How do I properly water my plants?
You can do a few things to make sure you’re watering your plants properly. You can check if the soil is dry and if the plant needs it to be dry then you can water it if it is. If the plant requires more hydration, then you can leave the soil slightly moist when watering for a next time. But the easiest way to keep plants properly hydrated is to have drainage holes in the pot and using the correct soil mix for your plants. In this post, I'm going to discuss the different types of plants and how you can water them properly. This includes tropical plants, plants that like to dry out slightly, and cacti & succulents.
Watering tips for any plant
Before I get into specific types of plants, I’d like to talk about some general watering advice. Watering is easiest when you have pots that have draining holes in them, but if you don’t you’re going to have to guess how much water you’ll need. The goal of having drainage holes is getting rid of all the water the soil can’t soak up. If you have a pot without a drainage hole, this water will sit at the bottom of the pot. This is something you don’t want, so you’ll have to water less, to make sure nothing sits at the bottom of the pot.
When you have a pot with drainage holes, you can water your plant until the water starts to drip out of the hole in the bottom. When it does this, just let it drip out for 5-10 minutes. The soil will be drained of all excess water and your plant is well hydrated. You can apply this strategy to any type of plants described in this post.
When you’re buying new plants, you should do research on their watering needs, this way you’re prepared to water them correctly, but also in case something seems to be wrong with your plant. Perhaps its leaves are wilting or become brown. If you know what their watering needs are, you can see if perhaps you’ve over or underwatered them. This way it’s quite simple to adjust your care and give the plant what it needs.
Now let’s get into some specific plant types.
Most tropical plants prefer to have slightly moist soil because this is what they have in their natural habitats. This means that you will need to use soil that can hold a lot of moisture, the moisture should not escape quickly. This also means that if you use soil that holds a lot of moisture you will not have to water as often because this way it will be in perfect condition for much longer than if you were to use well-draining soil.
Tropical plants prefer moist soil, but not wet soil. This means that your soil still needs to be well draining and your pot should have draining holes, through which the excess water can escape. The soil should also allow the roots to take in oxygen. This means that you should use soil that can handle being moist. If you were to use normal potting soil for this, it will compact and become much denser. This will stop the roots from being able to breathe the oxygen and they will suffocate.
Plants that like to dry out slightly
Unlike tropical plants, most houseplants don’t like to sit in wet or moist soil for too long. If they’re exposed for too long, they might suffer from root rot and this will kill the plant. For these plants, it’s very important to have well-draining soil, that doesn’t hold on to the water for too long. A few days is acceptable, but not more than that.
Before watering you should make sure that the top 5 cm (2 inches) of soil is dry. You can do this by sticking your finger in the soil and literally feeling the moisture. If you’re not sure if it’s dry or not, there is a simple rule of thumb: dry soil won’t really stick to your finger. So if it does, wait a few more days to water that specific plant.
Cacti & succulents
Cacti and succulents are known for being very easy to take care of. One of the aspects that makes this easy, is the fact that you can forget about them and they’ll survive. So this is also my advice for watering these types of plants: keep it to a minimum. Water them once every 2-3 weeks or when the plants start to show signs of being thirsty. If you water it more often, you might risk overwatering these plants and that will kill them in the long run.
When planting these plants in a pot, preferably with a draining hole, make sure to use a cactus soil mix. This mix is made to let water escape very quickly and also doesn’t hold a lot of water. This is because cacti and succulents thrive when they’re in a dry environment, like their natural habitat.
Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, let me know on Instagram or Twitter and I'll do my best to help you.Posted on: June 20th, 2019