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CARE AND MAINTENANCE TIPS

Must have Plants at home:

Tulsi: 

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Holy basil thrives in full sun but grows in partial shade too, at least four hours of sunlight a day is required. Water the plant when top one inch of soil is dry. Do not water during rain. Reduce watering by the winter to prevent diseases.It is important to pinch tops of Tulsi plant when they are forming four or six pairs of leaves, this will make the plant grow bushier. Even the flower buds need to be removed when they appear. It grows more lush and full when seed production is prevented.

It is also important to remove the faded, wilted or discolored leaves to encourage the growth of new foliage. Regular removal of old leaves and flower buds keep the plant healthy.

It is generally pests and diseases free. However, when grown in poor conditions it might be attacked by some common pests like mealy bugs, aphids, spider mites and sometimes whiteflies. For treating pests use organic pesticide or insecticidal soap.

Aloe Vera: 

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Place in bright, indirect sunlight or artificial light. 

Water aloe vera plants deeply, but infrequently. To discourage rot, allow the soil to dry at least 1 to 2 inches deep between watering. Don’t let your plant sit in water.

Water about every 3 weeks and even more sparingly during the winter. Use your finger to test dryness before watering. If the potting mix stays wet, the plants’ roots can begin to rot. 

Fertilize sparingly (no more than once a month), and only in the spring and summer with a balanced houseplant formula mixed at ½ strength.

Neem: 

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Neem trees require plenty of bright sunlight. The trees benefit from regular moisture, but be careful not to over water, as the tree won’t tolerate wet feet or poorly drained soil. Allow the soil to dry between every watering.

Feed the tree about once a month in spring and summer, using a light application of any good quality, balanced fertilizer or a dilute solution of water-soluble fertilizer. You can also apply a diluted fish emulsion.

Banana: 

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Keep your banana tree well-watered during hot, dry weather. Regularly top up mulch. Trim off any dead leaves. Liquid feed regularly. Side dress with well-composted manure every month or so during peak growing times As the flower develops the small fruit form and are downward pointing. As soon as they start to turn upwards put a bag over the developing bunch. This keeps birds and bats off the fruit.  You can buy specialized covers or just cut the base from a heavy-duty garden waste bag with a draw-string top. Slip this up the fruit and secure. When harvesting pick bananas a hand at a time as they start to ripen faster once picked. If you pick the whole bunch at once you may well find yourself with 30+ kilos of bananas going ripe at the same time!

Largest problems come from wildlife attacking fruit. Also, banana trees may suffer from root rot if the soil is too wet.

Shami: 

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It doesn’t need plenty of water, as it has been adapted to very low watering conditions and it can survive with little water for years.

It is said that this tree reserves water inside the ground in deserted areas where it grows.

Lemon grass: 

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Lemongrass prefers a location with full sunlight exposure for the best growth. If you care to grow it indoors, or just want to move it indoors during the winter, be sure to either place it in a window that gets six hours of sunlight per day or provide a sun lamp. Consider misting it with water to keep the moisture level of the air around the plant high as well as the water levels in the soil. This will encourage the best growth. 
Do not, however, allow the water to pool in the soil. The soil you plant lemongrass in should be moist but well-draining, whether in the ground or a pot.

In the winter, the grass will go dormant. At this time, cut down on your watering schedule. The plant will need very little water until the weather turns warm again.If you live in an environment that stays above freezing in the winter, you can leave your lemongrass outside through the cold weather; just mulch the ground around the plant well enough to keep the soil a bit warmer and to minimize possible frost damage if the temperatures dip.

Turmeric: 

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It may be grown indoors or outdoors. Watering the plant can be quite a hard task as it should not be over watered or let it dry. Watering should be carefully done. Making the soil dry may burn the edges of the leaves and make it yellow and over watering the plant may make it rot the rhizomes.

The plant needs a lot of light and should be kept in a place where it can get direct sunlight or at least shades of light. Lowering the light may lower the yield and makes the plant unwell and it disrupts the growth of the plant and the rhizome.

Do not over water the plant and at the same time do not make the soil dry as it will also ruin the plant. Do not let the plant freeze as it will not withstand low temperature below 18o Celsius. As usual Liquid fertilizer is used for the better growth of the plant and during growing season it needs to be fertilized three weeks alternatively for better growth.

