We grow many plants from seed, but some of the most useful herbs for a Bruja grow better from cuttings, so we purchase those at a local plant nursery. Bringing the plants home, and helping them adapt to our very harsh weather is a labour of love; here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.
· After bringing the plants home, we let them adapt for one or two days in a shaded part of the roof garden, and only water them if they are really dry – for the upcoming transplant, it is much better to work with a dry rootball than with a damped one.
· After 24-48 hours, they are transplanted into buckets, in small groups of two or three, keeping in mind that they share the same needs of light and water, and that their growth won’t end up in plants suffocating each other – for example, a creeping plant like Origanum with an upwards-growing plant like Lavender won’t bother each other, and both need the same amount of water and light. This saves a lot of space!
· Always water the pot immediately after transplanting it.
· Don’t be stingy with root space, or with soil quality! The bigger the pot, the healthier the plant. If you can, fill the bottom of the pots with vegetable scraps from the kitchen, eggshell, coffee ground, wood bits – remember that plants in pots have much higher needs for nutrients.
· The plant nursery sells you the plant while flowering because it’s pretty, but if you want your plants to thrive, you should cut off all mature flowers right after you transplant it. Not only it will regrow flowers very quickly – you will be giving the plant the strength it needs to adapt to its new environment, without exhausting it. Flowering and seeding takes all the energy of the plant, and if you ask the plant to do all this at once, it can become weak and lessen its medicinal and magical power, or even die because they do not have the strength to adapt to the change.
· If the plants adapt well, a week after the transplant is a perfect time to start fertilizing it, and become a regular part of your garden; if they don’t, my suggestion is always to discard them and get other plants, or other varieties that do better in your weather and location. A garden is always a work in progress, so don’t be afraid to make changes and look for what works naturally where you are – there is no healthier garden than a garden that fits in its environment, and it makes no sense to waste energy and time in trying to grow plants that are not happy in your garden.
· Prune, prune, prune. Since the plant cannot get more root space that what it already has, letting plants in pots overgrow is always a bad idea. Learn how each plant wants to be pruned, and keep them at a size that doesn’t exhaust them.
· Once a year, remove the plants from the pots, cut off all excess root growth, and give them new soil. They will really love you for this :).
· And finally, a piece of advice specifically for Witches: don’t fall for the myth that entheogenic or poisonous plants are more magical, or more powerful, than those who are not. A peppermint or basil plant that’s well cared and healthy can be as powerful as a protection for your home as a mandrake or a belladonna. The path of the Poisoner is just as magical as the path of the Kitchen Witch who only grows cooking herbs – no more, no less.
My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services