How To Keep Elephant Ears From Falling Over

Elephant ears are an exotic plant that are so called due to their giant heart-shaped leaves that resemble the ears of an elephant. They mostly thrive in tropical conditions but have become a favorite houseplant to many plant lovers.

There are various species of elephant ears, the most popular being:

  • Xanthosoma
  • Caladium
  • Alocasia
  • Colocasia

Before I continune, I would recommend watching the following video on properly caring for elephant ear plants:

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Why elephant ears fall over

There are various reasons as to why elephant ear plants would start dropping or falling over.

1. Oversized leaves straining stalks

Sometimes, the heart-shaped leaves of elephant ears grow so big that their thin stalks can’t handle them. This leads to them drooping and eventually breaking off.

2. Weak stems

The stems of elephant ears are designed to hold the weight of the leaves. If not exposed to direct sunlight, they become weak and cause the plant to fall over.

3. Lack of sufficient nutrients from poor spacing

When planting elephant ears, the space between them should be enough for the plant to have a large nutrient base. If planted too close together, they end up competing for nutrients.

4. Insufficient moisture

Elephant ears thrive best in moist conditions. Failure to constantly water them will lead to the plant drooping and the leaves becoming brown.

5. Attack from pests and diseases

How to keep elephant ears from falling over

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The beauty of elephant ears lies in the striking, robust leaves.

When this plants starts drooping or falling over, they become an eye sore. Here are ways to keep elephant ears healthy and strong:

1. Exposure to direct sunlight

The plant should ideally be planted outdoors to ensure it is exposed to enough sunlight. You could couple it with a nice landscape edging design (for more on that, see Carve Your Creation) for a fantastic look.

If planted indoors, it should be in a convenient place like next to a window, or in a spot that gets sunlight throughout the day.

2. Stem support

When the leaves become too big, the stems should be supported with stakes to prevent the plants from falling off.

3. Supplements

In the event of limited space, the relevant fertilizers should be used to supplement the nutrients. Pesticides are also recommended to wade off pests.

4. Water regularly

Elephant ears should be constantly watered to keep them hydrated and strong. If they are planted outdoors, they should be watered during the dry season.

Elephant ears falling over are a sign of insufficient moisture, sunlight or nutrients. The above measures should be taken to keep the plant healthy.

The Best Filler For Large Flower Pots

A flower pot filler is a material such as marble, gravel, soil, or other natural or synthetic material used to fill flower pots.

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Importance

Flower pot fillers serve many functions including:

1. Assisting in drainage

Potted plants may be affected by waterlogging. For this reason, a good flower pot filler should allow proper water retention as well as prevent flooding of the pot.

2. Supporting the potted plant

A good filler for large flower pots should provide sufficient support to the flower. The roots anchor the plant to the filler and hence increase the support.

3. Aesthetic beauty

Different flower pot fillers have different colors and textures that create an appealing image for the viewer.

4. Providing nutrition

Potted plants gets nutrition from the filler. The filler contains the necessary nutrients and minerals that are needed by the flower to grow.

Styrofoam peanuts, aluminum cans, pop bottles, and other objects can be used to fill space in flower pots so that you don't have to fill it with so much potting soil. You can see an example of this in the video below:

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Best Filler For Large Flower Pots

Large flower pots come with several challenges if proper care is not taken. For this reason, the choice of filler for large flower pots is a very important step.

Below are some of the characteristics of ideal filler for large flower pots:

Light

Since large pots may be heavy to carry or move, filler should be light enough to avoid bulkiness and immobility.

Nutrition

Filler should be rich in minerals as well as other nutrients that support the growth of the potted flower.

Biodegradability

Environmental concerns should be taken into account when selecting the best filler for large flower pots. In short, the filler should be biodegradable to reduce environmental pollution.

Attractiveness

Some large pots may be transparent or designed in a manner that one can see their inner parts. Therefore, flower pot filler should have appealing colors depending on the theme of the flower.

Compactness

Flower pot filler should be compact to avoid the situation of having bulky material that occupies space around the plant.

How To Get Rid Of Horseweed - A Guide

Horseweed, also called mare's tail or horsetail, is among the most undesirable weed to gardeners.         f:id:simplefrontyardlandscaping:20180403103050j:plain

It's a natural weed which is widespread and quite hard to control.