Ginger: 

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Most gingers prefer bright, indirect light or filtered sun. During the growing season gingers all need to be kept consistently moist, but not standing in water. Since they are from tropical areas they appreciate tropical temperatures between 70 degrees and 80 degrees F. Most gingers prefer moderate to high humidity. Throughout the growing season feed them once a month with a balanced water soluble fertilizer.

Moringa (Drumstick): 

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Once they establish roots, branches completely water once or twice a week. Do not over water the plant, as it results in the plant to absorb more water through roots and may die.

The plant grows best in direct sunlight. So the optimum temperature to grow moringa is 77-95F. They can also tolerate up to 118F in the shade and light frost. during the 1st year, the plant can grow to a height of 5 meters producing flower and fruit. The tree can reach up to 12 meters in height and cut 1 meter from the ground. 
Organic compost or manure can be mixed with the soil to improve the soil fertility.  Add mulches at the base of the plant to retain soil moisture levels.

 Avoid over watering the moringa plants as it may result in root rot.You can transplant moringa to outdoors when the plant grows to a certain height. Do not wait too long to harvest drumsticks as the skin may become rough and hard. Maintain the soil pH between 6.3 & 7.o to boost the plant quickly by providing nutrients. Make sure the pot or container has holes at the bottom for proper drainage when planted indoors. Keep children and pets away from plants when you use fertilizers in huge amounts for better growth.

Wheat grass: 

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Place the wheat grass in a warm area that provides good airflow. The more sunlight the wheat grass receives, the greener the blades will be, but the plant does not need direct sunlight to nurture into a healthy plant. The plant grows faster in warmer temperatures but has less time to draw nutrients from the growing material or soil. The optimum temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mist your plants twice a day using a spray bottle. You may need to water the plant more or less often based on its environment. Check the soil or root system and water as needed to keep the roots from drying out.

Maintain the balance of moisture and air circulation to avoid mold. It is better to have the plant a little dry than overly wet. Use a watering combination of 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a gallon of water to help inhibit any mold. Move the plant when necessary to increase the air circulation. 

Arjun: 

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Arjun tree is a moderate shade-bearer but it does not tolerate dense overhead shade. You must do weeding and you must protect the plant from fire and frost for the first two years. In addition, you have to prune the plants to remove the weaker shoots.

You have to keep proper plant protection arrangements for your plantation project. Generally, you can face some seasonal diseases like powdery mildew. In addition, the plant may get affected by leaf eating insects and in that case, you can use neem based pesticides.

Papaya: 

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In addition to proper papaya growing conditions, suitable care of papaya fruit trees is also important. In order for papaya trees to thrive, they require some fertilizer. Provide young plants fertilizer every 14 days using ¼ pound of complete fertilizer. Fertilize older trees with 1 to 2 pounds of fertilizer once a month. Also, be sure to take a soil sample and amend as necessary. Water trees frequently for best fruit production. Mulch trees with 4 inches of wood chips to help retain moisture, taking care to keep the mulch 8 to 12 inches from the trunk. Protect developing fruit from pests by placing a paper bag over them until they are ripe.


Keep the soil moist in hot weather and drier in the winter. Water thoroughly, but don’t allow the soil to get soggy which can quickly kill this fruit tree. Full sun. Give your papaya tree as much direct sunlight as you can year-round. Moving it outdoors for the summer will help the fruits to ripen. Turn the plant a quarter turn every week because it will tend to grow toward the light source. 

Ashoka: 

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Add top soil or organic peat humus to the hole when you plant. You can also add composted cow manure to enrich the soil around the tree’s root ball. No trimming is necessary, since the tree’s natural shape is a big part of its beauty. Regular irrigation is best but make sure the planting area is well-drained.
Fertilize 3 times a year – in spring, summer, and autumn – with a top quality granular fertilizer. Generally, the trees need lots of water during the summer and moderate amounts of water during winter. Watering should be scheduled so that the top of the soil is moist. The soil should be allowed to dry between watering sessions.
The tree flourishes under direct sunlight. It has no qualms with the hot overhead sun. The optimum temperature is 20-35 degrees Celsius.

The most common disease of Ashoka tree is red blotches on its leaves. These red blotches weaken the trees by hampering photosynthesis. A tree suffering from blotches should be pruned properly to eliminate all the damaged leaves. Pruning also helps in increasing the air and light supply to the plant. Further, the plants should not be over watered or overcrowded. The plant should be watered adequately but the soil should be allowed to dry before the next watering. Mulching also helps in this case. But care should be taken that it does not suffocate the stem. Fertilizers should not be applied unless it is recommended by a soil test to correct a nutrient deficiency.

