APRIL 27 2009 11:22h

Feed Your Plants With Beer and Apples


Just as there are traditional recipes for health, they exist for plant care as well. We asked experts from a botanic garden if they work.

Pot plants or a vase filled with flowers can make your living quarters more comfortable, and bring a little bit of greenness into it, which reminds you of the forests, parks and meadows, even though we are in a building.

Each has its own personality

However, caring about plants is not a joke. Travelling through a world of horticulture is in question, because every plant has its own demands, its character, and we need to study which outside factors do good or bad to the plant.

If you are not a plant care person, but still enjoy looking at a vase filled with a beautiful multicoloured bouquet, then you should know that there are tricks to extend the beauty and life of the cut flowers. If you add a bit of lemon juice or vitamin C to the water, your bouquet should look fresh for ten days. If your bouquet has “fallen” slightly before bringing it to water, dip the stems in hot water for a short time. It is important to know that you must not keep a bowl full of fruit near the flowers, because they will die sooner.
Asparagus likes to be in a place with high humidity, and be in a semi-lit place and does not like to “burn” in the sun.

Azalea is an excellent choice for those who like to enjoy the colours of spring flowers in winter. They blossom throughout the whole winter until mid spring. They like being in direct sunlight, but not high temperatures. They do not do well in places with central heating.

Ficus Benjamina needs about three months to get used to a new living space. It gets sick if it is in a drafty place, and if it does not get enough light, its leaves start turning yellow and falling off.

Dark green Aspidistra is an ideal choice for all of those who want to feel a touch with nature, but are careless or do not have the time to care about plants.

It is not bothered by being in the shade, smoke, gas, and it will no complain if you forget to regularly water it.

Why bother at all?

Indoor plants make much more out of the space you live in, and make it more comfortable and nicer. Besides pleasing our eyes, indoor plants can raise our quality of life, because it has a good effect on our health in general. carried out by NASA revealed that indoor plants do wonders when increasing the quality of the air that the rooms we live in. Their results showed that indoor plants manage to clean 87 percent of the toxins from a room they are in, within only 24 hours.

Other scientific studies have shown that people who live in rooms that contain plants have a larger level of optimism, as well as calmness. Also, patients that stay in hospitals, whose hospital room looks onto a park or garden, have shorter recovery times.

Norwegian agricultural experts conducted a study which proves that indoor plants reduce the level of fatigue, occurrence of coughing, pain in the throat, as well as all diseased linked to colds by 30 percent. Plants reduce the amount of dust in the room and amount of humidity in the air.

If you place indoor plants at the place you work, scientists claim that they will improve the quality of the work being done for you and your colleagues. Experts claim that that their experiments proved that indoor plants at the workplace increases the creativity and productivity of the workers.

Traditional recipes for plants

Women who liked to care about indoor plants or those that plant them in their gardens have developed recipes thorough the centuries to make their nicer, larger and healthier. These wise techniques have been carried down from generation to generation and survived until today, when there are many various factory made substances to feed the plants and protect them from disease and other harm.

According to those recipes, pot-plants, especially those with lots of leaves, love to drink flat beer. You can use a rag dipped in a half beer and half water solution to clean their leaves from dust. Besides that, you can add a bit of flat beer to the water that you water your plants with. If you do not keep beer in your house, you can help your plants by making a special mix of water. You can use the water that you boiled potatoes or eggs in, and leave a previously used tea bag in the water, and add some mineral water to that. Allegedly it helps if you water your plants with water that had egg shells in it overnight, or yeast.. either fresh or powdered.

Nettle is one of the most widespread medicinal plants, and besides having a positive effect on human health, it works as an effective insecticide and contains nutrients for plants. What we can advise’s readers is to water your plants with water that has had nettle leaves rotting in it for a while” says Stamenkovic from the PMF botanical garden.
We wanted to check out the traditional horticulture, so we contacted the experts in the botanic garden of the Faculty of Science in Zagreb.

Plants like bananas and apples?

According to old indoor plant horticulture secrets, which applies for outdoor plants too, is that flowers allegedly grow better if you mix banana peels or pieces of apple into the ground. Apple influence the plant by prompting it to blossom.

If you want the leaves of your indoor plant to be clean from dust and for its green colur to shine, the traditional recipe advises to clean the leaves with a banana peel. Because banana peels are rich in nutrients, it should effect plant leaves like moisturising creams effect a personÂ’s face.

“Yes, I have heard the trick of cleaning leaves with banana peels. However, banana peels have also been used to clean and shine shoes. Banana peels contain amino-acids that gives the leaves shine. However, if we just want to clean the dust off the plants, equally good results will occur by simply using a wet cloth” says Vanja Stamenkovic.