Essential Tips for Watering Houseplants with Haley Fox
Greetings, plant friends! Spring is just around the corner, bringing us longer days and warmer weather. This means we can resume our regular watering and plant care routines. Exciting news I know, but before we jumpstart these routines, let’s discuss exactly what watering our plants should look like.
One of the most common troubles we experience as plant parents is over or under watering. Properly watering your plant requires a full understanding and awareness of what your plant needs. Every plant is different, and your whole collection will not be on the same watering schedule.
The state of your plant’s soil is always changing. The three states of the soil are either, Saturated / Partially dry / Completely dry.
I check my plants once weekly to determine what watering they may need. Plants, like Ferns, prefer to be consistently moist, not saturated. Other plants, such as snake plants, like to go bone-dry between watering. The rate at which your plant needs to be watered will be directly related to its environment. A plant sitting near a bright window with lots of air circulation will dry out much faster than a plant located in a dark and stagnant corner of your living room. Keeping this in mind, research your plant’s needs and understand the different states of the soil. Helpful tip, understanding what conditions your plant receives in its natural growing environment, can help you to emulate these conditions in your home. When watering, it is best to thoroughly water. Many of us may give our plant half a cup of water on Tuesday, and come Saturday, the last sip of water from our glass. These tendencies are usually developed from the fear of over watering. A more efficient way to water is to completely soak your plant so that you see water escaping from the drainage hole. (Assuming it has drainage) … (Your pot should always have drainage)
Base your next watering on your new knowledge of your plant and monitor how quickly or slowly the soil is drying. A helpful tool for this is a moisture meter, these can be placed in the soil and give you a reading on how wet or dry the soil is. I found this tool helpful when I first started collecting houseplants. It’s like a set of training wheels before you feel that you have learned your plants needs and can be found at most any house plant nursery.
So, let’s get to the root of it…Why is overwatering a plant harmful?
Well, when the roots of your plants become water-logged, it prevents their ability to support your plant with nutrients and to further absorb water when it is time for a drink. Furthermore, they cannot absorb oxygen needed to sustain the plant. To resolve this, move your plant to an outdoor shaded area, if needed plant in dry potting soil, and leave the plant alone.
Under watering your plants can be just as harmful as overwatering. Lack of watering can cause leaf drop, slow growth, curled leaves, and yellowing.
There is no set amount or frequency for watering your plants; it is for you to learn your plant, and its needs. After all, that is the beauty of growing houseplants.
Tips for success:
1. Never leave a plant in standing water.
2. Choose plants with watering needs suitable to your care routine and room environment.
3. If you don’t know what to do… stop watering!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these key tips on watering your houseplants. How has your experience been with watering your houseplants? What are some unique tricks you’ve found successful when watering your plants? Comment below!