Lucky Bamboo: 

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Lucky Bamboo does great in bright light. It’ll tolerate lower light levels just fine but it won’t grow much. Be sure to avoid putting it in direct, hot sun as it’ll burn baby burn. You may need to rotate your plant so it gets light evenly on all sides. 

Do not place your Lucky Bamboo in direct sun. Do not use tap water if your water is hard. Your Lucky Bamboo will do much better with distilled or purified water. Do not let your Lucky Bamboo dry out – keep the roots covered with water at all times. Do not keep the water levels too high – just covering the roots is fine. Do not place your Lucky Bamboo near a heating or cooling vent. Also, keep it away from any cold drafts. Do not let dust collect on the leaves because the pores need to breath. Periodically clean the leaves with a brush, damp rag &/or spray

Sadabahar: 

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Big Periwinkles can be grown in full sun, with plenty of water if your main concern is having lots of flowers, 
but is better grown as a ground cover in partial shade.
Dwarf Periwinkle should only be grown in partial or full shade with a little morning sun.
Perennial Vincas thrive in almost any soil, as long as it is well-drained. 
For the best results however, compost or other organic material, should be mixed into the soil at planting time.

Periwinkles are fairly drought tolerant once they are established 
but grow and bloom best with regular watering.
Vincas should be fed every two months while they are actively
growing, using a good all purpose fertilizer applied according to label directions.
Shear Periwinkle plants back hard in the spring to promote fresh, 
new growth and to control spread.

Oxygen rich Indoor Plants

Areca Palm: 

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The care of areca palms indoors isn’t difficult, but the plant won’t tolerate neglect. Water them often enough to keep the soil lightly moist in spring and summer, and allow the soil to dry slightly between watering in fall and winter. Fertilize areca palm plants with a time-release fertilizer in spring. This gives the plant most of the nutrients it needs for the entire season. The fronds benefit from a micro nutrient spray in summer. You can use a liquid houseplant fertilizer that contains micro nutrients for this purpose. Make sure the product is labeled as safe for foliar feedings, and dilute it according to the label instructions. Do not feed areca palm plants in fall and winter. 

Areca palm houseplants need re-potting every two to three years. The plant likes a tight container, and crowded roots help limit the size of the plant. The main reasons for re-potting is to replace the aged potting soil and remove fertilizer salt deposits that build up in the soil and on the sides of the pot. Use a palm potting soil or a general purpose mix amended with a handful of clean builder’s sand. Take care to plant the palm in the new pot at the same depth as in the old pot. Planting it too deeply can cause serious injury. The roots are brittle, so don’t attempt to spread them out. After filling in around the roots with soil, press down with your hands to make sure the soil is tightly packed. Eliminate air pockets by flooding the pot with water and pressing down again. Add additional soil if necessary. 

Money Plant: 

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To avoid root rot, a money tree needs a sandy, peat-moss-based soil and a pot with good drainage. Although it likes humidity in general, you should let its soil dry out between watering. A good schedule for most environments is to water when the top 2-4 inches of soil are dry. Water thoroughly, until water flows out the drainage holes of the pot, and pour out the excess from the tray so that the roots don’t sit in water. During the  growing season, fertilize once a month with a liquid plant food at half strength, but skip fertilizer in the winter.

Money plants prefer bright, indirect light. But they will adapt to lower light conditions, especially during the winter, which makes them excellent low light houseplants. They will actually suffer if they get too much sun. Too much direct sunlight can burn their leaves, so keep it out of that sunny window.

Snake Plant: 

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Snake plants do well when you almost forget about them. Allow soil to dry between watering and take extra special care not to over water in winter. Try to avoid getting leaves wet when you water. Place your snake plants in indirect light (although they are tolerant of a variety of light conditions) and fertilize during the growing season with an all-purpose plant food.  Conditions ranging from 55 – 85℉ are fine for it, however, they prefer warmer temperatures. Temperatures below 50℉ can cause them harm.

Although it is easy to grow, there are still a few problems you may come across. Over watering and exposure to cold are the key culprits. These hardy plants have few insect problems, however, it can become infested with mealybugs and spider mites. As these pests suck sap from the leaves, they cause small wounds and leaf shedding. You can dab mealybugs with alcohol as a control method. Spider mites can be eliminated by washing the leaves and increasing humidity around the plant.

