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general list of plant culture variables

can anyone find a link to a list of general cultural variable.. and if we cant ...lets make our own ....

i spent 20 mins and failed wildly ... just couldnt hone in on the right search term ...


Comments (15)

  • Embothrium

    Not sure what you are talking about specifically, maybe try giving examples.

  • peren.all Zone 5a Ontario Canada

    This was my best effort so far and it was not great as it only discussed one variable- hardiness. This site was from Vermont which is only of interest to northern gardeners.


  • Jay 6a Chicago

    Variables would be infinite, it would be a very long list, but on the other hand I'm not sure I have a clue as to what you are talking about Ken lol! I always still answer anyway lol. Need examples!!!

  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱

    Not only too many variables in general, but each specific genus and species would have a bunch. Just do a search on "growing conifers cultural variables" to get a taste.


  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    Do you mean, like Missouri Botanical Garden's website?

    Chamaemelum nobile

    Common Name: chamomile

    Type: Herbaceous perennial

    Family: Asteraceae

    Native Range: Western Europe

    Zone: 4 to 9

    Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet

    Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet

    Bloom Time: June to September

    Bloom Description: White rays with yellow centers

    Sun: Full sun to part shade

    Water: Medium

    Maintenance: Low

    Suggested Use: Annual, Ground Cover, Naturalize

    Flower: Showy

    Leaf: Fragrant


    Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in well-drained sandy soils. Tolerates some drought. Easily grown from seed. Spreads by creeping stems that root as they go. Can be aggressive in optimum growing conditions. Best in cool summer climates. If grown as a lawn substitute, plant seedlings or divisions 6-12” apart. It can be regularly mowed as a lawn, but tolerates only minimal foot traffic.

    Noteworthy Characteristics

    Chamaemelum nobile, commonly called chamomile or Roman chamomile, is a low-growing evergreen perennial thatforms a spreading mat of aromatic foliage typically growing 3-6” tall and spreading by decumbent stems to 12” wide. Daisy-like flowers with white rays and yellow centers bloom throughout the summer and into early fall. Finely-dissected, fern-like foliage emits a fruity scent when bruised. Flower heads may be dried to make chamomile tea, a soothing herbal tea that has been an historic folk medicine remedy for a varietyof ailments including headache, colds, flu, stomach disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. Synonymous with and formerly known as Anthemis nobilis. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a taller plant with similar flowers that also makes a flavorful herbal tea. The name chamomile comes from Greek meaning “apple on the ground” in reference to the plant’s apple-like aroma.

    Specific epithet means notable or excellent.


    No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for possible spread.

    Garden Uses

    Herb gardens. Rock gardens and border fronts. Ground cover. Fill in between flag stones. Lawn substitute.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    my premise.. basic variables are: LIGHT, WATER, TEMPS ....what else ... very basic??

    LIGHT ... since plants are grown indoors and out.. i dont use the term sun ... light varies in intensity and duration ... full sun is usually considered more than 8 hours .. indoors.. many people use lights.. and this is where intensity is usually the issue ...

    as an example.. outside ....many perennials and annuals are full sun ... and that is generally set at 8 hours or more over the day ... though dusk and dawn is weaker light [again.. the intensity thing] ...

    a plant will not die due to less than perfect light ... but it might not perform.. or produce as expected .. if you significantly reduce the amount of direct sun ... e.g. a hybrid rose in shade ... will flower.. but you might get many less flowers over the year ...


    so this is the basic idea i am thinking about ... and i swear .. in the way back machine.. it used to be in every book i read... the basic list is not plant specific ... it would be great basic knowledge for newbs .... just to be able to know the basics are not plant specific.. but must be manipulated.. plant to plant ...

    rob's post above.. is entirely plant specific... but does hit all the general cultural specifics of the given plant ...

    next i will do a little on WATER ... and humidity ... since.. wait for it.. thats water ... lol .. [i suppose it will also include drainage .... because you usually have to get rid of excess water ... but then that will also key into topic 3 .. soil or media... aka medium ...


  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    oh..oh...oh .... what i venture to do.. is deconstruct the CULTURE paragraph in robs post above ... deconstruct it ... as a learning tool ... everything one needs to know about growing the plant.. is right there ....ken

  • rob333 (zone 7a)

    so do you mean for all Fabaceae, for instance?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I don't think a generalized list is all that hard to come up with. I would start with the following:

    preferred soil conditions

    preferred soil pH

    preferred drainage

    sun/shade preference (and when)

    water needs

    pollination requirements (if any) for fruiting plants

    specific nutrient requirements or aversions

    pruning requirements or other maintenance issues

    behavioral notes (aggressive spreading, rampant self-seeding)

    hardiness issues (cold tolerance, heat/humidity tolerance, salt, or wind tolerance)

    dormancy concerns

    pest/disease issues

    I'm sure there must be others, but those are the ones I consider first when making plant choices. I would also have a different list for indoor plants or those grown in containers, as their cultural requirements can be very different, even from the same plant grown in the ground.

  • Sara Malone Zone 9b

    Intro to Horticulture book.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    yeah.. thats probably where i saw it sara ...

    next variable..

    WATER: .. in 3 components ... in the top ... retained by soil or media .... out the bottom ... drainage both indoors and outdoors ... plus humidity ....

    every type of plant needs some amount of water .... but many dont need it sitting around all the time [or sitting in it ... not many are aquatics...] .... so the soil/media you use is important in managing this variable ... in fact.. i call media a water management system ...

    indoors the best example of the extreme would be cactus ... they like a sip of water.. and then it all drains out the bottom ... trees in pots are the same ...

    the extreme outdoors is BAD clay soil that doesnt drain.. and its the same idea that the water needs to drain away ... very few plants prefer sitting in a hole full of water all time ... and to be clear.. clay itself is a great soil.. as it usually is very nutrient rich ... its the BAD clay that doesnt drain.. that is the usual issue ....

    water ... as humidity is more of an indoor issue... especially in the cold north when the furnace might burn all the moisture out of the air ....and your plants can suffer ... back when we were kids.. it was when we could walk around the house dragging our feet and shock each other ... lol ...

    intense night humidity can also be a disease vector at night in some regions.. to the point that you might be limited on whether its worth dealing with certain plants .... e.g black spot and mildews on hybrid T roses in august ... for which you might have to spray.. chose resistant types.. or just not grow them ...


    still looking for a link.. so i dont have to type this all out.. but it has actually been a fun exercise ...

    gals list is brilliant.. but i am looking for something very bottom line simple ... you know.. my speed ... lol ...

    SOIL might be the next topic ... maybe not ... in the sense of roots needing air .... and a friable material ... besides water management noted above ...

    i think i might try sara's suggestion as search terms ....


  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    click on each topic link .. though it quickly gets more intense than i had hoped ...


  • Bill_minn_3b {West Central MN}

    Thanks ken!

    Looks like it will be useful information. :-)

  • FastInk

    These are the variables I'd consider if making a plant growing game in no particular order without getting too technical/ basically narrowing it down to the fundamental variables.



    air movement








  • violetsnapdragon

    soil--clay, sandy--like that? I'm a fan of going over to the Bluestone site and plugging in the plant I'm interested in or Dave's Garden--even more detail than Bluestone.

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