Learn about ornamental plants, different flowering plants, and how to take care of them from our expert gardener Mrs. Reena Sheth. She is an entrepreneur running her business Garden Dreams for garden setups. She is also active in many Gardening groups and as well as runs her Instagram page gardendreams_reena .
Topics to be Covered:
- What are ornamental plants?
- What are flowering plants?
- Care and maintenance of these plants
- Learning about organic ways
- Tips and tricks
Caring Ornamental plants with Reena:
“Welcome everyone, and thank you for joining this workshop. We are live on YouTube now, and today we have Reena, who will be talking about ornamental plants and flowering plants. So, a very warm welcome, Reena. Let’s start, and if you can begin by introducing yourself to our participants, then we can proceed with the workshop.” Jitendra said.
“Thank you. Hello, everybody. This is Reena Sheth here, and I warmly welcome all of you to this workshop on Environment Day. Today, it is truly an honor for me to be a part of this joint workshop with The Affordable Organic Store. I am grateful to them for providing me with this platform, and I sincerely appreciate their efforts in promoting a greener world. We are truly thankful for people like them who offer good quality seeds, compost, fertilizers, and other gardening essentials at affordable prices. This allows more people to engage in gardening, as sometimes it can be perceived as an expensive hobby. The Affordable Organic Store has made it easier for all gardening enthusiasts, and I express my heartfelt gratitude to them. I warmly welcome all my friends who have joined this workshop. Speaking about myself, I am Reena, a home gardener. I was once a hesitant gardener just like many of you, but with time and experience, I have gained confidence in my gardening journey. Today, we will be discussing ornamental foliage and flowering plants. So, shall we begin with the workshop?
Friends, when we visit a nursery or consider buying plants, we often wonder about the type of plant, suitable pots, soil, and other materials. It can be a daunting task. However, fret not, as it is relatively easy to get started. Begin by assessing the ventilation, light availability, and space you have. Start with smaller pots initially, as I suggest. Choose plants that are easy to grow and seek advice from experienced gardeners before making a purchase. Gradually, move on to larger plants and pots. When bringing plants from nurseries, treat them delicately, just like your own babies. Give them lots of love during their first few days at home. Place them in the area where you intend to grow them, allowing them to acclimate before considering repotting them into proper containers. Now, let’s talk about ornamental plants. These are the larger plants that often captivate us. However, many of us fear whether they will thrive in smaller pots. It’s important to understand that size matters when it comes to planting them in the ground. But in smaller pots, they can still grow and sustain themselves. Some plants are even available as dwarf varieties in the market nowadays, making care and maintenance easier. You don’t have to worry much about these aspects when growing them at home. Just do a little research, choose the right plants, and they will flourish. Providing the appropriate lighting and temperature conditions for your ornamental and flowering plants is crucial. Understanding their needs will ensure their well-being and growth. Starting your gardening journey is not as daunting as it seems.
Let me introduce you to a few ornamental plants I have here. Firstly, we have Monsteras, which are known for their captivating foliage. These plants thrive in high humidity, so it’s best to place them between bushes where they can retain moisture. Another interesting plant I have is Philodendron Selloum, and also Neon. Similarly, they require humidity for optimal growth. These plants should be shielded from direct sunlight, as excessive exposure can lead to sunburn and eventual demise. Let’s shift our focus to flowering plants such as Almandas, Four O’Clocks, China Dolls, and Baby Sun Roses. These beauties rely on abundant sunlight to flourish and produce vibrant blooms. Even Variegated Canna Lilies demand adequate sunlight for their stunning display. On the other hand, we have the Peace Lily, which thrives in both humidity and indirect sunlight. Each plant has its own requirements, and understanding them is crucial for their overall well-being and development. By providing the appropriate conditions, we can witness these plants thrive and bring joy to our surroundings.”, said Reena.