Aglaonema: 

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The darker green varieties of aglaonema can grow in near shade, while the variegated varieties require brighter light. Do not expose any aglaonema to direct sun.  Water thoroughly in the summer and mist the plant often to raise the humidity. During the winter, reduce watering but do not let the plant dry out completely. 

These plants do not like cold drafts or temperatures below 65 F. Be sure to keep them away from drafty windows or vents and the warmer the spot you can find for them, the better. 
A well-drained potting soil is perfect. Feed your aglaonema with slow-release pellets or a liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

 Dieffenbachia: 

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Dieffenbachia plants tolerate low-light conditions and grow quickly in most household environments. These plants grow 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 to 3 feet wide. Dieffenbachias leaves reach up to 1 ½ feet long and 1 foot wide in shades of green and with spots, dots, stripes or brightly-colored leaf veins. These plants are not for all households, however, especially if you have pets or young children. The plant’s stems and leaves contain toxic substances that can cause skin rashes or illness if touched or eaten. To care for a dieffenbachia, keep the plant away from drafts and water regularly.

Position your dieffenbachia plant in bright, filtered light from spring until fall. In winter, move the plant into brighter, more direct sunlight. 
Water your dieffenbachia when the top 1 inch of potting soil begins to feel dry to the touch. Pour water into the potting soil  around the plant until the water begins to drain from the bottom of the pot. 
Cut the dieffenbachia’s main stems back to about 6 inches above the soil level if the lower leaves begin to drop off and the plant stems become too long and bare. The dieffenbachia plant will grow back readily and become rejuvenated.

Spider Plant: 

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During initial growth, water occasionally; once fully developed (within one year), water moderately.  In the spring and summer months, keep the soil moist to encourage growth. Do not let soil dry out too much.

Maintain average room temperature and humidity. Spider plants prefer temperatures between 55 and 80°F (13–27°C), which makes them a great indoor houseplant. Fertilize up to twice a month in the spring and summer, however, avoid over fertilization.

Spider plants are prone to tip burn, which can be caused by dry soil, low humidity, or a buildup of salt and chemicals that are found in some public tap water. Keep the soil slightly moist. Avoid watering with fluoridated or chlorinated water and cut off brown tips if they do occur. To get rid of the brown discs on leaves, use your fingernail to scrape off the brown residue every few days. 

Peace Lily: 

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Keep the soil moist, but do not over water. Peace lilies can tolerate short periods of dry soil, but their leaves will start to brown if neglected for too long.Peace lilies are sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water, such as flouride, which may cause brown leaf tips. Use filtered, room temperature water, if possible. Peace lilies enjoy high humidity. Misting their leaves or placing their pot atop a moistened tray of gravel can help to increase humidity. Peace lilies are not heavy feeders, so fertilize only occasionally. To encourage spring and summer growth, fertilize every 6 weeks or so with a balanced houseplant fertilizer starting in late winter. Keep these plants out of direct afternoon sunlight, but in a well-lit area. An east-facing window is ideal. 

Brown leaf tips are commonly caused by excessive light, over-fertilization, or lack of water and/or low humidity. Keeping the plant on a tray of moistened gravel or misting the leaves can help to increase humidity.Yellow leaves may be caused by over watering, under watering, or old age (of the leaf). Scale and mealybugs will happily take up residence on the plant, if given the opportunity. A thorough wipe-down of leaves with soapy water or insecticidal soap can be effective at stopping them.

Dracaena: 

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Filtered indoor light (such as through a sheer curtain in front of a sunny window) or a semi-shade spot is an ideal location. Never place a dracaena plant in direct sun, as the rays will scorch its foliage. It require less water than most indoor plants. Keep them hydrated by misting the leaves with water and keeping the soil lightly misted (never soggy) as well with good drainage. Always allow the top soil to dry out before watering. Do not over water, as it may cause root rot.

Drooping or yellowing leaves could indicate over-watering or poor drainage, but don’t worry if you notice the bottom leaves beginning to turn yellow and fall. It is normal for dracaena to shed leaves in order to grow new ones.These plants are sensitive to fluoride, which can be found in tap water, so it’s essential to use purified water when caring for this plant. Leaves with dark brown and dead areas with yellow edges may indicate fluoride toxicity. These plants are generally free from serious insect or disease problems. However, you should watch out for mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. Mealybugs and scale can both be treated with an insecticide that contains pyrethrin.

