Grow Op, the Gladstone Hotel’s four-day landscape art and design exhibition, is on until Sunday April 24! As if the 30+ installations on the second floor aren’t enough to make you want to stop by, we’re giving you one more really good reason. On Sunday, we’ll also have our free marketplace, the Gladstone Flea Goes Green from 10-4 pm. Peruse goods from local, ethical, environmentally sustainable makers.
One of our vendors is Darryl Cheng, the Plant Doctor from the hip plant shop Dynasty on Queen West. Got a plant that could use a little love? Visit Darryl, who will dole out tips on replanting, plant care, water requirements and more to get your green thumb back in no time! Here are some of his tips to get you started:
This is the most important factor for happy plants. If you want to be certain about the amount light received by a particular location, you should measure it – just download an app that measures light in foot-candles (the preferred unit for horticulture). People often say the most common cause of plant death is overwatering, but the true issue is excess moisture not being used by the plant due to low light (which means slower use of water). So letting your plant get more light is the better solution to “overwatering” rather than watering less.
Loop by Design Build Grow Studio at Grow Op 2016
If your plant is happy with the amount of light it gets, the next thing to consider is watering. In the most general terms, the proper way to water is to fully saturate the soil so that it is moist but not soggy. Drainage holes prevent excess water from staying in contact with the soil. The time to water varies for every plant – cacti can go weeks with completely dry soil but a peace lily wilts once a few parts of its soil are dry. The time of the season, the daily amount of light, and the humidity all affect how quickly water is used up by the plant.
Michael Donovan’s experimental sculpture project yields red cabbage, carrots, yellow onion, herbs and more at Grow Op. Photo by Gabby Frank.
Different plants prefer different types of soil but the general characteristics are water retention/drainage, nutrients, root oxygenation, and physical anchoring. Without all the insects and worms of the outdoors, our indoor plants will eventually suffer from compacted soil. The result is dry, tight pockets of soil where those roots suffocate and die, causing some corresponding foliage to turn yellow and die. Your house plants need to be aerated occasionally – do this by gently poking and loosening the soil with a chopstick (or other blunt stick).
Photo by Jesse Milns for BlogTO of Terrena by Redux Lab at Grow Op
Plants need to breathe good, fresh air. “Good” air is at the right temperature and humidity for a given plant. For most house plants, as long as we are comfortable, they will be comfortable. Some exceptions include cacti, who prefer dry air, and most thin, leafy tropical plants, who prefer higher humidity. “Fresh” air isn’t necessarily air from outdoors, though it does help. You can prevent air from getting stale around your plants by being around them and talking to them!
Be sure to stop by the Gladstone Flea to meet Darryl and over 15 awesome local vendors! Then check out over 30 thought-provoking works that respond to environmental responsibility and sustainability, public spaces and landscape urbanism on the second floor!
Get your tickets to Grow Op 2016 at the door or here to skip the line: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/grow-op-2016-tickets-24571336529