“When it comes to caring for plants, repotting them requires a lot of love and care. Maintenance isn’t the issue; it’s the care that matters. However, there are some notorious plants that, ironically, don’t respond well to excessive pampering. Let me show you an example—the Fiddle Leaf Fig. This plant thrives when you get it and simply forget about it. On the other hand, there are various varieties of Sansevieria (also known as Snake Plants) that fall into the same category. They prefer to be left alone in their natural state. Overwatering or excessive attention can lead to their demise. Therefore, it’s important to understand each plant’s needs and provide them accordingly. Sometimes, weather and climate changes can invite pests and fungi to our plants. It’s natural to panic when we see our plants struggling, but we need to remember that they don’t die as easily as we might think. Just as we fall ill but recover, plants can be treated and cured too. For instance, Aphids are often found on plants such as Jasmine and Hibiscus. To deal with them, you can employ a simple first-aid technique. Take a piece of cello tape, stick it to your fingers in reverse, and gently press it on the affected areas. The tape will capture the Aphids, allowing you to remove them effectively. In addition to this quick remedy, there are some basic pesticides that home gardeners can keep prepared. One option is fermented rice water. Take two spoons of cooked unsalted rice and soak them in water for 12 to 15 days. Strain the water, which will have a strong odor, and store it in a bottle. This fermented rice water can be used as a spray to combat pests like Aphids and Mealybugs. Its sticky consistency helps eliminate these pests effectively. Another alternative is using aloe vera water. Soak pieces of aloe vera in lukewarm water overnight, strain them the next day, and use it as a spray on your plants. For plants with curly leaves caused by insects residing within them, buttermilk can be beneficial. Place buttermilk in a copper vessel for four to five days, strain it, dilute it, and spray it on the affected plants. The copper content in buttermilk helps eliminate insects and improve the condition of the leaves. I strongly believe in organic gardening practices to reduce our carbon footprint on Earth. By adopting organic methods and avoiding chemical fertilizers, we contribute to a healthier and more
environment. It’s essential to explore organic alternatives and make conscious choices that prioritize the well-being of our plants and the planet.
When it comes to maintaining and fertilizing plants, I am a strong advocate for homemade organic fertilizers. Our gardening group, which consists of approximately 150 to 200 members, has discovered a remarkable “magic potion.” We gather onion peels, banana peels, cucumber, potato, ginger, and garlic peels, soaking them for about 10 to 12 days. Then, on the 15th or 16th day, we strain and dilute the mixture, using it to fertilize our plants. It may sound unconventional, but the results are truly astonishing. The vibrant greenery flourishing in my garden stands as a testament to the efficacy of these organic practices. Remember, in gardening as in life, slow and steady wins the race. Instead of relying on chemical fertilizers, I encourage the use of organic alternatives, such as neem oil, neem cake, cow dung fertilizer, aloe vera water, or the wash water from pulses, dal, and rice. By incorporating these organic methods, we can ensure the well-being of our organic and flowering plants, promoting a healthier and more sustainable gardening approach.”, Reena further adds.
“During the workshop, we noticed your beautiful garden, which left all the participants in awe. We are curious to know how you maintain such a garden. Before diving into the workshop, we would like to address some specific questions from the participants. Rashmi specifically wants to know, ‘Which ornamental flowering plants are suitable for fencing’.” Said, Jitendra.
“When it comes to fencing, there are several options you can consider. For shrubs, China Dolls is a great choice. Additionally, you can opt for ornamental plants such as the ‘Yesterday Today Tomorrow’ plant, which exhibits stunning color transformations as it blooms. It starts with a deep purple shade, then transitions to a lighter violet, eventually turning white. This plant adds a beautiful touch to any fencing arrangement. You can also incorporate vines like Alamanda and Clematis for a more dynamic and cascading effect.”, answered Reena.
“We have a question from Priyanka. Despite watering it moderately, she’s facing an issue with her jade plant, which seems to die every time she buys it from the nursery. She wants to know what she might be doing wrong and what she can do differently to ensure her jade plant thrives.”
“The jade plant is a type of succulent that thrives with minimal care. It requires full sunlight and should be watered every two to three days, not more. Overwatering can cause the plant to die while underwatering leads to wrinkled and falling leaves. So, provide ample sunlight and water it appropriately, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. With the right care, your jade plant will thrive beautifully.”