Golden Pothos: 

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Wherever you decide to display your pothos, just be sure to avoid direct sunlight. A highly variegated pothos may lose its variegation when placed in low-light conditions. Since only the green parts of the leaves can make energy, the leaves will compensate for the lack of light by turning more green. Pale leaves that turn yellowish in color could indicate that your plant is getting too much light.  Pothos do best when their soil is allowed to dry out between waterings. To achieve this watering technique allow only the top two inches to dry being sure that the roots are still moist. If the leaves are wilting or turning brown, you should water the plant more often. If the leaves are yellow, you may be watering it too much. Excessive watering may cause root rot.

Do not allow your pothos to stand in water, unless it is a cutting started in water. Pothos can grow in water as well as soil, but they have a hard time switching from one growing medium to the other. A pothos plant started in soil will thrive best if continued to grow in soil, and vice versa. 
The most common causes of problems with pothos are easy to fix, making it a great option for the first-time gardener. This houseplant has no serious insect or disease problems, although you might find mealybugs and scale making a home out of your greenery. You can use a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to kill the pests. Checking the plant weekly can prevent high infestations. Even then, you can simply rinse off the mealybugs or treat with a horticultural oil spray.

Gerbera Daisy: 

Water the plant deeply whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Let the pot drain thoroughly before replacing it on the saucer or drip tray, as the plant is likely to rot in soggy soil. Water carefully and keep the leaves as dry as possible. Water sparingly during the winter months, but don’t allow the soil to become bone dry. Gerber daisies benefit from monthly feeding during spring and summer using a regular fertilizer for houseplants or blooming plants. Withhold fertilizer during fall and winter. Pinch off blooms as soon as they wilt to keep the plant neat and compact, and to stimulate more blooms. Remove damaged or dead foliage as needed. If the plant looks crowded, re-pot it to a slightly larger pot any time of year.

Orchids: 

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Orchids need ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between watering. One way to check for watering is by poking your finger about an inch into the growing media. If it’s dry, give it some water; otherwise, let it be. Indoor orchid plants also need adequate humidity, about fifty to seventy percent. There are various ways to increase the humidity in your home. Place a water-filled saucer or tray of pebbles beneath plants, mist plants daily, or use a humidifier. Fertilize orchids weekly or bi-weekly while they are producing new growth and decrease to monthly or bi-monthly intervals once they mature. Discontinue altogether once the plants go dormant. Additional orchid care tips include re-potting, which is normally done every other year. If your orchids suddenly stop blooming but have suitable light, temperature, and humidity, then re-potting may be necessary. Also keep an eye out for signs of pests or disease. Orchids are occasionally affected by mealybugs, scale, and aphids. These can usually be washed off or treated with insecticidal soap.

Ornamental Plants:

Tulip: 

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Tulips are easy to care for and require little maintenance. Toward the end of the spring, when in full-bloom, and during the summer the best care is not to water and to only prune dying/dead blooms. At the end of the season, you can deadhead the plants. However, it is most recommended that you either let leaves die off naturally or only remove them when completely yellow. 

Tulips are highly durable, but you need to be wary of a few pests and diseases that can harm your plants. Squirrels are attracted to Tulip bulbs, but can be deterred by placing black netting over the top of the bulbs or sprinkling Cayenne pepper or chili flakes/powder around the garden. Aphids can also be troublesome, but can be easily washed away with water.

Tulips are mostly disease free, but can be affected by tulip fire. This disease is easily identifiable with the presence of odd, distorted foliage. It usually appears before the plant has bloomed, but is just as serious if you notice ‘flecks and burns’ anywhere on the flowered plant. The only solution is to dig out from the roots and destroy the bulb.

Rose: 

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Diligently water your roses. Soak the entire root zone at least twice a week in dry summer weather. Avoid frequent shallow sprinklings, which won’t reach the deeper roots and may encourage fungus. In the fall reduce the amount of water, but do not allow roses to completely dry out.Roses love water—but don’t drown them. That is, they don’t like to sit in water, and they’ll die if the soil is too wet in winter. The ideal soil is rich and loose, with good drainage. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to not provide adequate drainage. Use mulch. To help conserve water, reduce stress, and encourage healthy growth, apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of chopped and shredded leaves, grass clippings, or shredded bark around the base of your roses. Allow about 1 inch of space between the mulch and the base stem of the plant. 

