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Plant nursing

Plants within conservatory must continuously be taking care of. Only healthy plants will give us satisfaction that we seek in conservatory. Therefore only those who love to work with plants should decide for conservatory. Well kept conservatory does not demand much work, but it needs attention every day and occasionally some additional hours of major work.

Watering

Watering is something that is done in conservatory most often. We should water every day or every few days, depending on plants and consumption of water. Watering is great time to check plants for eventual diseases, pests or other problems.

Best for watering plants is rain water. If we have possibility, we can gather rainwater from roof. There are systems with water storages to collect and store rainwater which can be connected on gutter. It is advisable to connect water hose about 10 to 20 cm above bottom of the water storage. This prevents deposits from roof to get into water for plants. This is important if we have copper gutters or roof. Poisonous copper is slowly being washed from roof and gutters. Because it is heavier than water it sinks to the bottom. We pick up sediments when cleaning water storage, dry them and throw away as hazardous waste.

Water from water supply network isn't appropriate for watering plants, because it contains too much calcium (its hardness is too high). Such water is completely inappropriate for watering acidophilic plants and numerous tropic plants. Very hard water is making nutrients from soil unreachable for plants and different chloroses can appear on leaves. If we don't have possibility of watering with rainwater and water from tap is very hard, we can use different solutions that are being sold in specialized stores.

Water temperature is very important. Very cold water can create shock. Best temperature of water for watering plants is around air temperature.

Plants in conservatory must be watered more often as potted plants in house as temperature is higher and water evaporates faster. Plants need watering when soil is dry few centimetres deep. Important is moisture around roots and not moisture on the top. Most appropriate time for watering is morning.

Watering should be rare but intensive. If we are watering more often with less water, than only upper part of soil is moist and roots will grow upwards. Minerals start to move towards surface at the same time and will not be accessible to plants any more.

If we have large conservatory, it is reasonable to install automatic watering system. It will take care of proper watering. There are different watering systems on the market. Some are very primitive other are very complex. We should choose watering system that is able to water successfully. Let a specialist install watering system to avoid any problems.

Fertilising

Plants need sufficient fertilising in time of active growth. We fertilise with different chemical fertilisers, that are otherwise used for potted plants. Too much fertilising can harm plants. We can use compost for fertilising plants in floor beds and planters.

Special care must be taken when fertilising plants that need period of rest. We slowly stop fertilising at the end of summer when we also reduce watering. We are not fertilising during resting period in winter. We slowly start again in spring.

Pruning

Pruning is regular work in every conservatory. Plants grow and we must cut them back. This prevents them to grow to large and keep their shape. By some plants pruning stimulates flowering.

Every year we should prune fast growing plants. Slow growing plants and woody plants should be pruned only every few years. Palms and cacti should newer be pruned. We move them elsewhere when they become too large.

Pruning should be always done in autumn.