Why a plant without light does not survive
Because it is the fundamental element of a process called “ chlorophyll photosynthesis ”, thanks to which the plant produces the energy necessary for its vital functions: light , captured by the leaves and green parts; activates a chemical reaction between the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere and the water absorbed by the soil. In this way the essential carbohydrates for survival and oxygen are formed, which purifies the air by subtracting carbon dioxide.
When it’s dark, plants use oxygen in the air and produce carbon dioxide. For this reason, you shouldn’t sleep near plants. Indoor plants
The natural habitat of most indoor plants is the tropical forest , an environment with diffused light and a high percentage of humidity. For this it is necessary to identify areas with medium light or even dim light. Here’s how to choose the right amount and quality of light :
1. Windows facing south and west in summer have more light than those facing north and east. During the winterremember to place the plants to the south and east to take advantage of natural light.
2. The brightest and best light is that of the windowsills . However, the light that spreads within 1 meter of the windows is also sufficient.
As you move away from the window, the light intensity also gradually decreases. Beyond 2 meters away, the brightness decreases to the shadow level .
3. Plants are oriented towards the light: for this reason they can grow unbalanced, with stem and leaves bent towards the light. To avoid this, you can rotate the plant 90 ° every four days. Outdoor plants
Each single species is characterized by different light needs which must always be taken into account, but the general concepts explained above apply to the exposure: plants that need full sun must be planted in the south and west where the quantity of light and greater, especially in summer. Instead, plants that can withstand the winter cold and partial shade will be exposed to the north . Temperature
In general, the optimal temperature is between 18 and 24 ° C and if higher, the plant must be supported by greater atmospheric humidity and greater water supplies.
Be careful to place the plant behind the glass of a window without shielding the glass with curtains: the temperature that develops is very high enough to cause burn damage to the leaves. The only plants suitable for that location are cacti and most succulents .
Finally, it is better to avoid thermal excursions both towards heat and towards cold: a change of 10 ° C in 24 hours can seriously damage the plant. Water
Determines the texture of plants and maintains their solid structure: transports the mineral salts absorbed from the roots to the stem, from the branches to the leaves; it combines with carbon dioxide, through chlorophyll photosynthesis and gives rise to carbohydrates.
The loss of water by transpiration from the stomata, particular openings on the leaves, induces the roots to absorb water from the soil.
For this reason, although watering is in itself a simple operation, it is very important to evaluate the quality and quantity of water to be administered. Quality
Tap water contains limestone which is expressed in degrees of hardness. Up to 10 degrees it can be used for all plants,from 10 to 15 can cause some problems to the most sensitive species, above 15 degrees the water must be descaled. The temperature fluctuates between 15 and 25 ° C. For azaleas, rhododendrons, primroses and orchids, use rain or boiled (demineralized) water. The quantity Indoor plants
Varies from species to species but the general rule is not to exceed : most plants die from too much watering which causes the roots to rot and therefore the plant withering. ” Abundant ” is defined as the amount of water that saturates the soil and comes out of the drainage hole, ” moderate“When the water is distributed in the soil and this appears uniformly moist,” limited “, when only the first layers of soil are moist.
Here is a simple handbook to know when to water :
§ the soil is dry to the touch and tends to detach from the walls of the pot;
§ spring and summer days are very hot ;
§ the plant is in the phase of vegetative development ;
§ the first buds are opening and the plant is in bloom ;
§ in autumn and winter, that is, during the vegetative rest, if the room in which they are found is decidedly hot;
§ the soil is very loose and therefore retains little water;
§ the vase is made of earthenware , a porous material through which water evaporates;
§ the roots have filled the pot and we have not yet proceeded with repotting; On vacation When you do not have the possibility to look after the plants for 10-20 consecutive days, it is advisable to provide even simple systems to supply them with water:
§ Place a vase full of water near the plant, take a wick (you can use also a shoelace) and put one end in the water and one in the earth.§ Insert one or more plastic bottles filled with water upside down and with the cap pierced
into the potting soil . This slowly escapes according to the degree of dryness of the soil. Outdoor plants In general, all plants need water in the period following sowing, rooting of the cuttings, transplanting and planting. Plants in the ground , with deep roots, such as trees, shrubs, perennial herbaceous plants, draw water directly from the ground. Only in very hot and dry periods, or in the phases of vegetative development, flowering and fruiting do they need a greater supply of water. Annual and biennial specieson the contrary, they have short roots and therefore need daily watering. A little water wets only the most superficial layer of the soil and evaporates quickly, favoring the development of fungal diseases . The roots are brought to the surface and are more exposed to damage from drought; Too much water saturates the soil, especially if it is clayey, causing asphyxiation of the roots .
If the plants are grown in pots , the tips given for houseplants apply. Generally these plants need to be watered more frequentlycompared to those in the ground, because their roots are confined within a small amount of soil. In summer it is a good idea to water in the early morning or evening when perspiration is reduced to a minimum. Humidity
Most houseplants come from the tropics and need a humid environment , around 60% , much higher than that found in homes, generally below 40%. To provide the plants with that necessary moisture supply, here are some simple precautions:
§ Spray water often on the leaves if the temperature is above 24 ° C or if the air is dry.
§ Use earthenware pots to insert into pot covers and fill the cavity with water.
§ Put a layer of gravel or wet pebbles in the saucers and place the pot without obstructing the drain hole.
§ Use electric or terracotta humidifiers on radiators. Earth
The soil is not just a support support, but is the place from which the plants draw water and nutrients necessary for their growth: mineral and organic substances, living organisms, air and water contained in the soil, determine the varieties and make it more suitable for one or another species.In nature
The first distinction is based on the relationship between acidic and basic substances present in the soil and is indicated with the pH parameter : pH values ​​that are too low or too high can affect the assimilation capacity of nutritional elements (for example iron, manganese, copper …), to the point of making them unusable. The other distinction is given by the quality of the elements that make up the ground.
§ acid soil : pH below 7, it is found in very rainy areas and is particularly suitable for rhododendrons and azaleas.
§ neutral soil : pH 7, and suitable for ornamental plants in general.
§ alkaline medium: pH greater than 7, found in arid areas.
§ sandy soil : it contains at least 70-80% of sand, and easy to work because it is soft, but tends to lose water and nutrients that must be constantly added by man.
§ clayey soil : it contains at least 25% clay and is more compact, heavy to work, rich in nutrients but also so much water as to cause asphyxiation of the roots.
§ medium-textured soil : and a balanced mixture of sand, clay, limestone and organic matter, suitable for all crops, does not need to be corrected. On the market
These are soil for houseplantsand for outdoor potted plants , composed of peat (retains water), sand (promotes water drainage), fertilizer (provides nutrients), humus (gives fertility by releasing nutrients over time); they differ according to the percentages contained in 5 varieties: Standard soil: garden soil, manure soil, leaf soil, peat and sand. Universal soil: manure earth, leaf soil, sand and peat. Sandy loam: very mature common loam and sand. It is suitable for succulents. Humus-based soil : fertilizers, leaf soil enriched with organic substances, peat and sand in small quantities.Special soils : for plants with special needs. The most common is the one characterized by high acidity.

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