Growing flowers is a great hobby. It is not only good for one's health and edifying for the mind, but also allows you an escape from busy and routine work. However, most people don’t know much about how to grow flowers. The following is a full guide to growing flowers at home that will help solve any problems that you might encounter in flower growing.
1.Six ways to water flowers
(1) Leftover tea. Using leftover tea to water flowers can not only maintain soil moisture, but also provides additional nitrogen and other nutrients. Of course, flowers should be watered as needed and that is the case for watering with leftover tea, too.
(2) Milk that has gone sour. Milk that has gone bad can be mixed with water to water flowers. This helps flowers grow. However, it must be diluted with enough water. Milk that has not fermented should not be used for watering flowers because fermentation generates a lot of heat and will “burn” the root or make it decay.
(3) Cold boiled water. Cold boiled water can make leaves luxuriant and flowers brighter, while also helping flowers bloom early. If used to water asparagus ferns, it can make branches grow horizontally and help the plants grow low and dense.
(4) Warm water. In winter, it is better to use warm water. Water should be placed indoors until it reaches room temperature before use. It is ideal that water at 35 degrees Celsius is used for watering.
(5) Water used to rinse rice. Water that has been used to rinse rice can help plants grow better. Example: tree orchids.
(6) When no one is at home to water flowers regularly, including when you are away from home to visit relatives or on business trips for a week or more, you can find a plastic bag, fill it up with water and prick a small hole at the bottom before putting the bag in your flower vase. Place the hole close to the soil and water will ooze out slowly to moisture the soil. The size of the hole should be suitable so that water does not leak too fast. Alternatively, you can put a vessel filled with water beside the vase. Find an absorptive cloth strip. Put one end of it into the vessel and the other into the soil. This ensures that for at least two weeks, the soil will receive enough water to keep it moist and that the plant won’t rot away.
2.Five methods of fertilization
(1) “Medical stone”. Putting a layer of “medical stone” granules will help plants grow and increase their flowering period.
(2) Broken eggshells. Buried broken eggshells are an ideal fertilizer. Placing them in the soil will help flowers grow better with luxuriant leaves and brightly-colored flowers.
(3) Cooked soybeans. Dig three holes in the soil of each vase. Place three-to-five cooked soybeans in each hole, two-to-three centimeters deep. Make sure you don’t hurt the roots before covering the holes with soil.
(4) Dry pig or fish bones dry and crush them to small pieces before putting them at the bottom or surface of the soil.
(5) Water used to rinse rice. Water that has been used in rice rinsing also contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other microelements. It makes an ideal, gentle compound fertilizer, which does not hurt the roots and can be used whenever watering is needed.
Chemical fertilizers should not be used at home too often. You can instead obtain nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other microelements from other sources. For example, peanuts, beans, sunflower seeds and grains which have gone moldy are all rich in nitrogen. After fermentation, they can be used as base fertilizers or made into solutions to be used as topdressing. Fish bones or other broken bones, chicken feathers, eggshells or even people’s fingernail cuttings and hair all contain phosphorus. They can be mixed with compost before adding some water, placing them in a plastic bag and leaving the bag in a corner for the contents to decompose thoroughly. The result is a perfect organic fertilizer. They can also be made into solutions to be used as topdressing to make homegrown flowers brighter and make the plant bear more fruit. Rice-rinsing water that has been fermented, water that has been used to make bean sprouts, plant ash water, rain water and waste water from water tanks all contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A small amount of such fertilizer can help plants grow.
4.Apple skins can neutralize alkaline soils
Some plants and flowers from southern regions cannot easily survive or blossom in northern regions because the soil in the north is too alkaline. There are many ways to neutralize alkaline soil. For example, apple skins and cores can be immersed in cold water. Such water will help neutralize alkaline soil.
5.Six methods to get rid of insects and ants
(1) If your vase becomes a breeding ground for small flying bugs, find three or four cotton swabs and dip them into DDVP to absorb as much liquid as possible, provided they don’t drip. Put the handle ends of the swabs into the soil around the plant. The bugs will then die.
(2) Washing powder. Dissolve one spoon of washing powder in four liters of water. Spray the leaves with the resulting solution every two weeks to get rid of white flies and bacteria.
(3) Milk. Mix four cups of flour and half cup of milk with 20 liters of water. After being filtered through a piece of gauze, the mixture can be sprayed onto leaves to kill tampans and their eggs.
