May is for the plant moms! Embrace becoming a botanical boss and dig your way into the world of plant parenting with confidence. Celebrate Mother’s Day with a new addition to the family or gift mommy dearest something to help with that empty nest. Follow Life is a Garden’s guide to successful indoor gardening.
Seasoned plant moms
If you’re looking for a plant that says “this isn’t my first child”, these three high-maintenance favourites will glamorously show off your expert parenting skills.
Tantrums about: could be anything but especially overwatering.
Bribe it with: patience, loose bark potting mix, indirect sunlight, humidity, scheduled watering.
Tantrums about: not being able to watch you shower.
Bribe it with: misting, dappled light, and humidity. Also, some time outdoors where it can see the sunset.
Tantrums about: being the only child and open spaces.
Bribe it with: bright, indirect sun, well-draining soil, lots of friends to increase humidity, and a shallow container (short-root syndrome).
First-time plant parents
When gifting or homing a plant as the first indoor offspring, go for these three easy greens that don’t always need to be the centre of attention.
May give glares when: irritated by too many water kisses.
Give pocket money and: only one or two waterings during winter and almost any light condition.
May give glares when: it’s too hot to play inside
Give pocket money and: well-drained soil, indirect light, occasional pruning of playful spiderettes.
May give glares when: grounded and unable to go anywhere.
Give pocket money and: a hanging basket or trellis, a little pruning, and a chance to dry out between watering.
Regardless of what you are planning to grow, here are our top tips for successfully raising your bundles of joy indoors.
Indoor gardening is a fabulous hobby! You could start an Instagram page to promote your plant-parenthood journey and let the world celebrate those special growth milestones with you. In addition, gardening of all kinds promotes a connection with nature, increases happiness, improves air quality, and is really fun (and slightly addictive).
From conversation starters to filling an empty nest, there’s always a reason to get a new plant or five! Remember to check the growing instructions of your new addition and make sure you can provide the perfect place for optimal growth. Life is a Garden, and plant moms are awesome!
As the sun sets to welcome the evening sky in all its colourful glory, sit back and relax on the balcony with some potted poppies and petunias for company. These lovelies are the perfect choice for all-year-round charm and vibrance. Here is Life is a Garden’s guide on how to successfully grow and care for your new patio and balcony besties.
Petunias are available in a range of colours, each as bright as the next. Position them in a mostly sunny spot and ensure they are never completely dry. Perform the finger test to see when to water petunias as you would rather want to underwater than overwater these babes.
Petunias require well-draining, aerated and slightly acidic soil. Potting soil mix works well, especially if you combine it with a little peat moss to lower pH levels.
These ladies love lots of food. Most potting mixes have the right amount of nutrients but to be sure, use a slow-release fertiliser after planting. Alternatively, compost will give Petunias the feeding they need, just remember to make sure it doesn’t interfere with the soil’s drainage abilities.
This encourages plants to direct their energy into creating more flowers, rather than wasting it on already fading blooms. Deadheading also keeps your plant looking neat and tidy. Simply remove flowers that are beyond their prime by pinching them off from just below their base.
Poppies are a timeless classic. They might not be the easiest flower to grow but their vibrant colour and sweetness is certainly worth the extra care. Poppy varieties that grow well in pots include oriental poppies, Iceland poppies, California poppies, and Shirley poppies. Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) provide an incredible, colourful show during winter.
Poppies dislike being transplanted. As such, we recommend purchasing poppy seedling trays along with a little booster food to help with the transplant shock. You can get all these from your GCA Garden Centre. Place containers in a full sun position and be sure to water the seedlings gently as they have very delicate roots. Once in flower, poppies need to be deadheaded to increase the number of blooms.
Poppies enjoy a neutral to slightly acidic pH. They require excellent drainage but rich soil. A loamy, well-draining potting mix will be perfect.
Poppies enjoy minimal water during and before their flowering season. They can be watered every day but ensure not to overwater each time you do. When they’re about to flower, and throughout their flowering period, water moderately, maintaining excellent drainage.
Fertiliser should only be applied during the growing season. It is best to apply a slow-release fertiliser when you first plant them. If you didn’t, a balanced liquid feed, every two weeks will provide potted Poppies with the nutrients they need.
Be on the lookout for aphids and water regularly to avoid red spider mite damage. Ensure you choose a good-quality potting mix to avoid root rot.
If you’re looking to enjoy sunsets in the city, you simply can’t go wrong with these balcony besties. A wide selection of pots and hanging baskets will further help to highlight your new additions, so be sure to consider the style of your chosen containers when planning your new living décor.
The Pantone colour of the year is Very Peri – a courageous, statement-making violet-blue that generates creativity and inspiration in the garden. Cultivate some confidence and curiosity this autumn by incorporating planting a striking variety of purple Veri Peri stunners. Here is Life is a Garden’s grow guide for 2022.
According to the trend-setters at Pantone, “17-3938 Very Peri is a dynamic periwinkle blue hue with a vivifying violet-red undertone that blends the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red”. In addition, this colour represents:
With such passionate connotations connected to this colour, there really is only one thing left to do – GCA Garden Centre here we come!
Did you know? The health benefits of purple food include anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Anthocyanidins are responsible for the purple pigment in our edibles and also helps to boost the immune system.
Did you know? Having shades of purple plants around the house helps to invoke peace and happiness. There’s a lot going on in the world, so if you’re looking to reap a little more optimism for the new year, grow these:
Top tip: Remember to check the sowing and growing season chart on all seed packets, seedling trays, and pots for the best time to introduce your new purple splendours to the garden.
Did you know? When looking at these Veri Peri inspired bulbs, the warmer red-purples are seen as more energetic to the human eye, while the subdued blue-purples are seen as peaceful and contemplative.
Did you know? Pairing these Veri Peri annuals with hues directly across the colour wheel, such as lime greens and yellow, will create a dynamic contrast in the garden that brings out the best of both extraordinary colours.
Did you know? You can create an analogous hue bed by grouping your red-purple and blue-purple perennials together. Experiment with hot and cool-coloured pallets around the garden for a popping landscape this season.
Perennial plants regrow every spring while annuals only live for one growing season. The advantage of perennials is that they don’t often need replacing (if well looked after), while annuals reward the garden with unique seasonal charm.
Did you know? Of all the colours, purple is most associated with rarity, royalty, magic, and mystery. Back in the day, some Roman emperors even forbid their citizens from wearing purple or they would face the death penalty!
Begin your Veri Peri adventure this month by planting these chilled out, charismatic lovelies in beds and pots for a little upliftment as we head into shorter days and longer nights. You can purchase these plants along with fertilisers, compost, and other gardening accessories from your favourite GCA Garden Centre.
Become part of the trendy gardening vibe-tribe and have fun playing with the Pantone colour of the year. Bring in excitement, courage, and joy by growing some of these truly gorgeous plants. Life is a Garden, and it’s a purple party!