“Coming to the next question from Priyanka: She mentioned that her ‘Echeveria’ and ‘jade’ plants are dying, despite watering them regularly. She is unable to understand the cause of their death.”
“They are all succulents, so ensure they receive ample sunlight for thriving. Avoid overwatering or misting the leaves. With proper sunlight and watering two to three times a week, they should survive easily. Succulents are generally low-maintenance and resilient plants, so not overwatering them is the trick.”
“So, coming to the next question, what are the general care tips for plants on a weekly basis? What are the basic things one should keep in mind?”, said Jitendra
When it comes to taking care of your plants on a weekly basis, there are several important tasks to keep in mind. Firstly, loosening the soil slightly once a week is a good practice to promote proper aeration and drainage. Additionally, removing spent flowers and any dry or yellowing leaves is essential. It’s important to understand that dry leaves don’t necessarily indicate a problem with your plants; it’s a natural part of their growth cycle. Instead of discarding these leaves and spent flowers, you can dry them and create compost, which can later be used to nourish your plants. For fertilizing, it’s advisable to provide a diverse range of nutrients. You can choose from options such as liquid fertilizers, compost, cow dung, or neem cake. It’s best to create a schedule and rotate the types of fertilizers you use each week to ensure that your plants receive a variety of essential elements. Additionally, regular pruning, trimming, and pinching may be necessary to maintain the shape and size of your plants, encourage bushier growth, and remove any damaged or diseased parts.
“So, let’s address one question before we proceed with the workshop. Sonal has asked two questions: What type of urea should be used for rose flowers, and what can she do to help her tulsi plant survive as it is currently struggling?”, said Jitendra.
“For your rose plant, I personally don’t use any kind of urea, DAP, NPK, or chemical fertilizers. Instead, I recommend using rice water. Simply collect the water you use for rinsing rice every morning and give it to your rose plants. It works wonders for their growth and blooming. Now, regarding your tulsi plant, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure it gets ample sunlight. Tulsi plants thrive in full sunlight. Second, water it every alternate day, adjusting the frequency based on the climate. Daily watering may be needed in hot weather, while in monsoons or winters, watering every two to three days is sufficient. Lastly, remember to pinch the plant regularly. Pinching helps in branching and promotes bushy growth. Also, I want to share my personal experience. Avoid using incense sticks near your Tulsi plant. The smoke from incense sticks can harm the plant and cause it to wither. I’ve noticed that Tulsi plants thrive better without incense sticks. Give it a try and observe the difference in their growth.”
“Weekly maintenance is important for plants, and one aspect is pinching. By regularly pinching the top of plants, like chilies, they become bushier and produce more flowers and fruits. Both soft and hard pruning is also necessary, especially during non-flowering seasons. Removing spent flowers encourages better growth and more blooms. It saddens me to see people readily using chemical fertilizers that harm plants. Instead, treat your plants as friends or family members. Excessive chemical fertilizers may provide short-term benefits, but it’s better to nurture plants with care and organic alternatives for long-lasting results. These are the suggestions I offer to my audience and friends, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to plant care.”, said Reena
“So, now let’s address a question from Nina. She wants to know how to use cow dung in her garden.”
“First, obtain cow dung or neem cake from a reliable source where it is stored properly. Then, soak it overnight in water. The next day, strain the mixture to remove any solid particles. Make sure to dilute the strained liquid before using it as a fertilizer.”
“So, the question from Kathy is about her poinsettia plants not developing leaves. What should she do to address this issue?”
“For poinsettia plants not producing leaves, it could be due to their dormant season. Water them every 2-3 days, and as winter approaches, new leaves will start to grow. If leaves don’t appear, reduce watering for a few days and keep the plants in a dark place. Then gradually expose them to bright light. Eventually, you’ll notice the emergence of red leaves, which are poinsettia’s colorful foliage. This occurs due to stress. Here’s a tip: If your plants aren’t flowering despite using fertilizers, try stressing them by withholding water for a few days and providing a cool environment without direct sunlight. Resume watering on the sixth or seventh day, and your plants should begin to flower.”
