How To Take Care Of Garden Plants

Taking care of garden plants is incredibly rewarding. Nurturing a plant from seed to flower and watching it grow day by day helps to remind us of the beauty of nature and the complexity of life. Gardens can also be wildly unique to their custodians. Any combination of colours, plant types, and planting arrangements can be used to great effect – creating a beautiful and personal space. But how do you take care of garden plants? In this article, we’ll cover the four key areas of crafting a healthy and happy garden.

Considering plant needs

Like any living organism, plants have their own unique needs. And different varieties and types of plants can have incredibly different care needs if they are to thrive. For example, hardy plants like holly bushes can tolerate less-than-ideal conditions and still do well. When choosing plants, it’s important to consider the attributes of the space they will be growing in. Sunlight is vital to the health of any plant because it triggers photosynthesis, which gives plants energy. So figuring out how sunlight is distributed throughout the day is crucial. The different types of soils in a garden should also be evaluated. Some plants prefer loose, chalky soil, like geraniums. Others, such as hostas, do well in wetter soil. Some plants are perennial, which means that they will continue to grow year on year. Others might be annual and will only last for a single year before needing to be replaced. Considering the different needs of individual plants allows gardeners to create a combination that works well together, leading to a more harmonious garden.


Like all living things, plants depend on water to survive. Most plants suck in water through their roots, which then carry the moisture up into the stems and leaves. Plants need to be watered regularly if they’re to thrive in the garden. Different plants all need different water levels to thrive. Over watering a plant will lead to problems such as root rot, which stunts growth and may even kill the plant. Under watering is just as dangerous, as a plant will shrivel up and fail if it doesn’t get enough water. Plants also need different water levels in different stages of their lives. Seedlings must be watered more frequently than adult plants. This is because seedlings have smaller, developing root systems that can’t soak up as much water as more developed plants. Environmental conditions will also affect how regularly plants need to be watered. During the hotter summer months, plants will need more water to counteract the longer absences of rainwater. In the winter, less watering will be required as many plants enter a dormant state.

Fertiliser and potting mix

Along with water and sunlight, the third crucial component of caring for garden plants is food. As with most other organisms, plants require nutrients to grow more quickly and efficiently. In the garden, plants will get their nutrients from the soil. Several different nutrients play a role in helping plants to grow. Nitrogen helps to produce lots of leafy foliage. Phosphorus is crucial for strong roots, while potassium helps to power plentiful growth of flowers and fruits. Plants can naturally get these nutrients from the soil and from decaying organic matter that falls around their stems – such as dead leaves from other plants. Gardeners can also top up these nutrient supplies using potting mixes and fertiliser. However, plants should not be fed once the growing season has finished. Potting mixes and grow bags are specially-formulated substrates with increased nutritional density. For container plants that aren’t being planted directly into the soil, potting mix is their main supply of nutrients. Fertiliser can also be given to plants to give them a boost throughout the growing season.

Pruning and trimming

Although most plants can grow quite happily year on year without extra maintenance, gardeners can take an active role in promoting the best possible growth each season. This is where pruning and trimming come in. Most gardeners will traditionally cut back old or damaged growth on plants once the growing season is over. This enables the plant to avoid wasting energy and resources on areas that won’t grow anymore, encouraging next season’s growth to be even more bountiful. Pruning is also required to save plants from a myriad of diseases. Cutting off infected stems before the malady can spread to more parts of the plant is vital to nipping outbreaks in the bud. Some forms of pruning can be carried out while plants are still growing during the spring and summer, especially flowering plants. Deadheading is the practice of trimming off any wilting blooms that are past their best. Again, this redirects the plant’s energy to concentrate on younger flowers. Many gardeners will also employ pruning and trimming to shape plants such as shrubs to their liking. Our pruning methods and how to make cuts guide is an excellent guide on pruning and growing healthy plants.

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