(4) Beer. Pour beer into the shallow basin below and snails will be drowned when they crawl in.
(5) Garlic. Crush garlic and mix it with a spoon of ground pepper before adding the mixture to half a liter of water. One hour later, spray the solution to keep rodents away.
(6) If ants appear in the vase, place cigarette butts and cut tobacco in hot water and leave it for one or two days, until the water turns a dark shade of brown. Spray some of the water on stems and leaves and dilute the rest before pouring it into the vase to get rid of the ants.
6.Three ways to keep flowers fresh
(1) Roses: Cauterize the cuts before putting the cut flowers into the vase. Autumn chrysanthemum: Put some peppermint crystals on the cuts. Chrysanthemum: Add a small amount of urea or liquids that have oozed out of the soil (a solution filtered from rich soil with added water) to the clear water in which chrysanthemums are grown. This can increase the lifespan of cut chrysanthemums to up to 30 days, 10 days longer than clear water alone. Michelia alba: Wrap it with a wet cloth at night and open it during the day. This can help increase the life of the cut flowers by two or three days. Hibiscus mutabilis: Place it in hot water for one or two minutes before transferring it to cold water. Dahlia: Dip the cut in hot water for a short time before transferring it to cold water. Peony: Dip the cut in hot water before transferring it to cold water. Camellia: Place the plant in brackish water. Lily: Place the plant in sugar water. Gardenia jasminoides: Add one or two drops of meat juice to water. Daffodil: Place the plant in a salt solution with a salt content of 1/1,000. Lotus flower: Block the air duct with soil before placing it in brackish water.
(2) If you are going to be away for a long time, you don’t need to worry about your flowers. Just place them into the crisper drawer in your refrigerator to maintain freshness for a long period of time. When back home, take them out and put them back in the vase.
(3) Dissolve an aspirin in water to make your flowers bloom longer.
7.Adjust blooming times
Place flower seeds, the root or the branch for cuttage into a plastic bag before storing them in the refrigerator. When appropriate, take them out for planting. This way, you can adjust the timing in which they will bloom.
8.Resuscitate potted flowers that have been frozen
If left outside, potted flowers might freeze solid. Wrap the flowers with three layers of absorbent newspaper. Make sure that both the flowers and leaves are not hurt and avoid direct sunlight. Leave them for a day until their temperatures slowly return to normal. With luck, the frozen potted flowers might be alive again.
9.How should we treat the kaffir lily during the summer?
Hot summer days see temperatures regularly rise above 30 degrees Celsius. This is bad for the growth of the kaffir lily. A shed is often put up to protect them from high temperatures. The kaffir lily and its pot can be buried in sand, which is then sprayed with water in the morning and at night. This not only keeps the pot’s soil moist, but also reduces temperature through evaporation.
10.How can dirt found on plants be cleaned?
When cleaning at home, people often run potted flowers under the tap to clean them. This, however, affects the growth of the plant because of a sudden temperature drop. If it is a foliage plant, leaves can be wiped clean one by one with a cloth dipped in water. Sprinkling can be used to clean other types of plants.
11.How can flowers be deodorized?
If fermented solutions are used as fertilizers, an unpleasant smell can occur. Orange peels can be added to the solution to remove foul odors. Moreover, orange peels themselves are great fertilizers.
12.Four methods for making your own pesticides
(1) Take 200g of green Chinese onions and cut them up before immersing them in 10 liters of water. The filtered water can be used to spray affected plants several times a day for five days.
(2) Crush 200g-300g of garlic into juice and mix it with 10 liters of water. The mixture can be used to spray plants.
(3) Immerse 400g of finely cut tobacco in 10 liters of water for two whole days. Filter out the tobacco, add 10 liters of water and 20g-30g of soap powder before stirring well. When ready, the solution can be used to spray affected plants.
(4) Mix 10 liters of water with 3kg of plant ashes for three whole days before spraying the mixture on the plants.
Weeds are fecund. Only a few days after you have pulled out weeds from your courtyard, you will find them to be abundant once again. Don’t discard salt water that has been used to preserve eggs or vegetables. During the time of year in which weeds grow wild, such salt water can be poured over weeds. Pouring the solution over the weeds three of four times will bring the growth of weeds under control. Additionally, water that has been used to boil potatoes can be used to eliminate weeds in courtyards or foot paths. Bleaching powder water is also effective. Just pour it on the ground where weeds grow and drench the ground. 24 hours later, repeat the process. The weeds will soon be gone.