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Horticulture/Potted plants


We visited Leu Gardens in Orlando, FLa welcome break from the theme parks!

While there I spotted Livingstone daisy/Dorotheanthus, and by comparing their plants with my own it became clear that Dorotheanthus grows better there than here. Their plants are dense with leaves, while mine show lots of bare stem.

I assume that the difference is in the lighting conditions. Even in midseason my garden doesn't get as much light as Orlando.

Anyway, I cut back the plant and moved it outside, but it occurred to me that the nutrients in the soil may have been used up or leached out. Do potted plants also need periodic soil replacement, or topdressing with compost, or some Miracle Grow in the water?

Hi Janet,

Its light, its heat, its humidity, and the soil, and the water.  Do your best to recreate the conditions to be obtained in Orlando, Fla as opposed to New Jersey.  Hot and humid with sandy soil that dries out between waterings.  You are obviously savvy about plants, and I am confident you can do this, in spite of the less than ideal conditions. A shot of MG won't do any harm once a month or so.
Yes, potted plant dirt gets tired, and needs to be augmented or replaced. When you repot something, always freshen the soil and use a pot appropriate to the root ball of the plant - neither too big nor too small. Don't put raw compost on top of a potted plant - there is more occasion for it to do harm than good, because of the bacterial and fungal content.  Most plants benefit by a topdressing of a biodegradable mulch such as pine bark, straw, or hay.  I'm not an advocate of rubber or cypress mulch, because it gets into the root zone of plants and doesn't break down.



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Susan Tabor


Entomology,plant pathology, agronomy, native plants, useful and edible plants,medicinal plants,landscape design and installation, plant taxonomy and identification, cultivars and varieties, Botany, nutrient deficiencies, plant recommendations and troubleshooting.


35 years as a professional horticulturist and landscape contractor. I have a network of contacts at leading universities and with acknowledged experts in the field. I've restored the landscapes of several plantations, 2 Governors mansions and owned/managed 3 nursery/garden centers. I discovered a new subspecies of Emelia in 1997. I've locally introduced several native or volunteer species into mainstream landscape design.

Morning Advocate The Register Better Homes and Gardens All Experts - Approx 1996-97

Louisiana State University - horticulture David L. Hoffman - California - phytotheraphy

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