Topics for Plant Exchange Blog include the benefits of a clay plant container, Bayer and glyphosate, and the American Horticultural Society that helped develop hardiness and heat zone maps for gardeners.
Porous pots such as clay can help maintain water flow for potted plants. Plants need adequate soil moisture, with the excess water leaving the container through a hole in its base. This flow and escape of excess water through the potting mixture and loss by evaporation keeps the balance of air and water in the soil that roots need and helps prevent compaction. Porous pots enhance the water flow process. Some excess moisture passes through clay pots, leaving a natural patina on the outside of the container.
Plastic, Styrofoam, glazed surface pots keep their original exterior surface, but these non-porous materials block the water flow process. Plants can adapt to containers of these materials, but a perennial houseplant benefits from a porous pot. March/April 2022 Fine Gardening magazine has more on this topic.
Bayer plans to remove glyphosate (active Roundup ingredient) from its herbicide products beginning 2023 and replace them with “well-established active ingredients” instead. Agricultural glyphosate will continue. See January/February 2022 The American Gardener magazine for more details. The Bayer website says that glyphosate does not pose a health risk to humans or harm the environment.
The American Horticultural Society celebrates 100 years of service to increase horticultural knowledge and interest in horticulture this year. The forming group met at the Smithsonian Institution in 1922 and published a magazine of findings which has evolved to The American Gardener magazine for gardeners today.
One of the significant sets of projects of the horticulture society was to help develop the first USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map in 1960. Gardeners now had information on what plants would survive winter conditions in the continental United States. Then in 1998, the AHS Plant-Heat Zone Map was released to aid gardeners in choosing plants that can tolerate hot weather.
The American Horticulture Society partners with Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, for its 2022 annual symposium April 28th – May 1st. A virtual and in-person option will be offered for registered attendees. See information at this link: colonialwilliamsburg.org/learn/conference
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