“Sure, the question from Priyanka regards her adenium sapling that receives limited sunlight on her balcony. What tips can you provide to help her grow it successfully in such conditions?”
“The adenium, known as the desert rose, thrives in full sunlight. If you’re not getting enough sunlight for your plant, I recommend finding an area with extreme sun exposure. However, if that’s not possible, it may not be suitable to grow adenium in your current conditions. It will enter a dormant phase during the monsoon season and regrow leaves and flowers around October. Adeniums require ample sunlight and are not well-suited for cold climates.”
“Sangeeta has a miniature Madhu Kamini plant that is not flowering. What can be done to encourage the plant to produce flowers?”
“For miniature plants like the ‘madhukamni,’ stress therapy can be attempted to encourage flowering. However, it’s worth noting that some miniatures may struggle to bloom due to the use of chemicals during their production. Nonetheless, implementing stress therapy may help resolve the issue and stimulate flower production.”
“Coming to the next question from Meru, she asks which type of pots should be used for these plants: plastic, metal, terracotta, concrete, or grow bags?”
“Terracotta pots are highly recommended for plants, followed by grow bags. Plastic pots can be used if space is limited. Choose based on personal preference and available space, however, I would suggest terracotta pots.”
“Harshwardhan has chrysanthemum seeds and wants to know how to sow and care for them. How should he sow the seeds, and what care tips should he follow?”
“To grow chrysanthemum seeds, start with a good soil mixture containing cocopeat, perlite, compost, and well-drained soil. Sow the seeds with a one to two inches gap, and let the seedlings grow to 8-10 leaves before repotting. Gradually transfer to slightly larger pots until the plant matures.”, said Reena
“A helpful tip we suggest is to germinate seeds in batches. This way, you can test the suitability of your soil and climate. If conditions are unfavorable, you won’t lose all the seeds, and you can try different methods for successful germination.”, added Jitendra
“Ankit is facing an issue where pests are eating the roots of his plants. He wants to know how to eliminate these pests from the soil.”
“It is important to first assess the soil condition. If the soil is excessively muddy or clay-like and retains water, it may lead to root rot. Ankit should consider changing the soil to improve drainage. Adding sand or perlite can help facilitate faster water drainage. By changing the soil and ensuring good drainage, Ankit can create a more favorable environment for his plants to thrive.”
“Coming to the next question from Vibha, her lemon plant is three years old, but it is not giving any fruit”
“To encourage fruiting in Vibha’s three-year-old lemon plant, she can try hard pruning, use onion peel and banana peel fertilizers, and provide proper care. These steps are likely to promote flowering and increase fruit production.”
“Priyata’s question is about her spider plant. The main plant is drying and dying, but the baby plant is healthy. She wants to know if she should separate the baby plant and how to care for it.”, said Jitendra
“If your spider plant’s main plant is drying while the baby plant remains healthy, it indicates the mother plant is deteriorating. To save the healthy baby plant, it’s advisable to separate it from the dying plant and transplant it into a new pot. Spider plants thrive in humid conditions, so create a humid environment by placing a tray filled with water and stones near the plant. This will help maintain moisture levels and ensure the baby plant’s continued growth and health.”
“Coming to next question from Kajal: Please suggest some low-maintenance indoor plants.”
“Low maintenance indoor plants include various varieties of philodendrons, pothos, monstera, sansevieria, ZZ plants, caladiums, aglaonemas, and certain palm varieties. These plants thrive in well-lit areas and require watering two to three times a week based on the climate. If your space lacks adequate natural light, exposing the plants to full sun for a day or two every week is recommended. This helps ensure proper photosynthesis and prevents plants’ deterioration over time.”
“Rinkal has two questions: Why are the leaves of her Tulsi plant curling, and how can she grow and care for lemongrass?”
“For the curly leaves, you can store buttermilk for four-five days in a copper vessel then strain and dilute and you spray that on your Tulsi plant. For lemongrass, ensure it receives full sunlight and water sparingly. Both plants are low-maintenance and require minimal care.”
“How to take care of the rain lily if it is not flowering?”
