DID YOU KNOW?
That some plants need to sleep? Some of our favourite plants like Begonias, Colocasias & Caladiums are great examples of tuberous plants that hibernate.
They typically go dormant during the non-growing season, and awaken due to temperature or length of day (usually around June or July).
Why are we talking about sleeping plants?
I did a little experiment last year, when our caladiums died off and was growing smaller and smaller leaves. Since we don't leave in cold climates, I left the tubers in the medium and randomly watered when i remembered to.
The pots of medium were left in a cool space under the some shelves where it didn't get direct sunlight.
When March came around this year, I watered it a bit more – about once every week or so. Mostly I continued to leave them alone, and at some point, I almost gave up hoping that they would come back to life.
LO & BEHOLD
In late May, the petioles started to pop out of the medium! YAY! From there, I made sure to water it every few days, keeping the medium moist, but not overwatered (to prevent root rot). I fed it some bone meal every 2 weeks and brought it out to get some bright (but indirect) sunlight.
And the rewards were amazing! The leaves retained their sizes from before and colours were just as vibrant!
Caladiums are also quite susceptible to aphid attacks. With a new puppy at home who seems to love biting all my plants, I have to avoid chemical pesticides. Where I used to apply a systemic like Starxle G – I am now spraying organic pesticide like Nature's Defender as well as SuperPlant to maintain it's health. Every couple of weeks, I add on some of Arktivate's fertiliser to boost their growth and keep the green babies happy & healthy.
So when in a few months, your caladiums or begonias or colocasias start putting out smaller leaves, or "die" off – remember, you didn't kill them! They've just gone to sleep, so keep them in a nice cosy place till they are ready to bloom again!
Nature's Defender & SuperPlant is available at 5 Simei Lane as refills at our Soil Kitchen! Or pick up some Arktivate online and instore at 5 Simei Lane as well.
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