Must know basics about watering house plants

If you’re a fan of having a houseplant in your home, you’ve no doubt lost a plant or two over the years.

Insufficient and excessive watering are among the most common reasons why a plant may die so it’s important you learn how to strike the right balance.

If it wasn’t for the water we provide our stunning plants with, nutrients wouldn’t be able to travel from the soil to plant cells. However, too much water in the soil will force the air from the root and ultimately reduce the plant’s oxygen levels.

While there is no simple rule to follow when it comes to watering your little friends, here are some tips that you should be keeping in mind:

When should you water your plants?

Contrary to popular belief, house plants aren’t too keen on strict routines. While you may hear that Mrs Smith next door waters hers religiously every Sunday morning without fail or Mr Ellis swears his success is down to watering them every Tuesday and Friday morning, this isn’t really the case.

Each plant will have their own likes and dislikes when it comes to watering. Even two plants of the same type/ breed will differ in their preferences. This is mainly because their location and size will have a huge impact on how much water they need and how often they need it.

The simple truth is there is no hard and fast rule for when to water your plant. It all comes down to observing your plant and testing to see if the soil is wet or dry. If your plant is small you can also pick it up to see how heavy it is as this will tell you how much water is left at the bottom.

How much water should you give your plant?

The amount of water you give your houseplant will depend on a number of factors, including the time of the year and the actual plant itself.

If your plant has fleshy, thick leaves it’s naturally adapted to receiving less water. Cactus plants are a great example of this and if you give them too much water too often then you’ll rot the roots.

On the other hand, if your plant’s leaves are thin and there’s a lot of them then it will need more frequent watering. If the leaves start to look dead or dry then it’s a sign the plant is dehydrated.

As well as varying between plants, watering schedules should also change depending on the time of year.

During winter, temperatures are typically cooler so houseplants don’t need as much water as photosynthesis is less effective. You can probably get away with watering your plants a few times a month during this season – providing the room they are placed in is not hot or humid – but you’ll need to step up your efforts during summer.

Does the size of the plant pot matter?

Yes! As a general rule, a large plant in a small pot will need much more water than a small plant in a large pot. This is simply because if the roots fill the pot then there is a less capacity for the soil to hold water.

Plants in clay pots compared to those in plastic ones will also normally need more water because clay is porous.

What signs should you look for when evaluating your watering?

If you’re worried that you’re giving your plants the wrong amount of water then you can look for these signs or symptoms of under or overwatering.

Signs your plant may have had too much water…

  1. The leaves become wilted and limp
  2. Flowers look mouldy
  3. Both old and newer leaves begin to fall
  4. Tips of the leave become brown

Signs your plant may have had too little water…

  1. Leaves become limp, wilted and appear translucent
  2. Flowers begin to fade quickly or fail to bloom at all
  3. The oldest leaves on the houseplant begin to fall
  4. Leaf edges turn brown and dry

What is the best time to water house plants?

Most houseplants don’t mind what time of day you water them but as a general rule you should avoid watering them during the evening. This is because the roots will sit in the water for a longer period of time due to the cooler temperatures so try to water in the morning instead.

What water should you use on house plants?

The best water you could use for your houseplants is natural water collected from rain in a water butt or similar container. If not, there’s always the tap but this isn’t strictly considered the best due to the purification processes it goes through to make it safe for us to drink.

Now that you know exactly how to water your plants why not extend your collection by ordering one of the beautiful house plants from Serenata!

Author: Lily Calyx

Flower expert, gardening enthusiast and creative mind behind our blog.

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