GENERAL PLANT CARE/PLEASE READ FIRST:
The following is some information on how to begin the plant routine that works best in your environment. By understanding more about the plants you have, you will know what type of routine is necessary to maintain your plants’ health. Since all environments are different, you will need to do what works best where you are. I recommend doing thorough research about these plants to further your success with them. Even though there are some tips to follow, I believe that the more that you understand the nature of the plant you have that the more success you will have. In other words… Don’t just do what it says, know why your doing what your doing instead of just doing what it says!
The bowl and gravel are tools used to help the plant collect humidity as water evaporates throughout the week as well as to arrange the lava rock plant the way you want it displayed. The bowl should be filled full with gravel and the plant will sit on the gravel in the bowl, above the water. For most lava plants, the bowl only needs to be filled with water when dry. How deep a bowl you have and how dry your environment is will determine when you need to fill it. You will not necessarily need to fill the bowl with water every time you need to soak the lava rock plant. See plants’ individual Plant Care links below for more information.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN… If the plant you purchased was shipped to you then keep in mind it has been in a box with no light or air circulation. Usually the plants will not need water on the day they are recieved unless they are really dry upon arrival, which is rare. So after you unpack the plant remove the moist paper from around the rock and allow it to breath by giving it good air circulation and light for at least 24 to 48 hours, or untill dry enough to need water again. The bowl and gravel can be set up with water put in the bowl, but only saturate the main rock that the plant is growing in with water when the rock is ready as indicated in the directions that follow.
In general, the best water to use would be clean rain, melted snow, or filtered drinking water. In an effort to maintain the quality of the surface of the lava rock you can also use a steel brush designed to remove rust or paint to clean the surface of your lava rock, and/or a file as well. Just be CAREFUL with the roots! If you have any mold growing its usually a sign of too much moisture and not enough light. With a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water it can be a good solution to dip the brush/file in when cleaning the surface of the rock. When you first recieve a new plant you might need to use a sponge and gently wipe off some of leaves if they show any signs of a film on them.
FERTILZER NOTE: please take this into consideration when reading about the specific plants below… The temperature and environment that the plant grows in will affect the type and frequency of the food to be used. So if you’re not sure, a suggestion I make is to let your local plant expert know what plant you have and feed it with what they suggest and when, as they will know your specific environment best! For example with the Bromeliad, Tillandsia Cyanea I mention a ratio of specific numbers that are not easily found everywhere. Since the Tillandsia is a Bromeliad, find a fertilizer ideal for Bromeliads.
What To Do With Your Plant When On Vacation: This technique outlined is a last resort plan as plants like consistancy and some plants will take to this technique better than others. Ok… Use a deep 5 gallon bucket and put some bricks or something in there about halfway and set your Lava Rock Plant on the top of the stack, filling with water up to the middle of the rock that the plant is growing in. Now use a piece of clear plastic as a lid, but with holes for it to breath, condensation will occur and with good light and temperatures while away this should hopefully keep it alive while your away for up to 30 days if you cant find a plant sitter.
INDIVIDUALIZED DETAILED PLANT CARE INFO: