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potting soil

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by mojojo715 on August 06, 2004 06:46 PM
I normally use a complete potting soil with all the fertilizers and this usually is perfect for my plants since I repot them about every six months with new soil. My norfolk pine, however, I just read does not like to be repotted except for every couple of years. It is o.k. to fertilize this soil after six months?
by Will Creed on August 06, 2004 11:25 PM
Unnecessary repotting and over-fertilizing are too of the more common plantcare mistakes - for all plants.

Repotting should not be done on a schedule - only when needed and that is not as often as most people think. A plant does best when it is moderately potbound and the pot is crowded with roots. As long as there is enough soil to retain moisture around the roots for two days or longer, then there is no reason to add more soil - even if there are roots coming out of the drain hole and the plants "looks too big" for the pot.

Potting "soils" do not need fertilizers added to them because soil has more than enough nutrients for plants. Peat-based, soilless potting mixes often have added fertilzer and that is OK. If the added fertilizer is timed released pellets, then there is no reason to add fertilzer for at least a year. If it is something other than timed released fertilzer added to the potting mix, then it may be appropriate to add a liquid fertilizer at half strength every month or so as long as the plant is healthy and growing actively.

Too much fertilizer is a much greater problem than too little. Excess minerals gradually accumulate in the soil and can dehydrate the plant. Fewer than one in a thousand plant problems can be traced back to lack of fertilizer. If in doubt, don't fertilize.

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