What is Necessary for Growing Plants?December 17, 2021
There are 5 important factors for the successful cultivation of plants. These factors are: light, water, heat, nutrition and substrate.
Light is necessary for every plant without exception, as they grow due to photosynthesis. However, the need for the quantity and quality of lighting for each plant is different. Therefore , plants are divided into the following groups:
- Sun loving – these plants love open sunny places.
- Light loving – they need a lot of light, but they don’t always like direct sunlight, as they can burn the foliage.
- Shade tolerant – plants are relatively light-loving, but capable of successfully developing in shady places.
- Shade loving – plants that do not tolerate open sunlight, do not need a lot of light and require shading.
Each plant can belong to several groups at once. Often there are similar combinations: sun-loving and light-loving, light-loving and shade-tolerant.
The need of different plants for water is also different. Some plants require high soil and air humidity. These are, as a rule, moisture-loving inhabitants of tropical forests, which often later become houseplants. Other plants require high soil moisture, and are not demanding of air humidity. Still others require moderate watering. The fourth are drought-resistant and can tolerate long periods of drought. The fourth type includes, for example, cacti and succulents. They can go months without water, as they have very juicy leaves. In indoor floriculture, cacti are not watered at all during the period from November to March, since at this time the cactus goes to winter and suspends its development. Watering at this time of year is dangerous for cacti, as they can rot.
Each plant species successfully develops at the optimum temperature for it. But, at subzero temperatures, when the water freezes, more than one plant cannot grow. However, there are many plants that do not die during frosts, but only suspend their vital activity. For example, in the mountains, the temperature during the day can be very high (up to 35 – 40 degrees), and at night it drops below zero. Plants growing in the mountains have learned to suspend the flow of juices at night, and to continue their growth with daytime thawing. But even in our region, many plants can winter in the open ground, and in the spring they start growing again.
According to the need for heat and frost resistance, plants are divided into heat-loving, cold-resistant and frost-resistant.
Each plant has a specific need for nutrients and various minerals. In nature, they get all the necessary elements from soil and water. In culture, many plants are additionally fed with fertilizers. Depending on the need for substances, plants belong to different groups.
There are three main elements that a plant needs for successful growth and development: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). They are part of the so-called organic fertilizers. They can be either individually or in a complex. On fertilizer packages it is indicated as NPK.
In addition to these basic substances, the plant requires elements such as iron, copper, zinc, boron, etc. They are part of mineral fertilizers.
The substrate is called the soil in which the plant grows and develops. The most common type of substrate is soil soil, which may include peat, clay, chernozem, sand, humus, etc. Some plants develop in stony soil, in which only 20% of the soil, and the remaining 80% are small pebbles and coarse sand. And, for example, orchids are grown in a substrate of tree bark, since in the wild orchids grow directly on the branches of tropical giant trees in order to be closer to the sun.
In recent decades, hydroponics agrotechnics has been actively developing. Plants grown in hydroponic systems grow faster and yield a higher yield. For the substrate in such systems, well-draining materials are used: sand, expanded clay, perlite, vermiculite etc.
What is open and closed ground?
With the open ground, everything is simple – it’s growing plants outdoors. This method is reliable and effective for growing plants of our strip, however, many heat-loving plants cannot be successfully cultivated in our region. That is why there is a need for a protected (closed) method of cultivation. Protected ground can mean both a conventional film shelter and a greenhouse with artificial lighting, its own heating, equipped with irrigation and ventilation systems. Despite the fact that protected soil is more expensive and more difficult to operate, it allows you to grow a variety of plants all year round.