There are so many benefits to having houseplants. From removing pollutants to decreasing feelings of stress, increasing focus and encouraging creativity, indoor plants are more than just a simple element of home decor. In order to enjoy all the benefits of houseplants, it is crucial that you know how to properly take care of them. For instance, understanding that you have to water them should be a no-brainer. Nevertheless, knowing how much water to give them and how often it should be done can prove to be a little trickier to figure out.
When you water your houseplants correctly, they receive the minerals and structural support necessary for them to grow and thrive. In reality, there are many variables at play that can make it challenging to know what exactly your plants need. However, identifying what your individual plant needs are, is ultimately the key to master the art of watering.
How Often Should House Plants be Watered?
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to watering houseplants is that not all plants require the same amount. Some plants like philodendrons are guzzlers, while others such as cacti and succulents don’t need to be watered for days or even weeks. While most houseplants fall somewhere in the middle, it is important to conduct your own research to see where your species of houseplants falls on the water spectrum.
Here are some other variables you should consider to help you determine how often to water your plants:
- Potting vessel
- Sun exposure
- Time of year
- Hanging vs. sitting plants
How to Water Houseplants
The best way to learn when and how to water your houseplants is to become familiar with them. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers to check the moisture of the soil. If you stick your finger an inch into the soil and it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it still feels damp, check back in a day or two. For smaller plants, judging the weight of your potted plant can also be an effective indicator of when you need to give your plants a drink.
If you want to learn more about how to water your houseplants, here are a few simple steps you can follow:
- Time of Day: Watering your houseplants in the morning is preferable to watering them in the evening. If you accidentally get water on your plant while watering, the excess moisture has a better chance of drying and evaporating faster during the day when the temperatures are warmer. If water remains on the surface of the leaves, there is a higher risk of disease forming.
- Water from Above: Water your plants evenly and thoroughly. Fully soak the soil while avoiding getting water on the plant leaves. Continue to water until the water begins to pour out of the drainage hole. If your pot is sitting on a saucer, you need to discard any stagnant water after about 10 minutes or your plant roots may begin to rot.
- Water from Below:Another option for watering houseplants is to fill the saucer that sits under your pot with water. In a few minutes, the soil will soak up the water through the drainage holes. Continue filling the saucer until the water is no longer being absorbed and then discard the extra. This watering method is ideal for houseplants like African violets that don’t like wetness near their stems.
How Can You Fix an Over watered Plant?
Typically, it is fairly easy to determine when you need to water your houseplants. You may notice that the leaves are wilted and the soil will be dry. However, if you overcompensate for your lack of watering, there’s a good chance that this will also do more harm than good. It is possible to literally drown your plants by constantly keeping the soil wet. While your plants need water to grow, they also need oxygen. Over watering your plants can make it difficult for air to reach the roots, blocking your plants from receiving the nutrients they need to stay alive.
Fortunately, your plants can bounce back, even if you think you’ve been over watering them. Here are two simple ways to fix an over watered houseplant:
- Let the soil dry out before watering your plant again.
- Trim off dead or rotting roots and re-pot your plant with fresh soil.
Once you’ve revived your houseplants, it’s important to start following our recommended watering techniques as outlined above to ensure your plants receive the right amount of water every time. If you need to replace your houseplants or simply want to add to your collection, find a great selection of plants for your home or office at Terra Plants & Flowers.