Bulbous plants have always been considered the brightest seasonal stars. In room culture, until recently, they were not so popular and were regarded more as a gift for the holidays than a full-fledged part of the collection. The influence of fashion on bright blooms and small live bouquets in pots expanded the representation of bulbous species in the interior, but did not change their character. Bulbous plants require special care. And one of the most difficult moments in growing them is watering and air humidity. Miscalculations at these points of care can be disastrous for them.
Garden bulbs in the interior. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com ProFlowers
Moisture requirements for bulbous plants
Bulbous crops, due to the peculiarities of their structure, development and the conditions familiar to them, are classified as non-standard indoor plants. It is impossible to apply the usual approach to them, use a universal frequency of watering, top dressing, or be limited to the traditional set of these procedures.
Bulbous plants differ from herbaceous plants, first of all, in their sensitivity to dampness and fear of getting wet aboveground parts. These features affect, first of all, irrigation. Bulbous plants cannot be simply watered casually as needed. Accuracy, attentiveness, lack of haste become just as important criteria as the degree to which the substrate gets wet or the drainage of water from the sump.
For bulbous indoor crops, it is very important to remember the individual approach. Each species, and sometimes a variety, has its own requirements for soil and air moisture. Some bulbs are more drought-resistant, others are moisture-loving, and still others require an extremely stable environment. In caring for them, it is best to take into account the personal characteristics of the plants.
Watering for all bulbous plants must exactly match the rate of plant development. The frequency and abundance of watering vary depending on what stage of development the plants are at. Requirements for high or medium soil moisture during the active growing season and careful watering during the dormant phase or even cessation of watering for plants that pass the winter in a dry mode are considered standard. But in fact, in bulbous plants, the need for water also changes during the active growing season, and this should also be taken into account in the construction of schedules and with a timely change in the care program:
- During the dormant period for bulbous, which do not need a complete rejection of watering, you need to maintain light humidity. The substrate should be almost dry. Watering is carried out only in order to slightly moisten the ground and prevent the roots from drying out. The frequency of watering is reduced by 2-3 times, focusing on the condition of the soil, and the amount of water – more than 3 times.
- When bulbous plants begin to grow actively, the plants are usually transferred to abundant “standard” watering. But the demand for water, as well as the rate of its consumption, is quite low at the very beginning of growth. Watering should be resumed gradually, and not abruptly. It is during this phase that the greatest risk of waterlogging and rotting of the bulbs is observed. During the initial weeks of growth, watering is carried out with a small amount of water, but more often, making sure that the soil moisture remains light but stable. The adaptation period can be “skipped” only for the moisture-loving white flower.
- Only after the leaves begin to actively grow, reaching at least half the size, watering is made more abundant. But even at this stage, it is necessary to ensure that the soil dries out in the upper layer, is evenly moistened, there is no constant moisture in the lower soil layer.
Watering rules for indoor bulbous
When growing bulbs, first of all, you should think about the quality of the water. Whatever plant we are talking about, you can use only settled, not cold water, the characteristics of which will not lead to the accumulation of salts in the soil.
For all bulbous plants, rain and melt water are considered the best. The water temperature should not be equal to the air temperature in the room, but several degrees higher than it. If the plants are afraid of hypothermia or are especially capricious, then it is better to raise the indicators by 5-6 degrees. The minimum permissible water temperature for watering indoor bulbous plants, below which the values should not fall even for crops wintering in the cool – +20 degrees for subtropical and +23 degrees for tropical species.
There are many nuances in the watering procedure itself for bulbous ones, which are also worth paying attention to:
- Watering should be gentle, slow and controlled.
- Water can be poured only along the edge of the containers, and not in the center, under the plant, trying to prevent water from getting directly to the base of the stems, leaves, peduncles, bulb.
- Watering is carried out so that the water does not spread over the surface, but is immediately absorbed into the soil.
- Watering is best done by dividing the water into several portions, checking how the substrate is soaked after each, and monitoring the appearance of water in the pan.
- Water from the pallets for any bulbous is drained immediately, and after 5-10 minutes, a check is repeated for the presence of its surplus.
- Watering for bulbous plants is best done not in the middle of the day or in the evening, but in the early morning.
- Regular checks of the plant, monitoring how the soil dries out, is preferable to a strict schedule of water treatments.
For all bulbous plants, it is much easier to use bottom irrigation methods than classical methods. Bulbous plants also grow well when using different automatic irrigation methods that control the degree of soil drying. Installing moisture indicators allows you to simplify the control process.
Air humidification for bulbous in the interior
The fear of dampness in bulbous plants does not mean that they like dry air. All forcing “garden” plants are especially sensitive to unbalanced moisture values. In dry air, both flowering and leaves suffer, plants are more sensitive to higher temperatures. In addition, bulbs often suffer from pests that prefer a dry environment and increasing humidity is the easiest method to prevent infestation by spider mites and co.
Bulbous plants develop best and bloom at medium to medium-high levels of air humidity – from 50 to 75%.
For bulbous plants, spraying is used very rarely. It cannot be carried out at the stage of budding and flowering, and many bulbous plants cannot boast of a long period of decorative leaves. Installation of containers with water, pallets with moss, expanded clay, stone chips will increase air humidity and stabilize conditions. Of course, special devices will provide ideal control, but in the case of bulbous plants, simpler measures of humidity control can be dispensed with.
In addition to increasing air humidity, it is worth regularly carrying out leaf cleaning procedures. In bulb cultivation, hygiene is very important. Plant leaves are wiped with a damp sponge or soft cloth, preventing dust from accumulating. It is also necessary to monitor the top layer of the soil: the accumulation of debris, mold should not be allowed. It is better to loosen the soil surface regularly, avoiding the zone of occurrence of roots and proximity to the bulbs.
By adhering to the rules of watering and moisturizing described in the article, you can ensure your home bulbous health and bright flowering.