Horseweed mostly multiplies through its rhizomes which creep underground; the rhizomes can go down to a depth of about two meters.

Horseweed plant starts to grow during spring as asparagus-like shoots, and develop into fir-tree like plants later in the season; growth stops during the winter season.

Whether you have a horseweed problem in your backyard, garden or front yard (get more infomation), here are some ways you can address it:

How to get rid of horseweed using cultural control methods

The rhizomes can be dug out of the top layers of soil, but re-growth is to be expected. Superficial weeding should be avoided because it usually leads to the problem getting worse.

Through removing new shoots regularly and immediately after they appear above the surface of the soil, the horseweed plants will grow weaker. The plant's infestation can be greatly reduced over a number of seasons using this method.

How to control horseweed growth using chemical control methods

Horseweed is known to resist the effects of nearly all herbicides, especially those that don’t kill other plants that grow nearby. The weed has an outer cuticle that protects it from external elements.

To achieve success in horseweed control, consider the use of a herbicide that contains systemic glyphosate such as Roundup when the plant is proliferating during late summer.

Consider running a scrape up across the patch of the plants to be sprayed or stamp on the weed, in order to break the shielding cuticle before application of the herbicide.

Every new growth after the initial application should be treated on time. Additional treatments soon after or at the start of the next season may well be required.

It is advisable to spray with Roundup during the early stages of growth continually. Each time the plants grow about three to four inches tall, apply the herbicide again.

Avoid wasting your time in spraying tough; mature weeds instead strike them down. Also, avoid treating them before re-growth has reached the most favorable height for spraying.

Horseweed cannot put up with cultivation - try disrupting, ripping, chopping, tearing, elimination and destruction of the weed if the herbicide method doesn't work for you.

This can be an effective option, but it is difficult to work with.

By no means should you allow any horseweed seeds to reach maturity. Pluck them and destroy any seed head on the plant.

Even though they don't need seeds to multiply, horseweed will be much more easy to control from landscaped gardens if quantities of both seeds and rhizomes do not infiltrate the soil. Horseweed seeds covered below the soil surface can remain inactive and viable for a long time waiting to be uncovered to the soil surface.

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Here's How To Build A Block Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a protecting structure first and foremost. It should be strongly built for steady support.

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But it can also serve as a decorative architectural element. It is this mix of beauty and functionality which any homeowner should strive for.

While, of course, it is possible to hire a contractor to build something like this, there is no reason you can't do this home project yourself; it won't take as long as you think and also it will save you quite a few dollars. 

First, if you'd like to get your hands on excellent DIY landscape designs for your yard, I'd highly recommend checking this out.

If you want to know how to build a block retaining wall, read the following: 

1. Preparation For Building the Wall

The first step is to use a concrete block to lay out your excavation with stakes and string. Mark 1" both behind and in front of the block for the length of a wall.

Next, dig down within those marks to a depth of 6". Make the base of the cavity as flat as you reasonably can -- use a level to check.

Spread a few bags of paver base over the bottom and compact with a hand tamper. Again, use the level to ensure a flat surface.

Pour 1" of stone dust over the flat paver base, and tamp down with a spade. Again, check for a level surface.

2. First Level of Your Retaining Wall

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At one end of the trench, center the first block and tap it with a rubber mallet to embed it in the stone dust. Check the top of the block in all directions for a level surface

Butt up the next concrete block to the first and drop it in place. Tap the second block the same way as the first, looking for it to be level with the first.

Place concrete blocks one after another in this way until all of the first layer is done. Use stone dust and dirt to fill all the gaps.

3. Upper Levels of Your Retaining Wall

Start the second layer with a half-size stone. Score a center line along a flat side with a mason's chisel, then tap the chisel with a hammer right in the middle of the line once or twice to split the block.

Use a caulk gun to lay down two long beads of masonry adhesive along the entire length of the first layer. Put the half-size block in place at the end walls to start the second layer. Tap and ensure the level in all directions.

Continue the second layer with the full-size concrete blocks until you get to the far end, where you'll use the other half-size block.

4. Conclusion

For the final layer of capstone blocks, put them aside and set them up using concrete adhesive and a caulking firearm. Solidly press on each piece. Enable the concrete adhesive to dry as indicated by the manufacturer's directions.

Thanks for reading this article. Feel free to share or comment below.

