Question about my plants... they may be in danger

Asked May 15, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

Hi, My name is Valerie. I have some questions and concerns about some plants of mine and I’m wondering if you can help me out. I really appreciate your time, especially since I have a lot of questions. I’ve recently bought some veggie plants for my balcony and I’ve also planted painted daisy seeds. I have some questions all of these and I’ve included a picture of them since it’d be easier than describing what they look like. The problem is, I took the picture yesterday and now the plants are a little different. There are lettuce leaves, green onions, a tomato plant, and the other leafy one is a red pepper plant (or maybe green pepper, I don’t know off the top of my head). I also have that cactus to the right and the tiny leaf plant is a madrone tree but right now my biggest concerns are the veggies and the flowers. So, regarding the lettuce and green onions, I took this picture yesterday and now the luttuce is totally wilted and fallen and the green onions look like they're about to go that rout. What should I do? And how do you know when a veggie is ready to eat? Also, whenever I pick any veggie off its plant, do they just grow back, and if so, how many times and how often? Do ALL the veggie pots look the right size for what they’re in? As you can see, some are in different sizes. I at first thought I was supposed to plant all the lettuce together but they were in one of those plastic things that has six places. I’m watering all the veggies every day around 7ish with a spritzer bottle. I water them until the soil is moist and I don’t know how deep the water is going to the roots. I’m a little worried about the tomato plant because I haven’t been watering the surrounding areas too well, just the part with the stem. And does the tomato plant need one of those things to hold it up? However, it looks like there's a tomato on it's way to blossom because it got bigger and I saw yellow blossoming leaves around it. And finally, the flower seeds, those are the pots in which nothing is seen sprouted yet, also different sized pots. I’ve just planted the flower seeds, but should I bring them inside until they sprout? I put the seeds on top of the soil and dabbed a little soil on each one. I water them with the spritzer bottle until they’re moist. I also have one more question about starts. I have a couple of starts from a vine plant in water and one is growing the sprout. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture). The sprout is about two centimeters or so long… and it’s starting to look fuzzy. Should I plant that one now? If so, can you tell me the instructions on how to do it? I realized I’m throwing a lot out of you, so obviously take your time in answering. Thank you VERY MUCH for your help. The flowers especially mean a lot to me because they’re from a funeral.

Multnomah County Oregon

7 Responses

Container gardening is very popular, and you'll find many resources available to learn about each of the plants you want to grow, and general guidelines. Start with this article, "Container vegetable gardens are good for small spaces", It includes a link to download the publication "Grow Your Own", and you'll find great information about the crops. Note especially cool-season and hot-season differences (right off, compare your lettuce to the pepper).
As the article notes, you need to water until it drains out of the pot bottom, so the spritzer bottle isn't likely getting enough water to the roots. Fertilize, also. Larger pots are generally easiest for people, as they hold more water and root closely, you may need to water more than once a day.
The OSU Extension "gardening tips" is an excellent way to find more information. Choose your own search terms, but for example, here is one on "container" that gives many articles, some about vegetables, some on other topics. Browse through for those you find useful. And best wishes with your garden.

OK, what about the painted daisies? Should I stick with the spritzer bottle?

Make sure the soil remains moist throughout - the spritzer bottle may not be enough to keep the soil moist throughout the pot during these hot days, but as long as they remain moist it is ok to leave them outside. They can, however, be placed in a sunny window for germination if you prefer.

If you need to water with more than the spritzer bottle, be careful to not use too strong of a water stream and disturb the seeds.

Thank you for using "Ask an Expert"

I see.
Are the pot sizes ok?
Also, do the green onions look ok to eat? I ask because they're smaller than what I see in the store, but maybe that's the kind I chose. I don't. If and when I do pick them, should I pick them at the bottom of the stock? And will they grow back? Also, since the lettuce isn't good, should I pick that at the bottom, and will they grow back?

What about the start that I have from the vine? It's been in water for a few weeks and the root has grown about 3 centemeters. Should I plant that now? What size pot should I use?


When the daisies start to germinate and have some roots you will likely have to transplant them to a bigger pot and space them. They can get to be sizable plants.

The green onions do not look ready to eat. The entire plant will be taken out at harvest and they will not grow back.

Pick the lettuce leaves at the bottom. If you choose some leaves on the outside of the plant the center leaves will continue to grow and produce lettuce.

What kind of vine is it? Knowing that will help determine what size pot it needs. 3 cm of root growth is not enough root growth, I would wait until they double in size.

Thank you for using "Ask an Expert".

Sorry it took a while for me to respond about the vine.

I don't know what the plant is called but I've included a picture of what it looks like. Maybe this will help. (This is just an image I found on line). Also, the root is now an inch. So, to recap, I wanted to know if it's ready to plant and what size container I should use, and also how often I should water it. Thanks!

It looks like you have a philodendron. Since you are just starting with a single cutting I would start out with a 6" pot or so. As the plant fills out and needs more room, the plant it can be transplanted into a larger pot at that time. I would still wait for more root growth (another couple inches) before planting. Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings.

Good luck and thank you for using "ask an expert"