Seaweed and plant health

This week, Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher gives us the rundown on seaweed and kelp, and how they affect your plants.
Seagrass is a plant that produces flowers. It has a root system and represents much of what you may see on the beach. Seagrass can be a good source of a number of nutrients, especially some of the micronutrients such as zinc and iron.
Then there is seaweed or kelp, which is an algae, not a plant. Kelp is special because it contains significant amounts of plant growth hormones.

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Plant Hormones

This week, Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher delves into the science of plant hormones.

Just like animals, plants are dependent on a set of hormones to regulate how they grow. How does a plant know where to grow roots? Why do plants grow at the tips and where along a shoot do leaves come out? All of these processes are regulated by hormones.

Plants growth is essentially regulated by five major hormones that the plants themselves produce, but surprisingly, three are also produced by microbes. Even the way fruit ripens is controlled by a hormone known as ethylene, which is the only know gaseous hormone.

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Indoor plants

Planting themes, garden design and fashionable plants come and go in cycles, just like the history of architecture, cars and most things that we as humans, connect with. To say that there has been a resurgence of indoor plants over the last couple of years is something of an understatement.
Back in the mid 1980s was the last huge indoor plant craze. Retailers could not keep enough of them on the nursery shelves, and a constant stream of fishbone ferns, maidenhair ferns, devils ivy, piggy back plants and dracaena’s – to name just a few – were flying out the door. Many of us would recall the bronze-look totem poles with arms from which we had bronze pots with plants spilling from them. No self-respecting bathroom would be seen without one. Then, fashion changed and we moved away from indoor plants.

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Why natives need fertilising

A really interesting story appeared recently in the world’s top science journal, and it comes from a group out of Western Sydney University. Putting it simply, the level of CO2 around various trees in an old growth forest was increased. These plants have been there for centuries undisturbed by farming or other practices. They wanted to show that increasing CO2 leads to increases in plant growth – the idea being that this is a way of offsetting CO2 emissions.

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Winter Fragrance

Did you know that some of the most deliciously scented plants flower in winter?  If you’re looking for something that catches your attention in winter, then there’s a great variety of plants you can choose from.

Witch hazel is lovely. The flowers appear clustered along the bare stems and their dainty “ribbon like” yellow flowers are sweetly scented. Witch hazel originates from China and there are a few varieties in this family, but the prettiest and most fragrant is Hamamelis mollis.  A mature witch hazel in full bloom is a sight to behold.

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Winter care of roses

Each season the Rose Society of South Australia releases cultural notes, which are recommendations from the experts on how to care for your roses. Here are the winter cultural notes from Gavin Woods, Past President of the RSSA and the National Rose Society of Australia. Gavin is also Chief Judge with the RSSA and an International Rose Judge accredited with the World Federation of Rose Societies. The photos are of the Rose Society’s Rose of the Month – ‘Pepita’.

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Reducing the need for crop rotation

Many gardeners, particularly those that grow roses, would know about sick soil or replant disease. In essence, if you put a plant into a hole where the same type of plant was previously, often the new plant does not perform well, and can wither and die. However, when you replant from a different family of plants, it does well. So the question is, what causes this?

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