A Closer Look At How To Grow Mushrooms Indoors

Growing mushrooms requires a bit of experience and can pose a challenge for a beginner gardener.

Now, if you're here, you may be interested in some awesome cheap ideas for your backyard.

But this article here will provide you with some basics on how you can easily grow mushrooms indoors.

There are many different types of mushrooms that you can grow yourself for your own uses. They include:

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Button mushrooms
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It is worth noting that you can easily grow mushrooms indoors, and the project is therefore quite convenient if you don't want to deal with the elements outdoors.

Beginning From Seeds

If you don't already know, mushrooms are fungus and therefore don't grow the same way as plants. They require different techniques.

Mushrooms don't have seeds - they actually have spores. The spores are microscopic to the naked eye and resemble dust.

You have to purchase spawn instead of seedlings. Spawn is actually quite easy to work with and doesn't pose any major problems in terms of handling it.

Materials Used in Growing

Mushrooms require a compatible growing surface for them to grow properly. No soil is required and different mushrooms require particular materials for them to grow well.

Button mushrooms require manure, oyster mushrooms need straw and shiitake mushrooms grow well on sawdust.

You also need a high-quality organic material that will hold moisture. The following procedure clearly shows you how to grow mushrooms indoors with ease.

Location and Containers

Mushrooms are grown using containers; this is to prevent various species of poisonous mushrooms from growing along with the desired mushrooms.

All you need to do is find a dark place in your home where you can easily adjust the temperature.

If you don't have containers, you can use bins or boxes to grow them. The containers should always have holes for drainage purposes.

Transplanting

Your containers should first be filled with the substrate and carefully packed down. Spacing mainly depends on the particular mushrooms you're growing.

The growing material should be heated to approximately 70F. After heating, you can put the spawn plugs into the surface. The temperature should then be adjusted to approximately 55F. Potting soil should then be carefully added around the plugs.

In about a month, you should begin to see some young mushrooms growing.

Conclusion

If you follow this guide and these tips, you should be able to easily grow mushrooms in your home.

Growing mushrooms indoors means that you don't have to worry about diseases or pests; all you need to worry about is moisture. If they're exposed to a lot of moisture, they may begin to rot.

After harvesting your mushrooms, the best way to store them is in your refrigerator and in a paper bag that is slightly loose.

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Why Is Transpiration Important to Plants? - Explained

Ever wondered where a plant takes the water it absorbs over time?

Plants release excess water from small pores called stomata on the leaves in a process called transpiration.

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Save for woody plants, transpiration mostly occurs during the day when the leaf stomata are open, as opposed to at night when the stomata are closed.

The plants that you integrated into your DIY backyard landscaping design? They transpire.

Now let's talk about the functions of transpiration.

Why is Transpiration Important to Plants?

1. Release of excess water into the atmosphere.

One benefit of transpiration is excretion. Excess water is released into the atmosphere through transpiration, maintaining a balanced osmotic concentration ensuring favorable conditions for enzymes and cell functioning.

The other importance of transpiration is enabling support. A maintained level of water in the plant tissue ensures the cells do not absorb excess water from the plant tissues. The cells remain rigid and firm and are able to support the plant.

Cells that have lost too much water become soft and swollen, and they will offer no support to the plant.

2. Helps in water and nutrient absorption and distribution.

As plants lose water, a negative pressure gradient is created resulting in a suction force along the xylem water stream into mesophyl cells.

This provides an upward push of water to replace the water lost through transpiration. The ascending water carries with it nutrients and mineral salts absorbed by the roots.

Thanks to this suction force, plants cells and tissues in all the other parts of the plant like leaves and the stem get supplied with water for photosynthesis and nutrients and mineral salts necessary for healthy growth.

3. Cooling.

Temperature regulation is another advantage of transpiration.

Plants absorb radiant heat energy when exposed to direct sunlight. However, the evaporating water in transpiration absorbs the excess heat from the plant leaving the plant cooled. This is called evaporative cooling, similar to sweating in human beings.

Transpiration is necessary to plants as sweating is to us humans. When your body gets too hot, it sweats to release the excess heat; this maintains a favorable body temperature for enzymes and cells. Evaporating water has a high latent heat of vaporization of 2260kJ per liter, perfect for cooling.

Too much transpiration, however, is dangerous to a plant. It is important to regulate exposure of plants to factors that may increase transpiration like sunlight, humidity and wind.

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