Once you have been collecting plants for a while and want to upgrade your plant care, these are some tools and products that the crew at Rare Plant Fairy recommends. These are all products we use in our nursery, and are also great for home use.
1. Handheld microscope
There are many versions of handheld microscopes you can purchase, but we love one that you can attach to your phone’s camera for ease of use and the fact that you can take photos and videos for reference later on. This is a key tool to have in identifying pests on your plant’s leaves. Properly identifying pests is so important so you can appropriately treat them.
2. Battery-powered or hand-pump sprayer
Large sprayers are an upgrade to your hand-held spray bottle. We use our sprayers for everything from foliar fertilizing, pesticide application, and watering small plants.
You can buy hand-pump sprayers at hardware stores, or rechargeable battery-powered sprayers from other companies such as Scott’s, which is the brand we use.
3. Light meter
Light meters are crucial in accurately measuring the light your plant receives, whether that be from grow lights or natural light. Light meters are generally inexpensive and can be purchased online.
4. Physan 20
Physan is a fungicide, virucide, bactericide, and algaecide that is great to have on hand for many purposes. It is great to use to disinfect your plant tools, to prevent spreading diseases between plants. It can also be used to clean surfaces.
Calcium and magnesium are important micronutrients for plants, and sometimes it may be necessary to add it to your water. However, you first need to know where you are starting from in terms of your water quality.
If you are using city tap water, it usually contains Calcium, so you may only need to add magnesium to your water, which you can do so in the form of Epsom salts.
If you are using filtered or distilled water, or have a reverse osmosis system, this strips most minerals out of the water. It is then important to add back in calcium and magnesium for optimum plant growth.
If you are unsure of your water quality or mineral content, you can always get it tested to have a baseline to know where to start.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another great item to have in your toolbox. We love to use it to help get rid of fungus gnats. We mix it into water at a ratio of ½ cup per gallon, and water with that mix as normal.
7. Water soluble fertilizer
Water soluble fertilizer is ideal because, as the name suggests, it easily dissolves in water for ease of use. We love to use it in our sprayers and apply it as a foliar spray. We are currently using MaxSea (16-16-16) but any all-purpose well-balanced fertilizer will work. Be sure to read the label of the fertilizer you are using to check dilution rates and recommended frequency of application.