is easy to remove excess water. Such plants are characterized by the small number and small size of leaves. In contrast, the type of plant in humid conditions should be planted using a planting medium that is capable of storing water properly. The plant is characterized by the wide leave size, e.g. Aglaonema, Philodendron, and Anthurium.
- Consider the environmental conditions. The selection of planting medium should also be adjusted to the environmental conditions. If the weather is hot and dry, you are advised to choose the type of planting medium that has a strong ability to store water. Conversely, if it is often foggy and moist, it is advisable to choose porous planting media, making the root system not too damp and become rotten or moldy.
- Recognize the plant growth. Generally, young do not need a supply of from the outside. At that point, you simply use sand or coco peat as the growing medium. A planting medium with a mixture of nutrient -rich fertilizer should be used after the leaves have fallen, or after the first leaves have grown.
- Indoor vs. outdoor. Outdoors plants need more water supplies because they do the photosynthesis faster than the indoor plants. In addition, the solar and wind outside the room make the evaporation rate faster than indoors. Thus, outdoors plants should use planting media that are capable of storing water in large quantities and for a long time.
- Consider the type of the pots. Plastic pots have fewer pores than the pots made of clay. Thus, plastic pots are able to withstand the planting medium’s moisture better than earthenware pots. However, the number of pores makes it a little aeration in the plastic pots, not as good as aeration in earthenware pots. When you choose a plastic pot, it is suggested that the planting medium used is the type that is easy to drain the water and porous. While the growing media selected for earthenware pots should have the ability to store water for a long time.
- Consider the potential for disease. A growing medium that hasbeen mixed with manure or nutrient is usually easier for germs to live. The mixture of growing medium with manure is most prone to germs that cause root rot. That planting media is suitable to use for plants in dry conditions such as Adenium, Pachipodium, and Euphorbia.
- The life span. Do not forget to consider the life span of the planting media. Soft-textured planting media containing nutrients are usually easier to decay and decompose. While growing media with a firm texture are generally durable. The examples of planting media with a short life span are bamboo humus and coco peat. While long lasting growing media may include roots and rice husk.
- Synthetic or natural. You can also choose a synthetic planting medium since it is more clean and germ-free compared to the natural growing media. The common synthetic growing media used is the gel media. These objects are widely applied in the hydroponic system. In addition to its more expensive price, you also need to be diligent to add nutrient solution with the right dose towards the synthetic planting media.
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