BY PATRICIA BIANCA S. TACULAO
Gardening has always been a productive hobby that many people have engaged in. Over a year, more people have started growing plants in their homes or personal spaces.
But for some, gardening is also a way for them to connect with other people and form meaningful relationships over the same interest. This also allows gardeners to learn a thing or two when it comes to caring for different types of plants.
To help their fellow gardeners be successful in raising their plants, three gardeners who were published on Agriculture Online share some tips on how to grow and maintain three different types of plants.
A favorite among gardeners who are looking to go from basic houseplants to more eye-catching varieties is philodendrons.
Kenneth Joy Fuentes Gonzales, 43, who works as an employee at the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) of Norala, South Cotabato, prefers growing Philodendron varieties because they are easy to grow and propagate.
Gonzales usually propagates philodendrons through cuttings. In her experience, she learned that philodendrons love indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. As a result, Gonzales keeps the soil slightly moist but prevents overwatering the plants to avoid attracting pests and diseases.
She checks soil moisture through feel and appearance. To do this, she sticks her finger into the soil about two to three inches deep. Gonzales will only water it if she feels that the soil underneath is too dry.
For the growing medium, Gonzales uses a mixture of rice hull, compost, and cocopeat to help retain the moisture that the plants need.
If gardeners can’t decide what plant to grow, they can try making a terrarium and care for several plants at once. Terrariums are like mini-greenhouses for particular plants. The enclosure houses plants of different varieties, along with other elements, to create a small replica of nature.
Froilan N. Aloro, a registered nurse by profession who is currently working as an operations manager in BGC for a US-based company, started making terrariums in July 2020. He specializes in making moss terrariums.
When creating terrariums, Aloro uses resources that are readily available to him. Because as a hobby, terrarium making shouldn’t be expensive. Instead, people should spend time making and enjoying it and not worry about spending too much.
He added that contrary to common belief, terrarium-making is fairly easy and doesn’t require fancy gadgets to get started.
Businessman Ramon Isla, 33, started growing plants because he has a dream of living in a place that mimics nature and its calmness. Among the plants that he’s cultivated is a giant golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum).
His golden pothos was given by his mother as a gift. Isla initially planted it in a pot but he later transferred the pothos to the ground which resulted in their large size. Presently, the leaves of his pothos are three feet long.
According to Isla, for pothos to grow bigger, gardeners need to plant them in nutrient-rich soil in an area that receives bright light and direct morning sun but not with direct afternoon sun. He added that newly-propagated pothos should be watered four times a day while established plants only twice.
When transplanting, the businessman advises cutting right under a node of the pothos before replanting them. Apply Osmocote fertilizer if the golden pothos is already established.
For Isla, the secret in growing larger leaves is to plant them against a concrete wall for them to have a strong anchor.
There are several different plants available to each gardener according to their preferences. And even though these gardeners offered tips on how to grow specific plants, gardeners can try other approaches that they think are best for their plants.
As many gardeners have pointed out, experience is the best teacher when it comes to growing plants.