Roses can be cut back and moved in either spring or fall, but not in midsummer, as they might suffer and die in the heat. Large rose canes can be cut back by as much as two thirds, and smaller ones to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground.  Feed roses on a regular basis before and throughout the blooming cycle (avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides if you’re harvesting for the kitchen). Once a month between April and July, apply a balanced granular fertilizer (5-10-5 or 5-10-10). Allow ¾ to 1 cup for each bush, and sprinkle it around the drip line, not against the stem. 

In May and June, scratch in an additional tablespoon of Epsom salts along with the fertilizer; the magnesium sulfate will encourage new growth from the bottom of the bush.Banana peels are a good source of calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and phosphates—all things that roses like. (Note that it will take longer for your roses to reap the benefits from bananas than it would with pure soil amendments.) Here are three ways to serve them up: Lay a strip of peel at the base of each bush. Bury a black, mushy banana next to each bush. Chop up the peels, let them sit for two weeks in a sealed jar of water, and pour the mixture under each bush. 


IIex Cassine (Holly Tree): 

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Growing well in full sun to partial shade, Holly does best on moist soils since the wet, boggy soils of swamps is its native environment.  Holly can tolerate drier locations with some watering,but often has a thin crown in this environment. It is not recommended in the southern part of its range in a dry, exposed site unless irrigation is provided. It lends itself well to use as a specimen or street tree, and is ideal for naturalizing in moist locations. Little pruning is needed to create a well-structured, strong tree. It appears to adapt well to the confined spaces of urban and downtown landscapes and is tolerant of some salt spray. The crown is fuller in full sun. No pests or diseases are of major concern. A twig gall sometimes forms in response to a fungus infection. Mites can infest foliage on trees planted on dry sites.

Petunia: 

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Petunia container care is very easy. Soil in containers is prone to heating up and drying out much faster than soil in the garden, but petunias are particularly hot and dry hardy. This doesn’t mean you should neglect your petunias, but you should allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. Every few days, give them a long, slow drink. Wetting the flowers and foliage can promote disease, so water either from below or close to the surface of the soil. You don’t want to water log your roots either, though, so make sure your container has very good drainage.

Petunias are heavy feeders. Apply a slow release fertilizer at the time of planting, then follow up with a liquid fertilizer every week or two throughout the season. Place your containers where they will receive full sun – six hours per day is good but eight is preferable for the fullest possible blooms. 

Daffodils: 

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Apply a low-nitrogen, high-potash (potassium) fertilizer after flowering if bulbs are not performing as desired.  Water late-flowering daffodils in dry spring weather (flowers may abort in dry conditions). Deadhead plants as flowers fade (for neater garden appearance) and allow leaves to remain for at least 6 weeks. Lift and divide the clumps when flowering becomes sparse or the clumps congested.

 After daffodils bloom in the spring, allow the plants to grow until they die off. They need time after blooming to store energy in the bulbs for next year’s bloom.To remove the dead plants, either snip them off at the base, or twist the leaves while pulling lightly. Once daffodils and tulips have gone by, add bone meal to the soil for next year’s blooms. Daffodils are also poisonous to pets, so make sure your animals don’t munch on them.

The most common problems include large narcissus bulb fly, bulb scale mite, narcissus nematode, slugs, narcissus basal rot and other fungal infections, and viruses.

Lilac: 

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Each spring, apply a layer of compost under the plant, followed by mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Lilacs won’t bloom if they’re over fertilized. They can handle a handful of 10-10-10 in late winter, but no more. After your lilac bush has finished blooming, spread some lime and well-rotted manure around the base. Trim the bush to shape it, and remove suckers at the same time. Prone to attack by slugs and snails. Powdery white mildew may appear after a summer of hot, humid weather. It may be unsightly, but it does no harm. Ignore it. 

In order to control invading weeds, most hobbyists prefer mulching around lilac bush. A layer of 2 – 4 inch thick garden mulch is perfect for this purpose. It not only helps in weed control but also serves as an effective way to conserve soil moisture. In addition, work some farmyard compost and humus components to increase water holding capacity of soil. 

Lilies: 

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During active growth, water freely—especially if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. Keep lilies mulched so that their roots are cool. The mulch should feel moist, but not wet. Apply a high-potassium liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from planting until 6 weeks after flowering. Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch. Stake tall lilies. Lilies do not bloom more than once per season, but you can remove the faded flowers so that the plants don’t waste energy making seeds.