“To care for rain lilies, provide them with ample sunlight and water. If there’s no rain, use collected rainwater to hydrate the plants. Water them only two to three times a week to prevent overwatering and rotting of the bulbs. Rain lilies are low-maintenance plants.”
“What pots should we use for succulents?”
“Use small pots for succulents, with well-draining soil that consists of a mix of soil, perlite, cocopeat, and compost. Ensure good drainage in ceramic or plastic pots. Water them from the bottom by placing the pot in a tray of water for a minute, then remove them. Avoid using large pots to prevent succulents from dying.”
“Sushmita is experiencing distorted buds and poorly shaped flowers on her rose plant, despite not finding any visible pests. What steps can she take to address this issue and improve the health and appearance of her roses?”
“The distorted buds and poor flower shape indicate a lack of nutrition in the rose plant. Use fertilizers like diluted rice water or aloe vera juice to improve the plant’s health and promote proper blooming.”
“Ishita is asking if continuous rainwater is good for plants.”
“Continuous rainwater can be detrimental to delicate plants as they may not tolerate excessive moisture. It’s important to ensure proper drainage in pots to prevent rotting. Hardy plants like roses and hibiscus and Champas and Chameli can withstand continuous rain, unlike delicate ornamental and potted plants.”
“Sirisha’s question is: ‘What type of soil is suitable for a jade plant, and are there any specific ratios
“I would like to express my gratitude to Affordable Organic for providing me with this platform to reach out to all my viewers. I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their support and appreciation. Thank you all so much.”, said Reena. ions recommended to enhance its growth?’”
“For a jade plant, a suitable soil mixture consists of approximately 25% regular soil and 75% well-draining components like perlite, cinder, and coco peat. The soil portion should be minimal to avoid water retention and potential rotting of the plant.”
“Question from Ankit: ‘Please tell me about Amaryllis bulb, I had them for the last two years but didn’t get any flour so what and how can I increase the size of the bulb?’”
“To promote flowering in Amaryllis bulbs, it’s essential to repot them each season, especially after the leaves dry off. Use fresh soil, compost, and ensure proper care for the bulbs to encourage bud formation.”
“What to do if our rose plant is not flowering?”
“During the monsoon season, hard prune your rose plant and provide rice water, onion peel, and banana peel water every 15 days. This should promote new shoot growth and flowering.”
“There is a question about the magic potion you mentioned in the workshop, so what is the recipe, and how to make it at home?”
“Sure, let me share with you my magical potion. It’s a mixture of various kitchen scraps like onion peels, garlic peels, ginger peels, and even leftover chilies. I collect them in an airtight container and add water, either from washing rice or regular water if needed. I let it soak for 10 days without adding anything new, allowing it to ferment. After 15-16 days, I dilute and use it as a fertilizer for all my plants. My friends and garden gurus named it the “magic potion” due to its effectiveness. It’s a combination of cucumber, potato, ginger, garlic, onion, banana, and chili scraps.”, said Reena
“Can you share any tips on water plants?”
“For water plants like water cabbage and water bamboo, change the water once a week. You can add a little magic potion or rice wash water to promote their growth. These plants thrive with regular water changes and don’t require much attention.”
“Sirisha asked about the soil mixture for jade and succulents. You mentioned including cocopeat, but since it holds water, should sand or any other component be added to improve drainage?”
“Adding sand to the soil mixture for jade and succulents is beneficial as it improves drainage. Although cocopeat holds water, it can still be used in moderation to provide moisture retention for plants so that they require less frequent watering. Additionally, perlite and cinder are excellent choices for creating a well-drained soil environment.”
“Reena, do you have any closing comments?”, asks Jitendra
“Love and care for your plants like your babies, but avoid over-pampering. Regular pruning, trimming, and pinching are essential. Use a good soil mixture and consider transitioning to organic gardening. I assist with organic fertilizers, pesticides, and gardening setups. Thank you, and happy gardening!”, said Reena.
“Thank you, Reena, from The Affordable Organic Store, and all the participants. Your beautiful planter and garden have received many compliments and messages of appreciation.”, said Jitendra.