Ask a Question forum: Houseplant care calendar and tracker

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Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 14, 2017 9:10 AM CST
I have a lot of plants throughout my home. I am looking for a good app to keep notes on fertilizing, repotting, bug treatments and etc. It would be really nice to look up plant care details in the app too. Do any of the people here have an app they really like for keeping a schedule for past and future plant duties.




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I don't mind buying it. Free is also good. Smiling
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 15, 2017 6:43 AM CST
Gorgeous Hoya!!

You would have to plug so many variables into an ap for it to be helpful, like humidity, air movement, temp, and even then, the ap would have no way of knowing the metabolic rate of each of your plants. All I need to know about watering a plant is to pick it up. Very heavy plants that I can't heft, I just water often enough that I feel confident they are not too dry. (more below.)

I've never used an ap & I hope to continue my trend. My phone is not even capable.

If I have a specific plant question, I ask the wonderful folks here and get friendship and camaraderie as well as awesomely helpful info.

Having a lot of pots makes it very difficult to provide different care for each, so I do not try to do that. I give all plants a soil that is chunky and will not rot the roots when moist, then my only job is to make sure it does not get so dry that the plant is damaged. If a plant starts drying too quickly for my schedule, I give it a bigger pot. During summer, I water pots about 2-3x per week, and during winter, about once a week, though some of them seem to be able to go for 2 weeks during a straight run of the coldest days (vs. just sporadic cold, that happens a lot too, amid 70ยฐ days and 55ยฐ nights.)
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 15, 2017 7:32 PM CST
The Meta--what rate? Air movement?? woops.

Hi Tiffany!
I thought knowing the humidity was pretty high tech. I know the temperature they are in, too.....and that's it,............... Confused oh, and I also know I cannot remember the last time I fertilized anything,

I can stick the little bit of stuff I really should keep straight by tracking into my computer by just making a separate calendar. That will work just fine.

I water most of my plants by weight too, but I am not even remotely smart enough to have thought to use the same soil for everyone. I would love to know what the recipe is. I have made Al's mixes. when I can find the ingredients..........except Turface, I have never found that. I have loved some of the batches, and I have thrown some away.

You and Cinta were on my mind today. I went out and cleaned up some big o summer pots, I was chopping stuff back, and found myself eyeing the geranium. The next thing I know I am hauling down that propagation fish tank and tending ridiculously tiny starts. PROPOGATING GERANIUMS, I don't need. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing I am outa control again.

Thank you for the post.

Laurie
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 16, 2017 9:30 AM CST
Happy to share what works for me.

If I had the budget for it, and lived where I could locate ingredients, I'd be trying Al mixes too. Purchased bags of stuff can be livable, I don't really look for anything in particular, but to make sure there's no peat and that it's chunky. "Cactus/palm" can be good, I would never buy something called "potting soil." Sometimes I just use ground dirt from "the good part" of a garden where I've been composting if I'm going to be repotting very often, and for a lot of plants that only need to be potted for a few months of winter, to go back in the ground outside.

LOL! I can relate to propagating things I don't need at all. A lot of them are given away as gifts, put in the landscape "as annuals," traded, or just to serve as more mass to compost. There is never enough of that.

I confess to being pretty much completely unreliable for fertilizing too. When I do, it's compost tea, or pureรฉd banana, but it gets so hot & mosquito-y here that I rarely get around to it, just want to run past the potted plants as quickly as possible with watering can & get back inside. This summer I just used some chunks of banana set on the soil surface of plants that looked like they could be happier.

As mentioned, I put some plants in the ground for summer vacay & my plant list(s) here help me keep track of them. I can go through list of grounded plants and make sure there's some of each in a pot somewhere before Jack Frost hits. If you have categories of things to remember, your plant list here might be a handy tool. I was just printing my list today so I'll be able to carry it around garden & account for at least 1 individual of each that needs to be "saved."
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 16, 2017 10:13 AM CST
lauriebasler said:...when I can find the ingredients..........except Turface, I have never found that.


You can buy Turface online from several places. I have no idea what it'f for
other than being a soil additive/conditioner.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.htm...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 17, 2017 12:40 AM CST
thank you guys. Greene, I spend a lot of time hunting for affordable turface online some time ago. It was all just expensive and more quantity that I wanted. But your reminder was so helpful. I wandered out on the web and found 6 quarts for $18.00 and no shipping. That I don't mind paying to see how it works out. So thank you.

Tiffany, Thanks for all the info. I have not found a cactus mix that has been reliable for me yet. The ground soil here is so very full of clay, and rock. I can't use it in outside pots at all, and never plant anything outside without a bags of amendments worked deeply into the soil.

This was my first year of putting plants outside. I could only risk it from June to August. I was moving plants out for some sun in the morning, and in for protection from temps below 55% that very evening over and over again. But the growth my plants put on was an absolute treat to observe. My Blue Agave, and Cane Begonia are more than twice their size. It was just a treat. I have plants I have been coddling for years that doubled in size. I cannot imagine how much bigger they would be with a longer warm season.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Oct 17, 2017 1:33 AM CST
Thank you guys.
@Greene, I was really determined to get some turface quite some time ago. I hunted weekend after weekend. I finally just gave up. The shipping made it just more than I could make myself pay, online, so I stopped looking there as well.
But thanks to your reminder tonight I wandered the web and found a 6 qt bag for $18.00 and will order it. So thank you.

@Tiffany, Thanks for all the info. When I finally find a cactus mix that is the same from bag to bag I think I will really like my mixes. I had a great bag of Epsoma cactus mix, but the next bag was just awful chuncky but it stayed too wet too long. I rotted a plant I had a long time in a couple days in that stuff. So the hunt goes on.

Thank you guys. .

Thanks guys.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Oct 20, 2017 4:57 AM CST
"Dirt" is naturally not fertile. One must first turn it into "soil."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Oct 20, 2017 2:44 PM CST
I have my "grounded" plant list from this awesome site printed & am ready to start using it this weekend to make sure I'm ready with at least 1 individual of each non-hardy plant in a pot to be easily tucked into house or greenhouse at a moments' notice.

Except for plants from very dry desert conditions, most plants are not equipped for their roots to be completely dry. What you described about chunky but moist is how I aim for plants to stay all of the time, but some do get dry more quickly than my schedule of watering during the hot part of the year.

When dealing with any kind of plant that does not wilt, whether actually called "succulent" by anyone or not, watering right away after repotting can do more harm than good by allowing/causing/facilitating rot among damaged roots. I would probably be more suspicious of that from a plant that declined within a couple days vs. any kind of soil.

Leaving any kind of soil as loose as it will stay is something I try to do also. The first few times I water, I try to use the moist gentle sprinkle possible, not a gush or stream of water that unnecessarily compacts soil. Also helps pots to stay as lightweight as possible, if the soil particles can "lock" in place in a non-compacted position. All of those tiny air spaces will prevent roots from rotting while soil is moist, even if they are outside and it rains for a couple of days.
When I see that soil has sunk an inch from when I repotted a few days ago, I know I've failed.

Over time, these spaces will become filled with roots, and even the most gentle conditions can't prevent natural settling of soil over time. Sand is always being blown around where I am too, which settles into pots and into where tiny air spaces previously were. This is what I look for when deciding who needs to be repotted, and when. Excessive weight when wet is always an indicator that some combination of the above has occurred, when it can't be attributed to slightly larger size of plant/leaf mass.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.

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