Rotate Your Pots
I have many species of plants in my home, but most of them are in my conservatory, which I'm generously calling "greenhouse". I have a few shelves racks where most of them are doing very well, but since I am a plants addict - like many of you, gardeners - I like to divide them, so their number is growing larger every year. Not only I like to have as many species of plants as I can get, but I also like to have at least one of each species, if not two - just in case one of them dies!
I frequently divide my plants through cuttings or bulbs. This is how I've got a few (about five) red and yellow (about three) poinsettias, at least ten different colors of gloxinia, red, purple, pink, magenta with a white border; not to mention the other gloxinia species, sinningia and achimenes. I also have ten pots with three diferrent colors of kalanchoe, pink, red and orange. These are only a part of the plants I have on the shelves racks in my conservatory. They all need light and warmth to grow well, but especially gloxinias, poinsettias and kalanchoes also need time to rest. That made me think of a way to better care for them and, in the same time, to use all the space on the shelves racks, even the bottom shelves.
I have more than half of my plants in the conservatory and, since they are so numerous, I can't keep all of them close to the window. That's why I've arranged the pots on the shelves in three rows: some are close to the window, some are in the middle and some are in the back, considering the amount of light which each of them needs. Those which are in repose can stay on the bottom shelves, while those which are in full bloom need to stay on the upper shelves, not only for a proper growth, but also for having a lovely floral display in my "greenhouse" window.
In order to accomplish this all I have to do is to rotate the pots. This way I can have beautiful plants all year long and fill in the space on my shelves racks, so that every plant has enough space for its needs. But how do I do that? Let me explain.
Poinsettias, kalanchoes, amaryllis, gloxinias, sinningias and achimeneses are plants that I need to rotate all year long. As much as I've tried, no other place in my house is better than the conservatory for their growth. Right after the Christmas holidays I start the plants' rotation with poinsettias and kalanchoes. Poinsettias need light all year long, but starting in
September they need more darkness than light in order to get colored bracts. I keep them on the upper shelves all summer long, in the back row, so the sun won't burn them. They move to the front row in September and stay there until Christmas, when I move them to different areas in the house for decorating the rooms with their beautiful red and green foliage. Right after Christmas, I trim the poinsettias back and move them back to the bottom shelves for a period of rest.
Kalanchoes are also in bloom around Christmas, that's why they're replacing the poinsettias on the upper shelves in the front row. Kalanchoes keep on blooming until spring, when I trim them back and send them to repause on the bottom shelves, until summer. They replace the poinsettias which I return to the back rows, anywhere I can find some space for them.
Gloxinias resprout from their tubers in January, same as Amaryllis from their bulbs. Sinningias and achimeneses resprout later in February. Amaryllis also need a space at the window in spring, after their repose, but, since they are growing in bigger pots, I put them on smaller stand racks near the window. Starting in spring, as soon as gloxinias' leaves are big enough, it's their turn to go up into the light, replacing the kalanchoes.
They bloom all spring until early summer, but when the sun is getting too strong, I move them in the back row and bring sinningias and achimenes to the front. These then bloom all summer long, then go dormant in the fall, same as Amaryllis.
I just need to trim them back and let them stay on the bottom shelves without watering, all winter, replacing the kalanchoes. Gloxinias go dormant at the same time. They too stay on the bottom shelves all winter, receiving only a few drops of water, just enough to keep their tubers alive. Poinsettias replace sinningias and achimenes in the front rows, while kalanchoes are switching places with gloxinias, in the back rows. And then rotation starts all over again!
This is the method I chose for taking the best care of my plants. Even if it means a lot of work, I'm enjoying it and I wouldn't give up on any of them.
Discussion about this article: