If you’ve ever appreciated a hydrangea bush blooming in different pastel shades, you’ll be delighted to learn that by using a simple scientific trick you can easily modify the bloom color! The color of a hydrangea flower varies according to the pH level of the soil it’s growing in, except for the white ones that are resistant to any color change.
How to Change Your Hydrangea Bloom Color
You can quickly transform the color of your hydrangea flowers into colors like pink, blue, purple, and more by following the steps mentioned here:
Select Right Hydrangea Type
The foremost step is to make sure to buy the right variety of hydrangea bloom for your garden that can change color to give you the flower color of your choice. For example, the macrophylla (also called mopheads and lacecaps) variety is among the most suitable species of hydrangea that can change color.
Measure Soil pH
Use a soil review kit to detect the pH level of your soil. This is important because the hydrangea bloom color depends on the soil pH in which it is grown:
Blue flowers with acidic soil having a pH level of 5.5 or lower
Pink flowers with alkaline soil with a pH level of 6.5 or higher
A palette of blue, pink, and purple shades with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5
If you want to observe your soil’s pH during the plant’s growing period, you can set up a probe that will provide readings on both the soil’s pH and its moisture content.
Adjust Soil’s pH Level
You can use a few household tricks, like applying composted oak foliage, pine needles, or coffee grounds to achieve blue hydrangeas. Whereas, applying wood ashes, lime, or fertilizers with significant levels of phosphorus to stop aluminum from flowing into the plant’s system, gives hydrangeas the pink color.
Treat Your Soil Right
Now, that you have learned how to tweak the soil pH to obtain the bloom color of your fondness, remember that the key is to apply it especially at the beginning of the growing season and to re-apply all through the growing season. Also, water them right, because too much water can damage your plants.
The soil pH is prone to change every year, depending on factors like the kind of fertilizer, or mulch you use. Therefore, it’s essential to continue treating the uppermost layer of soil surrounding the root area to maintain the flowers in the preferred shade. This process can last for months, so you need to be patient.
Office spaces are full of furniture and other inanimate objects that can cause it to look and feel boring. Adding a few office plants will brighten the atmosphere and improve the quality of the air. You can choose anything from mall shrubs to flowering plants that add color and a touch of fragrance to the air.
Here are top 8 office plants that can help boost your workplace environment:
Bamboo palms are great for an office because they thrive in low light. While offices are generally bright, they don’t have a lot of natural lighting that plants need. It’s said that bamboo can ward off negative energy.
A small rhododendron can grow and spread along windowsills or desks. They thrive in almost any environment and come in several different shades of green. Rhododendrons grow relatively fast and new plants can be easily started from the small shoots.
A spider plant will also thrive in most environments and can be kept on a desk or as a hanging basket. Either way, the small shoots will begin to spread and can be used to start new plants. With regular watering and ample lighting, they can double in size in a few months.
Lemon balm easy extremely easy to grow and can be placed in shade or direct sunlight. It has a soft lemony scent that can elevate your mood and help to eliminate negativity in the office.
The snake plant is ideal for offices where people may tend to forget to water it. It will be fine, even if it hasn’t been watered in a few days.
Aloe is an excellent air purifier. Aloe is a form of succulent and can go a few days without water. It’s leaves vary in color and produce aloe gel that can be used on burns and scrapes.
Gerber daisies are both colorful and useful. The plants are small and can be placed almost anywhere. They are excellent air purifiers.
Much like the rhododendron, the pothos plant can be placed almost anywhere and continue to grow. It will grow extremely fast and requires very little care.
Before buying any office plants for your workspace, make sure to research it thoroughly so you can provide it with the care it needs.
Herb gardens are a perfect and fun way to source your fresh herbs all year round personally, so don’t get afraid to test your green thumb! Are you thinking about having your herb garden, but have no clue where to start? Here are the top ten mistakes new herb gardeners make and tips on how to prevent them:
Mistake 1: Growing From Seed
When you initially begin to grow fresh herbs you should start planting from seedlings instead of planting your seeds. Many things can go awry in the seed to seedling transformation, so it’s perhaps best to start by skipping that complicated job, or you are at risk of getting exhausted before you begin.
Mistake 2: Starting with Complex Varieties
Similar to other plant varieties, some herbs are hard to grow while others are easy. You can select basil which is also the perfect trainer herb to start with your herb gardening because it is supposed to be one of the simplified herbs. Begin your growing adventure with a few hardy and robust basil seedlings.
Mistake 3: Missing Knowledge About Multiple Varieties
When increasing your herb collection, make sure you know what kind of herbs you are buying after going through the labels carefully. When choosing herbs with multiple varieties available to you, understand the variations in their flavors and pick up the specimens based on your preferences.
Mistake 4: Selecting Unhealthy Plants
Although omitting the seeds makes starting out with an herb garden easier but choosing a healthy plant can be tricky. Carefully examine the plants for signs that indicate good quality plants including bright colors, the abundance of foliage, and no infestations. Going that extra mile will help you find the healthiest herbs you can purchase.
Mistake 5:Planting Incorrectly
Overcrowding your herb garden is a common mistake that makes for an unhealthy herb garden. If your herbs are not provided the needed space to spread out their roots and fully develop, they are fewer chances at long-term survival. Make sure you carefully study the tags to determine the height and width of the fully developed plants before planting.
