MAINTAINING YOUR PLANTS:
Water is not "just water". Depending on where you live, the
tap-water can contain quite some more than pure H2O.
The best water is pure H2O, which you then add
nutrition. But in many areas around the world, the tap-water contain
different minerals, which might harm the plant or accumulate in the
soil, making it saturated, leaving no room for the needed nutrition.
Some areas get their water from areas containing ancient coral
reefs. That will mean the water contain quite some Calcium, and as
the plants don't absorb it, it will accumulate, and thereby raise
the conductivity (see below) in the soil along with the pH (see
Other areas have a lot of iron or other metal in the ground, and it
will accumulate the same way. Same effect will slightly salted water
have. Metal and salt will only raise the conductivity, but it is
defiantly not desired.
If you can't avoid water like this, you will have to re-pot yearly,
or use large pots.
A way to avoid it, is to use pure rainwater or use water
purification. The latter is rather expensive, but your plants will
love you for it!
The conductivity is a rude
way to measure the
amount of both desired nutrition and unwanted
salt and metal in the water. It is actually the waters ability to
lead an electrical current, and is measured in Siemens: S. Well,
actually μS: micro Siemens. You can find a small but rather good conductivity-meter
for little money, and it is an essential tool.
While orchids and other plants from nutrition-lacking areas like
prefer as little ad 0,2 μS, letish in a commercial nursery thrive
with 6-8 μS. Our caudiciforms will in general do fine with
0,5-1,5 μS. More in
in the growing season
Another way to control the quality of the watering water is to
measure the osmotic pressure, but the meter for that is real
expensive. I used one, bought for €35.000 - but it was good. As it
seems a bit unrealistic for the general hobbits, I skip that
To sum it up: The more pure your basic
water is, the more you can add nutrition and the longer the soil will
last. Your plants will thrive better. Make sure pH and conductivity is
within the levels.