How to Water Houseplants Correctly
There are many reasons to love indoor plants. From supposedly removing pollutants and reducing stress to increasing concentration and creativity, they bring in a little fresh air and are literally a breath of fresh air.
But since they were designed to live outdoors, on the ground and in accordance with Mother Nature, if we decide to welcome them inside, we have to be careful to treat them well. And one of the ways we make the most mistakes is by water.
Dr. Leonard Perry, emeritus professor of horticulture at the University of Vermont, points out that watering, and often overwatering, is where most plant growers go wrong. Fortunately, he writes, "It's really not that difficult or that scientific, once environmental factors and individual plant needs are considered."
And this is a key point: each plant has a different watering need. And not only from one species to another, but also according to the pot and the growing medium of the plant, its location in the house, the climate, the season, etc.
But once you can read a plant and its soil, which is not that difficult, you can master the art of watering. This is what you need to know.
Why is it not one size fits all?
Some plants drink a lot, others don't need water for weeks, many are somewhere in between, so it's good to do some research and generally see where each specific species fits on the water spectrum.
Other variables include:
Potting medium (can add moisture or dryness)
exposure to light
Dormant phase versus growing phase (many plants grow longer during spring and summer and then want more water)
Hanging versus sitting (hanging plants dry faster)
How to know when a plant needs watering
With most plants, you should water when the soil feels dry to the touch. You can gently dip your finger (up to the knuckle) into the ground to see if it is dry. For water lovers, water when the surface is dry; For succulent and drier plants, water when most of the soil appears dry.
Also, you can lift a potted plant (or gently tilt or push the pot, if it's large) to gauge how moist the soil is. If you notice its weight shortly after watering, you will have a basis weight to compare it with while it dries.
If the soil is dry and the leaves are wilting, the plant is likely thirsty. But wilted (and falling and / or yellowing) leaves can also mean too much water.
When to water
Simply put, water according to a houseplant's needs and growth patterns. Easy right? There are.
Most plants (but not all, because plants are crafty things) will need more water in spring and summer, and less during the fall and winter dormancy period; you can know their growth phases and latency when they do. They are growing more.
Since the variables that affect the location of a plant are always changing, it is better not to follow a fixed schedule. As Dr. Perry points out, "Watering at a set time can mean that the plants are overwatered at one time of year, but run out of water at other times." However, he recommends a fixed schedule to check for water.
Since soggy leaves can invite disease and fungi, 1 the best time to water is in the morning, giving the plant a day to dry. For plants near windows that are used to lots of light, be careful not to over water on cloudy days as the foliage will not dry out at the normal rate.
(That said, some tropical plants love humidity and want to be fogged - more on that in a future post.)
What kind of water to use
Warm. Just as you probably don't like a cold shower, neither do your plants. Ice cold water straight from the tap can shake the roots, especially in the case of tropical plants that spend their time dreaming of the rainforest (not really, but maybe ...?).
You can fill the watering can when you have finished watering; When it is time to water again, the water is perfectly at room temperature, and if it is tap water, it has a chance of dechlorination.
Rainwater is probably a favorite plant if you don't live in a heavily polluted place, of course. Well, water is good in general too, if it's not too alkaline for acid-loving houseplants. Tap water can be great, but the salt in softened water can be problematic, and some plants don't like chlorinated water.
Finding the right water may take a bit of trial and error.
Choose the right shower
A watering can with a long spout offers the best control for directing the water around the ground, avoiding wetting the leaves.
Enjoy This Video Tutorial About How to Water Houseplants Correctly
Source:Summer Rayne Oakes
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