Watering Indoor Plants
All you need to know to meet your plants hydration requirements.
Written by Plantee
We love water. Plants love water. But unlike humans, plants can’t choose how much and when they would like some water. Therefore, indoor plants rely on the correct watering from their humans. Here we’ve got a few handy tips on what to do when it comes to watering your indoor plants.
First of all, the watering of plants is essential for many reasons. The shape that your plant takes greatly relies on water to maintain its firmness and structure. This is down to the process of transpiration. A process by which water moves up the plant from root to leaf via the stem and is then removed through evaporation. Taking water from the roots in the soil allows it to be distributed to the most important parts of the plant – the leaves.
However, if the soil becomes too dry and the continuous flow of water in the plant becomes limited, plants will likely turn wilted. A droopy plant is a sure sign that it is in need of water. Nobody likes a flop, so it is vital to sustain the levels of water that your plants demand.
Another key reason why a plant needs water is photosynthesis. If year nine biology taught us anything, this is an important process in which plants use water, light, and carbon dioxide to produce their own food to grow and respire. Without the water indoor plant need, photosynthesis can’t take place, and they won’t be able to grow big and strong.
Now we know the importance of water to indoor plants, how do we work out when and how much water our indoor plants need? All plants are unique and so it is important to understand their different watering requirements. A good place to start is to look at what your plant is used to in their natural habitat. A tropical houseplant will enjoy a rainy, humid type of condition, whereas succulents and cacti will thrive in environments that are warm and dry. Once you understand these important factors then the level of watering which your plant requires becomes slightly easier.
Rainforest loving plants such as the peace lily are going to need humid conditions with a good watering at least once a week. Wet soil is not a problem for these types of plants and maintaining damper air with a plant mister is important to create that tropical feel. Natives of the hot desert on the other hand, will thrive of less water. These plants don’t enjoy sitting in water so its important to water well and then allow for the soil to completely dry (usually a few weeks) before watering again.
Water levels also depend greatly on the size of the plant and the pot. Large pots with lots of soil will take longer to dry out than smaller pots with less soil. The same plant in different size pots, will therefore require different watering schedules.
Setting a schedule for your plants can be a good way of keeping track of when they need watering. However, you’ll know when your plants need a drink if their soil is too dry. So, although following a watering schedule can allow you to keep on top of watering, its also important to monitor your plants on a regular basis and give them what they need, when they need it.
Overwatering is the fastest way to kill off your plant and nobody wants that. Oversaturated soil can lead to roots rotting and your plant not having a very enjoyable time. Allowing soil to completely dry out (dry, even a couple inches under the surface) will let the plant find the perfect combination of water and nutrients which is needs.
Small pots of soil will dry out faster than large pots
Sunlight will dry out soil quicker than soil in the shade
Humid conditions will keep soil damp for longer
Hopefully this will give you a better insight into the watering of your plants and give them the best chance of not just surviving but thriving under your care.
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To water or to not water? That is the question
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