Salt Leaching Methods: Tips On Leaching Indoor Plants
The most common method of salt leeching is through the use of a sponge or other porous material placed inside the potting mixture. The sponge absorbs the excess liquid and then drains out into a container such as a bucket or another sponged container.
A sponge can be used to drain off excess water during watering, but it will not work if there are no holes in the pots.
Another way to do it is to place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the potting mix and put the sponges inside that. Then fill up your buckets with water and leave them outside until they get full.
When you want to refill, just take some of these buckets and pour water on the sponges so that they soak up all the liquid. If you have a large amount of plants, you may need several buckets filled with water. You could even try placing a few pieces of wood or rocks around the base of the pots to keep them from sinking.
In either case, make sure you don’t let any water run down into the bottom of the pots! Otherwise, you’ll end up with salt build-up in those areas.
If you’re concerned about getting too much salt in your soil, consider using a different type of potting mix. There are special types that are designed to help conserve moisture and keep the salt out of the soil.
Some people even swear by using sand instead of soil.
There are also different plants that can handle higher levels of salt. Just make sure that you don’t add too much salt to your soil or else it will kill them just as quick!
You may want to put a few shells in with your pots–this is also said to help keep the salt out of the soil.
As always, make sure you follow the directions on your fertilizer. Some types of fertilizer already contain salts and adding more will just make things worse.
Be especially careful when using liquid types, as these can be more potent.
Did You Know?
As it turns out, most plants don’t have taste receptors so they can’t actually taste their food! Instead, they rely on other senses like smell and texture to determine if something is edible or not.
You can sometimes see white crystals on the leaves of your plants. These are nothing to worry about and are actually a good sign.
They’re called gutta and they act as a protective coating and sunscreen for the plant to keep it from getting too much sun or moisture. To remove them, just wipe them off with a damp cloth.
A lot of people believe that plants grow better in their natural environment. While it is true that plants grow better when they are in conditions similar to their natural ones, you can still enjoy them in your own home–as long as you take care of them properly!
If you’re using a terra cotta pot, make sure you don’t over water! These pots tend to dry out much quicker than others so be careful not to drown your poor plants.
If you’re worried about over watering, try using pebbles instead. They can help your plants get the moisture they need while still helping to maintain a drier environment.
Be sure to check back next month for more gardening tips brought to you by Whole Foods.
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Sources & references used in this article:
The leaching of substances from plants by HB Tukey Jr – Annual review of plant physiology, 1970 – annualreviews.org
Integrated Operation of Ferric Chloride Leaching, Molten-Salt Electrolysis Process for Production of Lead by MM Wong – 1983 – books.google.com
Leaching requirement studies: sensitivity of alfalfa to salinity of irrigation and drainage waters by L Bernstein, LE Francois – Soil Science Society of America …, 1973 – Wiley Online Library
Interactions of plant zinc and plant species on the bioavailability of plant cadmium to Japanese quail fed lettuce and spinach by IM McKenna, RL Chaney, SH Tao, RM Leach Jr… – Environmental …, 1992 – Elsevier