After the lily blooms, you can also remove just the stem itself. However, do NOT remove leaves until they have died down and turned brown in fall. It’s very important not to cut back the leaves until the end of their season because hey help provide nourishment to the bulb for next season’s blooms. Cut down the dead stalks in the late fall or early spring.

Before winter, add 4 to 6 inches of mulch, simply to delay the ground freeze and allow the roots to keep growing. Leave the mulch until spring once the last hard frost has passed. If your region doesn’t have snow cover, keep soil moist in winter. When lily shoots grow through the mulch in the spring, start to remove it gradually. Divide plants every 3 to 4 years as new growth begins in the spring. Just lift the plants and divide the clumps. Replant the new bulbs adding some compost.


Medicinal Plants that can be grown at home:


Coriander:

Indian Dhaniya Plant - Medicinal

Water the seedlings regularly throughout the growing season. They require about 1 inch of water per week for best growth. Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart so that they have room to develop healthy leaves. Once the plants are established, they do not need as much water per week. Keep them moist, but be careful not to over water them. Fertilize once or twice during the growing season with nitrogen fertilizer. Apply ¼ cup of fertilizer per 25 feet of row. Be sure not to over-fertilizer the plants. To help prevent weeds, mulch around the plants as soon as they are visible above the soil. You can also till shallowly to help prevent root damage from weeds.  To control for insects, use insecticidal soap once they are spotted under leaves. Clean up debris and spent plants to avoid wilt and mildew. A common problem with cilantro is its fast growing cycle. As mentioned above, it will not grow properly in the heat of summer. Grow so that you harvest in spring, fall, or winter (in mild climates).

Mint:

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Minimal care is needed for mint. For outdoor plants, use a light mulch. This will help keep the soil moist and keep the leaves clean. For indoor plants, be sure to water them regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. At first, mints develop into well-behaved–looking, bushy, upright clumps, but they soon set out to conquer new territory with horizontal runners and underground rhizomes. Unless you block the advance, a pert peppermint plant can turn into a sprawling 4-foot giant in just 1 year. It’s not the stuff of horror movies, however. Mints benefit from picking and pruning. They are shallow-rooted and easy to pull out, so there’s no reason to worry, as long as you provide physical barriers such as walls, walkways, or containers.

Carom/ Ajwain:

Ajwain - Indian Medicinal Plant

Growing Ajwain plants is a low cost and easy process. The most suitable time for sowing Ajwain is during early August. It requires clipping or trimming off branches from time to time to keep the growth of the plant in check.  The amount of water required by the plant for healthy growth depends on the season. In summer it requires a higher amount of water as compared to winter. The Ajwain plant likes the soil to be moist, so watering frequency should be such that the soil never loses moisture. Over watering these plants may be of great danger as they cannot survive in waterlogged soil. The ajwain plants grow well even in complete sunlight but a partial sun and partial shade should be preferred more. 
Before sowing the soil needs to be mixed with a good amount of manure.  These herbs can be affected by fungal growth, pests etc. These can be avoided or cured by using an appropriate fertilizer.

Curry Leaves:

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The plant tolerates any soil that is used for foliage plants.  Generally, as a thumb rule, we use 1 part sand, 1 part loam, and 1 part manure. 
This plant does not tolerate water logging; as soon as it gets too much water, it starts exhibiting yellow leaves.  So, we have to provide good drainage, keep the soil a bit on the side of loose, sandy type.  Let the plant go through periods of dry; if the leaves really need water they will indicate by drooping.  For fertilizer, one can use fertilizer sticks that are indicated for foliage.  
Main problem with curry leaf plant is in winter.  It does not like too dry air, cold.  It gets scale. In the beginning, it’s a slow grower and reaches a height of 6-10 inches in a year (depending on the climate and growing conditions), so give it its time to settle.
In the natural tropical conditions, this plant is hardy when matured and doesn’t die even in the severest of conditions like drought, extreme temperatures, and infertile soil.
Regular pruning or picking of leaves is essential to promote the fresh foliage growth. Use nitrogen rich fertilizer in a month or two to boost the growth (don’t fertilize in dormant stage of the plant, which occurs in the winter in cooler areas).

Fenugreek/ Methi: 

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Fenugreek prefers neutral soil with pH level around 6 – 7. Plant it in a spot that receives at least 4 hours of sun with shade in afternoon. Do regular watering, let the soil dry out between watering sessions and care not to over-water the plant to save it from root rot. Fenugreek does not require fertilizer however, you can mix manure or compost in soil while planting. Fenugreek does not have many pests and diseases. Some pests that attacks it are aphids, powdery mildew, charcoal rot and root rot. You can easily save your plant from these problems by using organic pesticides regularly and watering properly.

