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Growing Flowering Plants in Your Backyard

Growing flowering plants in a small apartment in Singapore can be a challenge especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with gardening. But it is possible, and the rewards are worth the effort.

Here are tips to maintaining a small but beautiful backyard garden of flowering plants.

  • If you are going to use pots, make sure that there is a hole at the bottom for sufficient drainage.
  • Do not use just about any soil you can find in your surroundings. Buy a gardening soil from supply shops to avoid diseases, weed seeds, and fungal growth. The best type of soil is mixed with vermiculite, decomposed organic matter, or peat moss. Flowering succulent plants and cacti require a different type of soil.
  • It’s also a good practice to transfer the plant to a new pot instead of keeping them in the original container. Fill the new pot with soil including the potting mix. Next, pat the soil to remove air pockets but don’t pack it too tightly. Loosen the plant from the original pot; don’t pull. Then, set the plant on top of the mix in the new pot then fill in with the soil. There should be at least 1 inch between the soil and the rim of the container.
  • Water the plants only when the top inch of the soil is dry and free from moisture. Excessive watering can cause fungal diseases in plants and make the roots rot. During hot days, you may need to water the plants daily, but check for specific requirements for each plant first.
  • Over time, the gardening soil can lose its nutrients. For flowering plants, use water-soluble fertilizers or liquid fertilizers you can purchase at garden supplies shops in Singapore. Follow the instructions to the letter to avoid harming the plant or dilute the solution before applying it.
  • Inspect the flower pots or beds regularly to remove weeds. These not only compete with resources with your plants, but they can also bring in diseases and pests.
  • Most beginner gardeners forget mulching when it comes to plants. Mulch can retain soil moisture but is also an excellent way to avoid excessive water retention. Which mulch is best for you garden depends on how it will look once the soil is covered with the material. The natural-looking materials are composed of wood chips, leaves, or grass.
  • Majority of flowering plants require plenty of sunshine, so you should place your pots in areas where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight. If not, place them on the windowsills where they can get sunlight during the mornings. However, some plants that do not require a lot of sunlight should be placed in shaded areas.
  • Flowering plants are prone to pests and diseases. Inspect for weeds regularly and install traps and barriers for common pests such as aphids, gnats, and mites. You should also avoid planting different species in the same plant box or pot, so it is easier to monitor signs of disease.

Caring for Live Pond Plants

Live plants need as much love as fish because not only do they help make the area look pleasant and natural, they can also help maintain a better water quality for your pond.

Here are some tips to keep you plants healthy.

  • Before choosing the plants, make sure you know which ones can potentially take root and spread in your pond in case you do not want that to happen. Some species can be difficult to contain, but if you want to have plants that spread their roots like the cattails, you can contain their growth using fabric planters. Water hyacinths can be contained using a fishing line to keep them in one section of the pond.
  • You can retain containers like mesh baskets and plastic pots for plants in the pond. These can be useful for marginal plants, lotus, and water lilies so the roots don’t spread to the rest of the pond. Marginal plants will look better when planted in forming fabric planting beds, but for most types of plants, fabric planters are your best choice.
  • The use of fertilizers will depend where the plant usually grows. For example, floating plants get their nutrients from the water via the roots, so use a liquid fertilizer for your hyacinths and water lilies. Potted plants on the other hand will need tablets inserted into the planting media. This will fertilize the roots directly.
  • The placement of the pond in relation to other garden plants can affect the water quality and the parasites affecting pond plants. Do not place the pond under flowering trees for example if you do not want an aphid infestation in your aquatic plants. However, do not place the pond in direct sunlight as it can trigger algae growth.
  • Most ponds will need at least six hours of sunlight to be healthy, but to much exposure will lead to an overabundance of algae.
  • Do not place plants in the direct path where water flows in your pond because the disturbance will inhibit their growth.
  • There are 5 types of pond plants to choose from, such as marginal, deep water, floating, aerators, and bog. Each type has their special requirements.
  • Floating plants can be planted in plant baskets and lily tubs to contain roots.
  • Underwater plants can help limit algae growth in the pond. If you want to place them in your pond, plant them in one-gallon containers with pea gravel to hold them in place. They will need to be submerged in a depth of at least 12 inches.
  • Shallow water plants are marginal plants that will need to be planted in a minimum of 10-inch fabric pots. Place them in depths of 3 inches and they must be fertilized every 8 weeks.
  • Water lilies will require large or extra-large planting baskets lined with sphagnum moss or filter pad and 1 inch layer of gravel or sand on top. They are also placed at least 12 inches below the water.
  • Regular replenishing of nutrients using fertilizers is important in a closed environment such as a pond. Most plants are hardy even without regular maintenance, but pruning is required for some species.