As a newcomer to keeping plants, you might have imagined a simple pouring of water in sunlight to keep your plants healthy and alive, but as you tread further in the journey of gardening, you realise that there is so much more to it!
Here's a little effort towards helping you understand why your plants need more than just water and sunlight.
Though 80 percent of human body has been constituted by water, but can we survive only on water?
There are several chemical reactions taking place in every living organism to produce energy. These reactions require elements and combination of elements such as Potassium, Iron, Carbon, Ammonia.
Water (Dihydrogen Monoxide) is also one such compounds.
Plants too require these essential elements and compounds so as to carry out the biological processes taking place inside them.
Image: The most commonly used fertilizer for plants: NPK
Soil as nutrient source
Soil is formed from minerals and several years of decomposition of organic material. Soil has buried animals, their excreta, the microorganisms that degrade them and the air that they breathe in. Soil has plenty of nutrients plants can derive nourishment from.
Image: Soil Organic matter
Why add compost or fertilizer in plants?
No denying that soil in itself is a major source of nutrients but this soil needs to get replenished from time-to-time and especially as you grow them in pots, the diversity of nutrients is reduced. Therefore, depending upon the kind of plant and its requirement, fertilizers are added.
Along with that, tilling is also done to make the entry of air easy into the soil.
Amount of sunlight
Plants need different quantities of light and depending upon their response, you have to keep it in direct or indirect sunlight. You will often need to keep shifting them from one position to the other even on the same day.
Water as per the plant's need
Watch how your plant responds to the durations after which you add water into it.
Quick tip: The amount of love you have for your plant cannot be decided by the gallons of water you can pour into it, but by the understanding of your plant's requirements.
Plants need time
When anticipating for new growth, do not forget the factor of time. You have to persistently keep taking care of it till one day you see a new leaf unfold!
What is still missing?
People often complain that their plants die soon despite the requirements they fulfill. One reason could be that it is not given enough love. You need to check on them often, adore their presence around you. Just like humans, even plants need love and appreciation from their surroundings so as to carry on with their lives. Talk to your plants, be friends with them.
Worry not if you have lost a few plants. Do not lose hope, the true joy of gardening is in being able to grow one plant after several losses. It is plants that teach you hope, in little ways.
To know your plant, you have to experiment with its needs and you will soon get the knack of it!
Nurture Green! Breathe Green!