Gardening

Gardening Woes

Ever since I furnished my balcony and put flowering plants out to decorate it, it’s been a struggle to keep them alive.  I have had to toss out all of my plants and replace them three times now.

Just the other day, I had to toss out my fuchsia colored New Guinea impatien plant after it developed root rot from the heavy rain storms we had recently.  I’m not always home to move my plants out of the rain when these storms start, so sometimes my plants get drenched in rain water and end up dying.  When I first bought this impatien plant, it looked like this:

impatiens

Beautiful, right?  But then only three days later, it suddenly wilted completely.

wilted

I assumed it was already dead, but some friends of mine advised me to set it out in the direct sunlight and give it a few days to see if it might perk back up.  So I gave it some direct sun even though impatiens don’t like lots of sun and watered it with some purified water and a little Miracle Gro.  And a few days later, Voila!!  The droopy stalks and leaves had revived and were standing up again.

revived

I thought I had completely revived this plant back to normal, but it never grew anymore blooms, and every week or so I would go outside and find the plant wilting again.  It would usually perk back up after a little water, but last week I discovered that HALF of the plant was completely wilted while the other half was standing straight up.  I waited a few days to see if the wilted half would perk back up again, but it never did.  The leaves on the wilted half began to dry up and crumble, so I pruned the dead leaves and stalks and waited for the wilted half to revive itself.  It never did.  Then the healthy half suddenly wilted after a rain storm one day and never revived, either.  After examining the insides of the stalks, I discovered that it had developed some fungus and root rot from too much rain water, and so I had no choice but to get rid of it.

Since I have had no luck with growing impatiens, petunias, or geraniums, I decided to try a different type of flower that is a little more hardy:  Purslanes.  They are easy to care for and are both heat resistant and drought resistant.  I figured they would be easy to maintain in this brutal Florida heat and wouldn’t need to be watered much.  So far they seem to be doing well.

pinkpurslane   pinkandyellowpurslane

I have noticed, though, that lately my pink purslane plant doesn’t have as many blooms as it normally does.  I hope it’s not already going into decline, too.  I’ve been feeding it Miracle Gro at least once a week now in the hopes of getting it to sprout lots of new blooms.  My pink and yellow plant is brand new and thriving very well.

I also bought a cactus plant for the balcony, too.  I saw this one while I was browsing through the flowers and thought it looked really cool.  I also figured a cactus would be an extremely easy plant to care for since they are heat-resistant and don’t need to be watered very often at all.  I figured if there is ONE type of plant I could keep alive for a long time, a cactus would be it!!!

cactus

So this is the current garden status at my house:  two purslane plants and a cactus.  If things go well with them over the next few weeks, then I will go buy another plant or two to add to the balcony.  I’d really like to get some new hanging flower plants to hang from all of those hooks I had installed in the ceiling of my balcony.

If any of you readers have green thumbs and have any helpful tips or advice to give, please feel free to leave a comment!!

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