Mistake 6: Planting in the Improper Environment
Just as all plants, the incorrect environment conditions can quickly wipe out your flourishing herb garden. There are ways to resolve this issue. If you don’t have access to perfect climate for a particular herb, you can grow it in a pot. By altering the position between sun and shade as required, the plants can adapt easily for better growth.
Mistake 7: Watering Incorrectly
In general, herbs need a moderate watering daily, especially in summers. If you are growing in pots, make sure to have an adequate drainage system to prevent drowning your plants. In case of your outdoor garden, water the soil in the morning to check evaporation. Watering the leaves should be avoided to prevent mildew and disease.
Mistake 8: Not Pruning Enough
Regularly pruning your herb plants will boost rapid and even growth. Pruning will help to maintain the herb at its development stage for the longest possible time. In the absence of pruning, you permit the plant to begin and end its life cycle, with almost bleak or no potential of regrowth. Also, remember to harvest from the top when pruning your herb plants.
Mistake 9: Using Soil Lacking in Nutrients
Plants require nutrients to grow, mainly when they are frequently being harvested and need the excess energy to keep going. Start with good, fresh garden soil and if you are planting in containers, buy a quality potting soil. Mild fertilization or organic composting will go a long way in making your soil sufficiently rich for herb growth.
Mistake 10: Giving Up Too Soon
Don’t give up on your herb gardening, just after your very first attempt in case of a low yield. At times, it needs a couple of seasons to obtain the right results, and sometimes you face unforeseen hurdles. Keep trying, and you’ll be surprised at what you can produce.
Remember that even the highly skilled herb gardeners slip up. Simply use the opportunity to get educated on something, and return in the garden game!
Your garden is your pride and joy. You don’t want to contaminate your fruits and vegetables with toxic pesticides. There are several household items you can use to create your own homemade pesticides for your garden that won’t harm your crops. Here are some examples of natural and homemade insecticides for your garden.
8 Natural And Homemade Insecticides For Your Garden
Neem Oil Spray
Mix 2 teaspoons of Neem oil and 1 teaspoon of Castille soap. Put a small amount in a quart size spray bottle and spray your plants.
Add 1 ½ teaspoons of Castille soap to a 1quart spray bottle filled with water and spray liberally on your plants.
Puree 2 whole garlic bulbs (approximately 8 cloves each) with a little water. Let set for several hours, then strain. Add ½ cup vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon Castille soap. Put in a quart spray bottle, add water, and shake. Spray on and around your plants.
Puree a small onion, one whole bulb of garlic, and 1 teaspoon chili pepper. Strain and pour the liquid into a one-quart spray bottle. Add 1 tablespoon Castille soap and enough water to fill the bottle. Shake and spray.
Chili Pepper Spray
In a one-quart spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon chili pepper, several drops of Castille soap, and enough water to fill. Shake. Let stand for an hour or so then spray on and around plants.
Oil and Soap Spray
Mix one cup vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon Castille soap, and water to fill a one-quart spray bottle. Shake well and apply to plants as needed.
Tomato Leaf Spray
Pick tomato leaves from the base (or any part of the plant). Chop enough to make two cups. Add water and let stand for several hours. Strain and place in a one-quart spray bottle. Fill to the top then spray on and around plants.
Diatomaceous earth is a form of soil that is very fine and dry. There are no mixing or other types of preparation necessary. Take a handful of the dirt and spread it around the base of all your plants. Sprinkling it over the top may allow a small amount to dust the leaves.
Mix several combinations and find what works best for the type of pests you have in your garden. Some homemade pesticides for your garden may work better than others depending on the type of bugs or animals you have visiting your area.
Spring is the perfect time to start prepping your garden and landscaped areas. As you start to plan your landscaping and garden, ensure to do some prior research for getting expert gardening advice this spring. This will guarantee you some perfect tips on when to plant, what to plant, and above all how to care for the landscape once it starts to grow.
Here are 5 useful spring gardening tips to help you this spring:
Be Careful of a Late Frost
Always remember to keep an eye on the thermometer. While spring is a time of rebirth, it is also a time for Mother Nature to drop a hard freeze on you unexpectedly. Temperatures in Southern California are usually moderate, but hard freezes do occur, so be mindful of them.
Support Your Local Plants
If all you have in your landscaped area is plants, it can be a little boring. Add a trellis or two with a few climbing vines. Include a statue or fountain. Create plant boxes out of an old chair or barrel. Adding elements that naturally support your plants’ growth will add depth to your design making it look bigger than it actually is.
Add Herbs and Flowers for Variety
Add a few herbs and a variety of flowers. Both herbs and flowers can be extremely fragrant as well as colorful. Sectioning off a small area close to the edge of the landscaped area and reserving it for your herbs, allows you to harvest them when you want that fresh, “straight from the garden” flavor. The fresh flowers can be used to make a colorful centerpiece for your dinner table.
Take Care of Your Hardscape
In addition to taking care of your plants, you also need to maintain your hardscaping. Maintain your border and replace any pieces that may be broken or deteriorating. Make sure your trellises and other plant supports are stable and strong enough to hold up your plants. If you have a fountain or small pond in your landscaping, make sure it’s well maintained and properly cared for so moss doesn’t start to grow or clog the filter.
Ask a professional landscaper if you have questions or need to know what types of plants go well together. Even though you like to take care of your landscaping on your own, it’s important to ask questions. Your landscaper can always provide expert advice whenever you need spring gardening tips.