Stevia: 

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Stevia prefers full sun. Although it will also tolerate part shade, make sure the shade is not too deep. Because the amount of heat the plant receives drives how sweet it is, you want to encourage lots of hot afternoon sun. Avoid windy areas because this will reduce the sweetness in the leaves. Stevia is equally unhappy in completely dry soil and soggy soil, so avoid both. Keep the soil evenly moist by checking frequently and watering lightly. Ensure good drainage so the roots are not sitting in water, which can quickly drown the plant — a few inches of gravel below the potting helps prevent standing water in the pot. Because the stevia plant’s feeder roots are near the surface of the soil, water frequently. 
Stevia may attract aphids, spider mites and mealybugs, so check it frequently, especially even under the leaves and around the soil. If you find pests, spray with a mild insecticide. If you plan to consume the stevia leaves, make sure you use an organic, nontoxic spray labeled for food plants. To make the plant bushier and produce more leaves, pinch the tips of the stems every two to three weeks.

Thyme:

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Grow thyme in full sun within coastal areas or under partial shade in hot inland locations. Avoid growing under heavy shade since the plants will become leggy and lose their coloring. Test the soil acidity around the thyme plants using a soil pH test kit, which you can find at most home improvement stores. Look for a soil pH of between 6.9 to 7.5, which is the acceptable range. Sprinkle a 1/2 tablespoon of hydrated lime around the base of the plant if the soil pH is 6.9 or below. Water well. Mulch around the base of thyme plants with a thin layer of horticultural sand to distribute water evenly into the soil, which will help prevent fungal infections in the roots. Make the layer of sand approximately 1/16 inch thick and in a 4-inch radius around the base of the plant. Water thyme plants to a depth of 1 inch every 10 to 15 days during the summer months. Cease watering in early autumn several weeks before the first rain. Water during the winter only if rainfall is very scant, with dry spells lasting more than two to three weeks. In that case, water to 1 inch every 10 to 15 days. Feed thyme plants each spring with all-purpose 10-10-10 ratio fertilizer. Apply it at half-strength to keep the plant from producing too much foliage, which will diminish the potency of thyme’s fragrant oils. Water the plants thoroughly after feeding to distribute the fertilizer into the soil. Cut back thyme plants by one-third in spring after the last frost. Snip the branches just below where the newest growth emerges. Use clean, sharp floral snips or pruning shears. Pinch off uneven growth during the summer months to encourage branching, but cease pruning at least one month before the first expected autumn frost.

Lemon Balm:

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As a general rule of thumb, water lemon balm when the foliage begins to look wilted, as the need for supplemental irrigation depends on several factors. For example, lemon balm exposed to sunlight and high temperatures benefits from irrigation at least once every week, while lemon balm planted in a cool, shady corner requires irrigation less frequently. Water deeply enough to saturate the roots, and then allow the top of the soil to dry slightly before watering again, as soggy soil may cause the plant to rot. Lemon balm in containers may require water every day, especially during hot, dry weather. Lemon balm benefits from an application of 1 to 2 inches of mulch, which improves the quality of the soil while maintaining an even soil temperature during hot, dry weather and insulating the soil against cold temperatures during the winter months. Use an organic mulch such as dry grass clippings or compost. Rake the mulch if necessary to prevent it from mounding up against the plant, as mulch can attract pests and promote fungal diseases. 
Lemon balm is a sturdy, disease-resistant plant. Soggy soil or high humidity are the primary culprits, as too much moisture promotes diseases such as root rot and powdery mildew. Water the plants early in the day to allow time for the foliage to dry before evening. Alternatively, water at the base of the plant or use a drip system to keep the foliage dry. Adequate spacing of 18 to 24 inches between each plant promotes air circulation and prevents disease. Harvest the plant’s leaves regularly — just before the tiny white blooms appear — to promote air circulation.

Chinese Yam:

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most edible yams cannot withstand frost and make poor growth below 20°C. Optimum growth occurs at about 30°C; temperatures much above this have an adverse effect, especially if associated with drought. 
Yams require 100 cm of water distributed evenly throughout the growing season. Yam plants should be mulched after planting to prevent plants from drying out. Failure to mulch the plants will result in drastic decreases in yield. 

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